It’s a well-known fact that violence in comic books has long been a controversial topic. Brutal vigilantes like The Punisher blur the line between good and evil, spreading gore and carnage across the page. However, there remain a few superheroes who can still be described as wholesome. Chief among them is Captain America, the personification of an eagle draped in an American flag carrying an apple pie.
Cap is the greatest of the good guys, always standing up for what’s right and what’s honorable. Sure, he may have killed some Nazis and punched Hitler, but nobody should have a problem with that. There just aren't that many times when Captain America went crazy in his comics. He’s generally as civil as a professional villain fighter can be. The guy carries a shield into battle, how much more peaceful can someone get? No one would suspect Captain America of committing the same sort of acts that Frank Castle regularly does, but the truth is there are some really dark moments in Captain America comics. Keep reading below to learn more about them.
Trading in His Girlfriend for Her Younger Sister
Modern continuity states that Captain America started dating the niece of his former girlfriend, Peggy Carter, after being unfrozen decades after the war. That’s sleazy enough, but back in the '60s when Cap was first unfrozen, Sharon Carter was actually Peggy’s younger sister. In Captain America #165, Cap decided to juggle both girls for a while, claiming he didn’t want to hurt Peggy’s feelings. For shame! This is the kind of stuff we expect out of Tony Stark, not Steve Rogers! This moment isn't violent, but it sure is dark.
Super-Apes Don't Stand a Chance
For whatever reason, violence against animals always tugs at the heartstrings in ways that other violence just can't match. This makes Captain America’s brutal slaughter of the super-powered and super-intelligent Soviet Super-Apes particularly uncomfortable. This was an act committed by the recently revealed Hydra-following version of Captain America from Captain America: Steve Rogers #4, so it’s a bit more understandable that he would commit such horrors. However, it’s still really difficult to watch the Sentinel of Liberty bash an orangutan’s head.
Captain America Kills Teenage Red Skull
When you hear that Captain America killed Red Skull, it already seems pretty justified - they are rivals, after all, and Red Skull is basically super-Hitler, so if anyone deserves to die, it’s him. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about the classic, literally-red-skulled Red Skull, but a new version from the possible future of Earth X #11. This version is a young teen with mind control powers that has begun taking over the Earth, and Cap is forced to snap his neck to save the day. Not exactly one to put on the hero resume.
Tussles with a Nazi Vampire
Baron Blood is a Nazi vampire, and you don’t get much more evil than a Nazi vampire. In order to stop the potentially-immortal Blood, Captain America decides he needs to permanently end the threat. In Captain America #254, Cap has no stakes on hand, so he opts for decapitation via shield. While it’s probably an overall good thing to behead an evil vampire, seeing the beloved shield used in such a manner still shocked plenty of readers.