14 Surprisingly Dark Moments in Captain America Comics

Voting Rules
Vote up the times comics about America's Boy Scout went to a surprisingly dark place.

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. 

  • 1
    239 VOTES

    His Adopted Son Is Shot

    During Rick Remender’s run on Captain America Vol. 7, Cap was stuck in Dimension Z, an alternate dimension created by Arnim Zola. While there, Cap rescued a young clone from Zola, and raised the boy as his own in the hellscape setting. After countless adventures together, the pair was on the cusp of finally defeating Zola, but fate would intervene. Tragically, Sharon Carter, Captain America’s girlfriend, chose that exact time to come to Cap's rescue and, amidst the confusion, shot and killed Ian right in front of Cap. Great timing, Sharon! Luckily, Ian was later revealed to have survived due to a healing factor.

    239 votes
  • 2
    223 VOTES

    He Tosses Jack Flagg from a Plane

    When Captain America went to work with Hydra, he didn’t half-ass it. Just before revealing his intentions to readers with the now-infamous “Hail Hydra” panel in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, Cap decided to do something irredeemable just to seal the deal. He casually threw fellow superhero Jack Flagg from a plane, sending him crashing down to the concrete below. Flagg survived thanks to his healing powers, but has been in a coma ever since.

    223 votes
  • 3
    217 VOTES

    Getting Shot on Courthouse Steps

    Right off the bat, what actual newspaper would publish a photo like that on the front page? Way to go, J. Jonah Jameson! Captain America’s death at the end of Captain America 2004 #25 was a surprise to all, especially because it came from an unseen sniper while Cap walked up the courthouse steps in handcuffs. It was, on the whole, a less than dignified end for the legend, although it was not to be a permanent one.

    217 votes
  • 4
    178 VOTES

    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. This is the kind of stuff we expect out of Tony Stark, not Steve Rogers!

    178 votes
  • 5
    164 VOTES

    Hooked on Meth and Living on the Streets

    To be fair, Captain America did not get hooked on methamphetimines by choice in this story. However, anytime you’ve got Captain America and meth rampage in the same sentence, you have to take note. Cap was tricked into a methamphetamine addiction that was somehow made even stronger due to his super-soldier serum, which led him on a path of reckless abandon in Captain America #380. Cap fought fellow heroes, hung out with street toughs, and performed unsettling chicken impersonations in this very uncharacteristic story arc. Worst of all, Captain America also grew a scuzzy beard. Truly chilling stuff.

    164 votes
  • 6
    148 VOTES

    The Grim Reaper Kills Cap

    In Uncanny Avengers #17, a C-list villain bad guy brings Captain America to an unceremonious end. The Grim Reaper is a ridiculously-costumed super villain who almost never claims any actual victims. Here, he manages to evade Cap’s defenses and finally uses his scythe to shed some blood. This gruesome death was quickly overwritten thanks to time-traveling shenanigans in classic Marvel fashion.

    148 votes