How Captain America Inspired Marvel's Most Twisted Soldiers | CBR

There is no question Steve Rogers/Captain America is one of the most honorable and heroic characters in the Marvel Universe. Despite his super-soldier status, he has always stood for justice and fought for what is right. As a result of his powers and abilities, Captain America has inspired many characters in the Marvel Universe, for better or for worse. Here is a look at some of the most twisted characters in the Marvel Universe, who took inspiration from the First Avenger himself.

John Walker, better known as the U.S. Agent, has fought under many superhero aliases, including Super-Patriot and Liegeman. Walker even, at one point, took up the mantle of Captain America for himself after Rogers abandoned the identity. During his time as Captain America, Walker worked for the Commission on Superhuman Activities, a group designed to act on superhuman affairs with the support of the US Government. It was later revealed that Commission was secretly run by Red Skull. But by this point, Walker had already proven himself too violent for the Captain America title by taking revenge on his former teammates turned enemies. It ended up being a long time before U.S. Agent proved himself to be a hero. 

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William Burnside, also known as Captain America of the 1950s, has a complicated history. Burnside took up the Captain America mantle, as well as the alias of Steve Rogers, out of an obsessive idealization of the real Captain America. But Burnside was exposed to a bad batch of the Super-Soldier Serum, which caused him and his Bucky — actually named Jack Monroe — to develop an extreme paranoia about communism. The duo began attacking innocent civilians in Harlem and Watts before being cryogenically frozen by the government. After being unfrozen. Burnside was brainwashed by Doctor Faustus to become the leader of a neo-Nazi hate group called National Force. In the end, Burnside donned a Captain America outfit one last time when tried to overthrow the US Government, and it was on this mission where he was seemingly killed by Bucky Barnes.

Clinton McIntyre was brought back to life by AIM scientists when his body was discovered with a prototype version of the Super Soldier Serum. Under the alias Protocide, McIntyre fought and paralyzed U.S. Agent before going up against the original Captain America. Though not as skilled in combat as Steve Rogers, Protocide got the better hand of Captain America on more than one occasion. While Protocide is a product of AIM’s evil experiments, he once saved the First Avenger’s life when one of the villainous organization’s bases exploded. After faking his death, Protocide attempted to start a new life. Presumed deceased by Civil War, it is likely Clinton McIntyre was able to make a life for himself and move past the Protocide mantle.

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Frank Simpson/Nuke is another tragic character in Marvel’s list of twisted patriotic soldiers. Nuke is a troubled figure, traumatized by his abusive childhood and time spent fighting the Vietnam War. Nuke often struggles to keep a grasp on reality, and this leads him to fight heroes like Wolverine, Daredevil and even Captain America on a regular basis. Though Frank Simpson later joined the Thunderbolts under the name of Scourge, he reverted to his Nuke alias and proved beyond saving. Nuke is an unstoppable killing machine, and though his backstory is a tragic one, the character’s consistently violent nature makes him a twisted vision of the ideals the real Captain America stands for.

Red Guardian was created to be the Captain America of the Soviet Union. While many have donned the mantle of Red Guardian, none were more famous than the second Red Guardian, Alexi Shostakov. Shostakov was trained by the KGB to become a cruel and ruthless instrument for destruction. Unlike other entries on this list, Red Guardian is a mantle that can stand against Captain America, depending on the person who dons the costume.

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Here are some of the most twisted soldiers inspired by Captain America in the Marvel Universe.

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