15 Characters Who Wielded Captain America’s Shield

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William Burnside had a stalker-ish level of fascination with Captain America and with Steve Rogers, gaining a Ph.D. on the topic, even visiting Germany and uncovering documents with the original Super-Soldier formula. At the outset of the Korean War, Burnside made a deal with the F.B.I. to reveal the formula to them if he could be the new Captain America. However, by the time his preparations were complete (including multiple surgeries for Burnside to resemble and sound like Steve Rogers, as well as adopting his name) the war ended and the program was shelved.

When a Communist spy posed as the Red Skull and attacked the United Nations, Burnside and partner Jack Monroe acted on their own as Captain America and Bucky to stop it. After that, they carried on as Captain America and Bucky, fighting Communists, but slipped into madness because their transformation was incomplete without exposure to the stabilizing Vita-Rays. They were put into cyrogenic suspension for their own safety, but released a quarter-century later and battled the original Captain. Burnside later became the Grand Director, leader of the neofascist National Force.


Steve Rogers had a crisis of conscience when he battled the Secret Empire, in “Captain America” #169-176. Following the threads of a plot to discredit him takes Captain America all the way to the White House, where he thwarts a coup d’etat led by a hooded man described only as a high-ranking government official. “Number One,” strongly implied to be President Nixon, commits suicide, and an unnerved Rogers renounces the Captain America identity.

Three well-meaning do-gooders step up to take the Captain America mantle only to find out the hard way that it’s not as easy as it looks. Pro baseball player Bob Russo, on his first time out, swings into a wall and breaks his arm, while a biker named “Scar” Turpin takes on six thugs and gets the snot beaten out of him. Finally, gym owner Roscoe Simons, who refuses to be dissuaded by The Falcon, shows his mettle in a fight. He gets Steve Rogers’ blessing and a bit of mentoring and training by The Falcon. Unfortunately, in stopping a bank robbery, Simons and The Falcon are captured by minions of the Red Skull. Insulted at finding a substitute in the costume, Red Skull beats Simons to death.

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