Comic Vine News

58 Comments

7 Heroes Who Wore the Captain America Costume

We take a look at 7 people that wore the Captain America mantle while Steve Rogers was busy or dead.

Steve Rogers will forever be known as Captain America, no matter who is wearing the mantle. Recently, it was announced that someone else will take over the mantle of Captain America, seeing as the super serum wore off of Steve Rogers and he can no longer carry the shield, literally. It may be a sad day for Steve Rogers fans, seeing someone else hold that iconic shield, but it's not the first time we've seen someone else take over as Captain America is Rogers' absence. Let's take a look now at who else held wore Rogers' outfit or at least a variation of it.

Isaiah Bradley

In a story that echoes the horrors of the Tuskegee Experiments, the US Army ended up testing the super soldier serum on 300 black soldiers, with Project: Rebirth. One of those men was Isaiah Bradley. It was a different time and Bradley experienced violence and racism while in the Army. The seven that survived were shipped off to war in 1942. During his time in World War II, Bradley is arrested and given a life sentence for stealing Captain America's spare uniform.

After 17 years in solitary confinement, Bradley is pardoned and finds the serum made him sterile. However, Bradley's legend lived on within the black community of the Marvel universe. Bradley ended up living with his wife and their grandchildren, one of which is Patriot, a member of the Young Avengers.

William Nasland: Spirit of 76'

William Nasland was the first man to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America. After Rogers and Barnes went MIA, President Truman asked William Nasland, the Spirit of 76', a member of the Crusaders, to take over the mantle of Captain America, to fight in the rest of the war. Nasland fought with the All-Winners Squad for two years, before being killed by one of Adam II's minions.

Jeffery Mace: Patriot

In original continuity, Jeffrey Mace was never Captain America. However, the 2010 mini-series CAPTAIN AMERICA: PATRIOT retcons a bit of history and tells the story of Mace taking over the mantle after Nasland's death. Mace was a friend of the original Captain America and wore the costume after not being able to save Nasland's life. Mace had no powers, but wanted to carry on the legacy. After the way, Mace was left doing PSAs in New York. He ended up retiring and much later in life, he died of cancer with Steve Rogers at his bedside.

William Burnside AKA Steve Rogers: Grand Director

Some folks love Captain America so much that they legally change their name to Steve Rogers and then become Captain America. William Burnside loved Captain America so much he got a PhD in American History and wrote his thesis about him. While in Germany, Burnside found the super soldier serum and the U.S. Government gave him the costume to wear during the Korean war. Now, with all the powers Cap once had, Burnside legally changed his name and had plastic surgery to look as much like Steve Rogers as possible.

After the Korean War, the FBI ended Burnside's tenure as Cap, which was the start of Burnside's downfall. He later started working with the government again and Jack Monroe got into a skirmish with Dr Faustus, who made him try and kill Monroe. Believing he did kill Monroe, Burnside killed himself. He popped back up again during The Death of Captain America story line where he tried to kill Bucky Barnes, while wearing the Cap suit because Barnes killed Monroe. To make things even weirder, at one point, Burnside tried to play dress-up with Barnes and tried to force him to wear his Bucky costume from WWII. Talk about nutty.

John Walker: U.S. Agent

John Walker started as a bit of an adversary of Captain America. Walker did things like not helping an old lady who was mugged and organizing the beating of exchange students at a college, while trying to discredit Captain America. At one point, Walker ended up actually becoming Captain America, but one that was a bit darker and more brutal. Walker dropped the suit and became U.S. Agent after meeting the real Captain America. After his parents were murdered, John became a darker character with little to no compassion for those he was fighting against. He still uses the U.S. Agent guise to this day.

Frank Castle: The Punisher

Yes, The Punisher was very briefly Captain America... at least he thinks he was. After Steve Rogers' death at the end of Civil War, Castle mourned the loss of the American hero. Even though the two never always saw eye-to-eye, Castle held Rogers to the highest regards and felt someone else had to wear the iconic suit. Unlike the majority of others who wore the suit, Castle put his own flair on the costume and became what many refer to as Captain Punisher. Castle passed the mantle onto Winter Soldier after a few issues and went back to shooting people in the face in a skull t-shirt.

Bucky Barnes

Originally the sidekick of Captain America, Bucky went MIA with Cap during their missions of WWII. Bucky was found by the Soviets, rebuilt, and turned into an assassin called The Winter Soldier. He had no recollection of who he once was though. In present day, Cap made Bucky remember who he was, with the help of the cosmic cube. After Rogers' death, Steve left instructions for Tony Stark to have Bucky carry on the mantle. He remained Captain America for some time, even after Steve Rogers returned from the grave. However, Bucky went on trial in America and Russia for the crimes he committed as Winter Soldier, during this time, Sin, "kills him." Afterwards, Buck returns as the Winter Solider, but no longer working for evil.

While there's a couple other folks, here and there, who have worn the costume, these are the most important folks who have worn the Catpain America outfit. Who is your favorite person to wear the Captain America outfit, besides Steve Rogers? Let us know in the comment section below!

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a writer, tweeter, comedian, and almost got a Captain America shield as his first tattoo... Long story.

58 Comments
  • 58 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by Xwraith

Out of these, my favorite is easily Bucky - even though I like him best as the Winter Soldier.

Edited by kasino

wasn't Grand Director leader of the KKK....

Posted by inferiorego

@kasino said:

wasn't Grand Director leader of the KKK

That's Grand Wizard.

Staff
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Ya know I think I'd rather read about Frank Castle as Captain America than I would Falcon.

Online
Posted by dagmar_merrill

@kasino said:

wasn't Grand Director leader of the KKK

That's Grand Wizard.

Grand Wizard is an odd name for the leader of the KKK/

Online
Edited by kasino

@inferiorego said:

@kasino said:

wasn't Grand Director leader of the KKK

That's Grand Wizard.

yea and that guy..you don't remember

I like Bucky and Punisher the best. Or a new guy from the Afghanistan war to keep the War Vet theme.

Edited by tparks

Wasn't Falcon wearing the Stars and Stripes for a while?

Edited by Manchine

I was going to say Nomad was also one but after doing my homework before opening my mouth. Captain America actually became Nomad then went to be Captain America again....... yeah it was the 80's. =)

Posted by inferiorego

@kasino said:

@inferiorego said:

@kasino said:

wasn't Grand Director leader of the KKK

That's Grand Wizard.

yea and that guy..you don't remember

I like Bucky and Punisher the best. Or a new guy from the Afghanistan war to keep the War Vet theme.

That's Grand Director when he was the leader, under Doctor Faustus' control, of National Force

Staff
Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

Now I don't feel bad I couldn't name all 7. I knew Isaiah, Spirit of 76, Bucky, and Us Agent ( Punisher shouldn't count...) but the rest are all new to me.

Posted by Protoflash

I have to say punisher is my favorite based entirely on that ridiculous costume alone. Helloooo cosplay idea

Edited by StMichalofWilson

@xwraith said:

Out of these, my favorite is easily Bucky - even though I like him best as the Winter Soldier.

Right on

I have to say punisher is my favorite based entirely on that ridiculous costume alone. Helloooo cosplay idea

lol!

Edited by Pokeysteve

Busy or dead lol

Steve, the world is in trouble and we need you to...

I'M BUSY!!

Posted by inferiorego

Busy or dead lol

Steve, the world is in trouble and we need you to...

I'M BUSY!!

Being Nomad is a time sucking job.

Staff
Posted by MuyJingo

So, I'm guessing none of these 7 people had access to the SSS.

Were they able to wield the shield as well as, and have feats that were generally close to those of Steve?

Posted by inferiorego

@muyjingo said:

So, I'm guessing none of these 7 people had access to the SSS.

Were they able to wield the shield as well as, and have feats that were generally close to those of Steve?

Bradley had the SSS and so did Burnside.

Staff
Posted by Carolina574

Don't really know what he is doing in comics right now, but how about Eli Bradley as the new cap.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

See? This is exactly what I was talking about the other week! This happens too damn many times, and now it's happening again!

Say, didn't the Tarantula "and his pointy 'choos" (as he put it) once wear the costume?

Posted by The Impersonator

Why don't they pick a female character to become the next Captain America? There's Captain Marvel and Thor.

Posted by inferiorego

@the_impersonator: Cap's daughter in the M2 universe did that. She wasn't mentioned because well M2. At least I believe that's who it was. Don't quote me on that.

Staff
Posted by kleo_94

Favourite? Bucky.

Online
Posted by FearTheLiving

@inferiorego: American Dream? I don't think she was Cap's daughter.

Posted by MuyJingo

@muyjingo said:

So, I'm guessing none of these 7 people had access to the SSS.

Were they able to wield the shield as well as, and have feats that were generally close to those of Steve?

Bradley had the SSS and so did Burnside.

OK, thanks.

How did the rest compare in shield throwing skill and general feats?

Edited by Winter_Kills

For me, after Steve, there's only one other person that could ever be, or will ever be- Captain America- & that's James "Bucky" Barnes! Most of these were just title-holders- but Bucky earned it through blood sweat & tears. He's the only other person I will ever call Captain America!

Posted by Samuel_Simmons

Uhh, it says 5 not 7 at the top

Posted by kasino

@kasino said:

@inferiorego said:

@kasino said:

wasn't Grand Director leader of the KKK

That's Grand Wizard.

yea and that guy..you don't remember

I like Bucky and Punisher the best. Or a new guy from the Afghanistan war to keep the War Vet theme.

That's Grand Director when he was the leader, under Doctor Faustus' control, of National Force

I know its Grand Director, I said so..neither it was a side effect of the replication of the SS.

Posted by War Killer

For me, after Steve, there's only one other person that could ever be, or will ever be- Captain America- & that's James "Bucky" Barnes! Most of these were just title-holders- but Bucky earned it through blood sweat & tears. He's the only other person I will ever call Captain America!

This.

(Awesome image by the way! :D)

Edited by HumanRocket

Hawkeye should be next in line to take up the mantle.

Posted by BruceWayne19

Punisher or Bucky

Posted by dagmar_merrill
Online
Posted by HumanRocket

@dagmar_merrill: People forget that he's been an Avengers for as long as Cap and just like Cap has had to face all the dangers the team has faced with no super powers, just the skills he has. He's similar to Bucky in that he had to earn the trust of the team and had to redeem himself from his time as a criminal. He's trained under Cap's watch throughout the years and has become a good H2H fighter, and has shown that he has the ability to use Cap's shield. During the New Avengers run we also found out that Clint was first approached to take the mantle of Captain America, when Steven was killed (sent back in time) after Civil War. I just think it would be a great re visit to give him a chance to take up the mantle for a while. He's earned the chance to give it a try.

Posted by dagmar_merrill

@humanrocket: Well if you put it like that.. Now I want Hawkeye as Cap.

Online
Posted by Black Lantern Mar-vell

Lets REALLY, stir things up...make Peter Parker the next Captain America!

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

Hawkeye should be next in line to take up the mantle.

That would actually be really cool.

Ya know I think I'd rather read about Frank Castle as Captain America than I would Falcon.

Same here. That would be a great twist on the character.

For me, after Steve, there's only one other person that could ever be, or will ever be- Captain America- & that's James "Bucky" Barnes! Most of these were just title-holders- but Bucky earned it through blood sweat & tears. He's the only other person I will ever call Captain America!

Agreed. It felt so fulfilling seeing Bucky as Captain America. I nearly wish that Steve stayed as Commander Rogers: Super Soldier while Bucky stayed as Cap.

Posted by HumanRocket
Posted by Winter_Kills

@humanrocket said:

Hawkeye should be next in line to take up the mantle.

That would actually be really cool.

@jonny_anonymous said:

Ya know I think I'd rather read about Frank Castle as Captain America than I would Falcon.

Same here. That would be a great twist on the character.

@winter_kills said:

For me, after Steve, there's only one other person that could ever be, or will ever be- Captain America- & that's James "Bucky" Barnes! Most of these were just title-holders- but Bucky earned it through blood sweat & tears. He's the only other person I will ever call Captain America!

Agreed. It felt so fulfilling seeing Bucky as Captain America. I nearly wish that Steve stayed as Commander Rogers: Super Soldier while Bucky stayed as Cap.

Amen to that, brother! Though I LOVE Bucky as the Winter Soldier, I would've loved it just as much for Bucky to have continued as Cap- & you still had Steve as America's Top Cop, so you had the best of both worlds. I think Brubaker would've kept it that way for awhile if not for Fear Itself.

Edited by Winter_Kills

@winter_kills said:

For me, after Steve, there's only one other person that could ever be, or will ever be- Captain America- & that's James "Bucky" Barnes! Most of these were just title-holders- but Bucky earned it through blood sweat & tears. He's the only other person I will ever call Captain America!

This.

(Awesome image by the way! :D)

Thanks bro- found it awhile back & I loved it! Thought it showed Bucky's coolness as WS & Cap. everybody else would too. I aims to please! :)

Posted by Lazzyville

Bucky Barnes but that Punisher!

Posted by Quickfingers26

@winter_kills said:

For me, after Steve, there's only one other person that could ever be, or will ever be- Captain America- & that's James "Bucky" Barnes! Most of these were just title-holders- but Bucky earned it through blood sweat & tears. He's the only other person I will ever call Captain America!

Posted by HortonDrawsAWho

I can't believe how a lot of what sucked during the 1990's in comics have come back recently. I know people say that trends work in 20 year spurts but this is just creepy. Running through a list...

1) Onslaught

2) Spiderman 2099

3) Gatefold covers/ Holo covers

4) Doomsday

5) Overcomplicated costumes

6) Scarlet Spiderman

7) Characters needlessly getting replaced by other characters

8) Valiant comics is a thing again

I'm sure theres way more of these comparisons that I'm missing, also it's very possible that I hated Onslaught so much back in the mid 1990's that just his appearance (in armor form) is why I bring these comparisons up.

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

I don't mind the character switch, as we seen in the past if handled correctly we may come to enjoy the the new guy in time, but I would'v give with with Patriot or Nick Fury Jr way before the guy they went with.

Edited by Bokkie

Posted by Battle_Forum_Junkie
Posted by Perfect 10

hmmm, no american dream....

Posted by inferiorego

hmmm, no american dream....

She's not the 616 Universe. She's the M2 universe

Staff
Posted by Krypton-115

Someone know in what issues Punisher became Cap? It sounds like the best comic ever.

#Hawkeyefornewcap

Posted by fullmetaladam

Lets REALLY, stir things up...make Peter Parker the next Captain America!

No. If they were REALLY REALLY stirring things up Doc Ock would be the next Captain America.

Posted by blackair9

shouldnt it be 8? wasnt Scott Summers the future Captain America (and part of the Fantastic Four) in one of the Ultimate line cross over events ?

Posted by kilowog52

So, was Burnside the guy who was Cap in the 1950's?

Posted by E1000

Cap is gonna lose his powers ??? That s**ks badly guys.

  • 58 results
  • 1
  • 2