The Red Skull has stolen the brain of the recently deceased Professor Xavier and gained an insurmountable amount of new powers. He has created a super powered team called the S-Men and is targeting mutants around the world for annihilation.
Knowing how a man who would find himself becoming the root of all evil within the Marvel Universe would begin with the troubled childhood of Johann Schmidt. Raised in a traumatizing world of the European streets, Johann’s mind found itself warped and paved for something much more sinister to come. Born in a village within Germany, Johann's life would start its dark path when his mother would die from giving birth to him. This event drove Johann’s drunken father in a depressing state to where he would cope with the idea of avenging his stressful problems by simply drowning the infant Johann. Saved from near death by the delivering doctor after halting Johann’s father from killing him, Johann’s father would later commit suicide that would force Johann without any parents and to be forced into an orphanage. Growing up into a life of being bullied, Johann’s hatred for others slowly began to expand itself by being convinced that every man was truly his enemy. Hating every passing day of abuse, Johann predictably ran away to led on a life as a beggar and a petty thief. Usually taking menial jobs to keep himself sustained, Johann later found himself offered a job as a sweeper for a Jewish shopkeeper and also found friendship with the daughter of the shop owner as well. As the girl took a liking towards Johann, it would be when he forced himself onto her where she would deny him because of his actions. Johann would finally take his inner feelings into action by committing his first murder when he killed the girl in a fit of blind rage with a shovel.
Back out on the streets again and desperate for any means for survival, Johann would have his chance in 1933 after being one of the many Germans who were forced into joining the Nazi Party as a Sturmabteilung. As Hitler rose to power, Johann still wasn’t satisfied seeing how he was merely a prop rather than a fighter like the S.S. But Johann’s life would change after learning that Hitler was staying within a selected hotel, Johann secretly came up with the idea of making an impression on Hitler by acting out as one of the hotels bellboys. Upon learning that Adolf Hitler was making his stay, Johann successfully acted as one of the hotels bellboy’s who tended to the Fuhrers stay. Coming upon Hitler scolding one of his Gestapo’s for failure of capturing a spy who recently escaped from Germany, Hitler took notice of Johann claiming that he personally could teach Johann to be a better Nazi than any of his own officers. At first glance during Hitlers claim, Hitler not only found a potential recruit within Johann, but something that even the ruler of Germany would fear himself. Ever dedicated to prove himself to be what the Fuhrer of Germany saw within him, Johann proudly accepted his training as an S.S. Officer.
After Hitler later found himself unimpressed with Johann’s training, the Fuhrer relieved Johann's commanding officer and strictly took over Johann’s training himself. Shaped and molded into Hitlers own twisted image before his training was finished, Johann became the second most powerful man within Germany who answered to no one but Hitler himself. As his first act under Hitlers command, Johann killed his former officer who failed to train him under Hitler’s ideal for an S.S Officer. This twisted accomplishment awarded Johann an officer uniform, rank, and a trademark that would be burnt into the hearts of those who would dare oppose Hitler’s agenda, Johann was given a blood red mask of a skull that would be worn and show his enemies Hitler’s wrath and image that would install fear. Thus the Red Skull was born.
When Marvel Comics was introduced in 1939, there truly wasn’t any official superhero or villain until World War II first began. As a response to the war propaganda, editor Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, and scripter Ed Herron not only introduced their very first official superhero Captain America, but also introduced the very first super-villain within Marvel Comics known as the Red Skull. Completely the opposite of Captain America and everything the hero represented, Marvel Comics would display the Red Skull as a villain who strongly resembled oppression and totalitarianism. Wearing a horrific Blood-red death’s-head mask, Marvel Comics would find themselves creating the ultimate villain. Even though Captain America Comics #1 was meant to be Red Skull’s first and last appearance, the growing fan base later had Red Skull reintroduced in Captain America Comics Issue #7.
This caused the true Red Skull’s (Johann Schmidt) first official appearance to be in Captain America Comics #7, stating that the original Red Skull was an imposter who was secretly working with the Red Skull. As the war was coming to an end, so was the era of superheroes due to their strong relationship with the war. Both Captain America and Red Skull would find their supposed last appearance in October 1949 within Captain America Weird Tales #74, where both men found themselves battling each other within the depths of hell.
Red Skull’s name wouldn’t be mentioned until 1953 in Young Men #24. Having Red Skull displayed much more differently as a communist mastermind, but both Red Skull and the returned Captain America found themselves unsuccessful with the fan base and Marvel Comics later disregarding both comebacks of Captain America and Red Skull. It would be years later after editor Stan Lee properly introduced Red Skull who was still holding his Nazi identity, later identified this 50’s version of the Red Skull as the Russian spy known as Albert Malik.
It wouldn’t be until July 1966 when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would properly revive Red Skull into Marvel Comics within Tales of Suspense #79. Giving more character into the Red Skull with a detailed origin and the cause of his disappearance, Stan Lee would ultimately ignore Red Skull’s demise in Captain America Weird Tales #74 and revival within Young Men #24, properly set a new pace for Red Skulls career within Marvel Comics as criminal mastermind that constantly threatened Captain America and the Marvel Universe several times.
The Golden Age
During the Golden Age of Marvel Comics, Red Skull was known to be one of the most feared villains who served underneath the command of Hitler himself. As his terror was spreading across Europe, Red Skull’s reign would come to a halt when the United States presented their own special weapon, the super soldier known as Captain America. Throughout WWII, both Captain America and Red Skull found themselves constantly battling and Red Skull would also find himself fighting the other costumed mystery men who opposed the Third Reich.
However, as WWII was coming to an end, both Captain America and Red Skull found themselves coming to an end as well. With both men believed to be dead, both Red Skull and Captain America later revived in the early 50’s only to later disappear under unknown circumstances. It would later be revealed that the recent Red Skull wasn’t the original, but a communist known as Albert Malik.
After Captain America’s body been found and revived, the hero would later find himself followed by the resurrected Red Skull as well. Despite the fact that Red Skull no longer held an army of his own, he was still far more of a dangerous threat from vast amount of equipment, weaponry, robots, and various locations that he personally owned during WWII. Far more dangerous than before, Red Skull found his revival as a better chance of doing what Hitler failed to do himself, which was world domination. Several times Red Skull has either made an attempt to rule the world or by killing off Captain America in the most elaborate and carefully planned schemes.
Throughout the Silver and Bronze Age, Red Skull has crossed paths of other well-known villains within the Marvel Universe. Tricking and using the Kingpin of Crime in a plan to rid Captain America and ran across Dr Doom twice when trying to take over Latveria. One scheme found itself backfiring against the Red Skull when he gave Sam Wilson powers so that he could secretly attack Captain America, only to find Sam taking up the costumed role as the Falcon and becoming Captain America’s longtime partner.
At the very end of the Bronze Age within comics, Red Skull found himself dying once more and making a final attempt to end both Captain America and himself at the same time. However this plan almost successful as the Red Skull would die from a stroke in the arms of his most hated enemy.
The Modern Age
Red Skull would make his debut within the Modern Age much more differently than before. Revived in a clone body of Captain America, Red Skull decided to keep his status low and accomplish his same two goals differently through means of business and politics rather than frontal terrorist attacks. Red Skull has found himself more successful than his prior attacks against Captain America and his enemies because of his reach across the Marvel Universe that could easily grant him access to just about anything he truly wanted.
After the events of Civil War and Bucky’s return, Red Skull would find himself partaking in a scheme of killing Captain America. Even though Red Skull successfully orchestrated Captain America’s death, he would later be defeated once more when Bucky took the role of Captain America and foiled Red Skull’s plans of being fully revived in his own body once more.
With Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign coming to an end, Red Skull would make his appearance when accepting Osborn’s idea of him becoming the new and revived Captain America. Even though Red Skull did manage to have his conscious placed in Captain America’s revived body, he would find himself defeated in a conscious battle with Captain America and physically defeated by both Captain America and the Avengers as well.
Major Story Arcs
The Terror of the Red Skull
As the Red Skull quickly became a name of sheer intimidation under Hitler’s guidance. The image of the Red Skull would perfectly be burnt into the minds of those who have fallen under the Red Skull’s path of destruction. Red Skull later took his skills within the fields of espionage and sabotage and quickly became recognized as a master-of-disguise due to his success. Aside from his personal experiences, Red Skull successfully lead armies of Nazi troops on several violent campaigns that claimed numerous European countries and villages under Hitler's name. Leaving a path of carnage and pure destruction also found itself reaching the ocean waters when Red Skull also became a terror throughout the seas as he guided Naval assaults through several attacks against enemy ships. By the time Red Skull had both European land and sea in Hitlers control, he took the opportunity to install operations within other countries and even within America before the country became involved with the war, an act that later found himself being rewarded as a headmaster of the S.S. recruiting. Even though Red Skull was a single force, he would later encounter allies who would also find themselves becoming a major asset with Hitler's rise. Allies like Baron Wolfgang Strucker who was the leader of the Death’s Head Squadron, the deformed biochemist known as Arnim Zola, and Nazi’s top scientist Dr Baron Hienrich Zemo. It’s also known that sometime within this time frame, Red Skull would recognize Sgt Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos successful attacks against the Nazi army and Baron Zemo and responded to Fury's potential threat by creating a similar group of his own known as the Exiles. But there was one man that Red Skull encountered who was a valuable scientist who was secretly against Hitler’s agenda and idea’s of creating Nazi super soldiers, and became the man who would be responsible for America's response for the Red Skull.
Abraham Erskine was one of the few who were against Hitler and his plans for Erskine. A scientist who managed to perfect a formula that could create a super-soldier army, Erskine managed to flee Germany and seek refuge in America to help the U.S defeat Hitler’s reign of terror and the Red Skull. Upon learning of this escape, Red Skull was desperate to reach Hitler’s goals of obtaining the secrets of the Super Soldier Serum, this desperate attempt found just about all friends, co-workers, and employees who knew Erskine to be interrogate that resulted with violent torture and ending with death. As the American government realized that their forces may not be enough to take down Hitler’s right hand man, with Erskine's help, they responded with an attempt to create an army of american super-soldiers and went about doing this by using their first test subject, the frail, but willing Steve Rogers. With experiment on Roger proving successful, Erskine was instantly killed by Nazi spies who halted the governments attempt for their super-soldier army. Yet, with only one super-soldier, Rogers was out-fitted with a unique uniform and shield, taking the title as the symbol of America known as Captain America. As Captain America entered the German occupied Paris, the hero successfully guided an army of U.S soldiers to take on Red Skulls forces which led to both men finally facing each other one on one. To Red Skull’s surprise, Captain America not only led a victory against Red Skull’s forces, but also single handily defeated the Red Skull in combat as well.
An enemy among WWII
Tasting defeat for the first time, Red Skull was hit hard with grief for his failure to defeat his heroic counter-part. Seeing himself as a man who failed Hitler’s teachings and viewed as a man who should be feared, Red Skull would consider on committing suicide. But realizing that his feelings and hatred were not of Hitler’s own ideas and that Red Skull was only driven for his personal hatred for humanity, he decided to focus on gaining revenge against his new threat that eventually led both himself and Captain America to become sworn enemies throughout WWII. In 1941, Red Skull decided to attack his nemesis behind the scenes while he would convince Captain America that he is in fact battling the real Red Skull. Recruiting one of his agents George Maxon who was a spy within America, Maxon would take the disguise of the Red Skull and went about carrying missions that would involve Captain America and his sidekick Bucky. Hoping that Maxon would successfully defeat both of these heroes, Maxon would find himself dying when going against the heroes.
If there was one thing about Red Skull's relation towards Hitler, was that Hitler took great pride with his creation to where he practically gave Red Skull anything that he wanted, despite his failures on defeating Captain America. Financing and constructing bases all around the world (possibly one of these bases given to his team the Exiles), equipment and weaponry with highly advanced technology created by Nazi scientists. Just about anything that Red Skull could possibly obtain to help him on his cause for warfare, the destruction of his nemesis Captain America, and all other costumed forces who opposed the Red Skull. Battling heroes such as the Young Allies which was formed by Captain America’s sidekick Bucky, the Invaders, Liberty Legion, Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos, the Destroyer, Father Time, and Jack Frost from Liberty Legion. But among all other enemies that Red Skull obtained throughout World War II, there was none that could reach the level of hatred that Red Skull had for Captain America. Red Skull would also find himself gaining new allies such as the mad cyborg scientist named Brain Drain, Warrior Woman, and Master Man. After managing to release an ancient massive robot that was quickly buried by Captain America, Red Skull would used its design to create robots himself that was called “ sleepers” which they would lay in dormant for years as a failsafe if the Nazi’s were to face defeat within the war. In 1944, Red Skull finds himself successfully capturing the Ancient One and obtaining the powerful object known as the Eye of Agamotto. This would have Red Skull travel into the Dark Dimension and form an alliance with the ruler Dormammu. However, Red Skull and Dormammu found their alliance short-lived when the team effort of Captain America, Bucky, and Sgt Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos managed pursue Red Skull and foil his plans.
As Red Skull began to realize that Hitler’s reign was about to fall, the Third Reich would find itself changing their course for the worse, starting with Baron Strucker. As Hitler grew tired of Strucker's constant failures, he ordered the Red Skull to kill him when later on he did completely the opposite. Seeing an opportunity to rebuild another army of his own, he helped Strucker escape Germany with specific instructions to build and retain an army for him to command after Hitler’s downfall. As a response to this, Strucker gave the Red Skull an experimental gas that would put him in suspended animation until the war was long over and settled, giving Red Skull the open opportunity to do what Hitler failed. Later as Hitler became tense about the inevitable defeat, Red Skull would lash out at Baron Zemo when he proposed an idea to kill of Captain America and Bucky, expressing his point that only he himself was the only man who can kill Captain America. In 1945 when Germany was facing it’s last moments, Red Skull would attempt to hide within a private strongbox that found itself quickly raided by Captain America and his allies. As both men fought in a grueling match to the death, an aerial strike would halt the fight as the strongbox began to collapse. With Red Skull finding himself buried underneath the fallen rubble, Captain America barely managed to escape believing that would be the last time he would ever see the Red Skull again. When in fact he did manage to survive the collapse and was kept in suspended animation as Strucker's experimental gas found itself setting off after the strongbox collapsed. Fully buried and laying in dormant, Red Skull's name would later reappear when another would take the role as the Red Skull.
The Other Red Skull
After the supposed death of the Red Skull, both Captain America and Bucky would meet their same supposed fates as well when attempting to stop Zemo from stealing an experimental drone plane. With Captain America frozen alive within the arctic and Bucky finding himself recovered by the Soviets, both men would also never be seen again. As the war was finally over and Hitler met his death within the hands of Toro, the Soviet government would appoint one of their agents Albert Malik to take the role of being the Red Skull. His first assignment was to locate Hitler’s strongbox for Nazi weapon secrets that Johann Schmidt mostly used during his reign as the Red Skull. Sidetracked with other schemes to cause mayhem throughout the world, Malik would gain the attention of a new Captain America (later to be known as the Grand Director) and Jack Monroe who took the role of being Bucky. Much like their former counter-parts, both heroes and villain found themselves in an constant battle with each other that naturally ended with Malik being defeated. Later Malik would encounter the parents of Peter Parker ( Spider-Man) who were secretly U.S government spies working with Malik. Upon learning this, Malik arranged for their deaths with a plane crash and framed them for illicit defection. After the 50’s when both Captain America and Bucky were driven mad from their Super Soldier experiment, Malik would also mysteriously disappear as well.
The Return of the Red Skull
After Captain America was accidentally recovered, he found himself joining the newly formed group of modern day superheroes known as the Avengers. Remembering past events and tragedies of Red Skull and the believed death of his sidekick Bucky. It wouldn’t be later until a group known as Advance Idea Mechanics (which was a splinter group of a massive terrorist group known as Hydra) would uncover the Red Skull from his strongbox and revive him into modern time. Agreeing to form an alliance with A.I.M, the Red Skull only accepted this alliance when noticing one of the group’s creations, the reality warping Cosmic Cube. Coming up with an elaborate plan to steal the Cube, Red Skull would use means of mind control to have its keeper easily hand over the Cube to the Red Skull. Setting a place for him to retrieve the Cube, he would finally find himself confronted by his long hated enemy Captain America. As both men exchanged words, Red Skull would successfully enrage Captain America by claiming that it was he who was responsible for Bucky’s death, which it was Baron Zemo who was acting on his behalf. Attacking the Red Skull in a fit of rage, this action would backfire against Captain America when the hero was knocked unconscious by a knockout gas emitter hidden within his clothing.
With Captain America knocked out, the keeper finally handed the Cube to the Red Skull and was granted god-like powers. Battling Captain America once again after being revived, the hero found himself to be no match for the Red Skull as the Red Skull easily bested Captain America with the Cube. Simply entertaining himself by creating an artificial being to fight the Captain and even taunt the Captain by threatening to erase him from existence. However, the defeated Captain would take an advantage of Red Skulls overconfidence and separate him from the cube by a surprising attack. Believing that the Red Skull was dead once more after witnessing him chase after the fallen Cube that fell over a cliff.
The Modern Mastermind
Desperately trying to retrieve the Cube, the Red Skull found himself unable to retrieve it as he witnessed it falling to the bottom of the sea. With no hopes of achieving the god-like powers once more, the Red Skull survived his chance of drowning by the effects of the Cosmic Cube. Setting aside his goals for godly powers, Red Skull decided to take his role as a criminal mastermind and come up with an elaborate plan to take over the world and gain his revenge against Captain America. Residing within one of his islands, the Red Skull would develop a series of robots and equipment to help serve his plans. Realizing that Bucky was his best advantage over Captain America, Red Skull would construct a robot duplicate of Captain America’s former sidekick and trick the hero through into a trap by having the robot contact him through a televised signal. With his plan in motion, Red Skull would also abduct both super-criminals Power Man and Swordsman to battle the abducted Captain America in a staged fight.
As both villains almost managed to gain a victory over the hero, Captain America would find himself as the victor and would realize that the Red Skull masterminded the trap. Setting a Gauntlet of traps and robots after the hero, Red Skull would attempt an unsuccessful escape from Captain America.
As the Red Skull was about to gain another defeat, the tables would turn as he managed to hold New York City hostage with one of his devices and force Captain America to side with him for the next twenty four hours. Taking great pride and enjoyment at letting the world know that the hero has sided with the Red Skull and proudly proclaimed him as a traitor among his own country. Taking the abuse, Red Skull would try to end Captain America’s life within the last moments of the deal and hijack a submarine through means of using a mind control device. Managing to escape the Red Skull’s trap, Captain America would successfully track the Red Skull down, rescue the crew, and rig the submarine to explode. As Red Skull remained unaware of what was happening, Captain America would send a video message to him mentioning of what just took place. Before Red Skull could react, the Red Skull would meet another supposed fate when the submarine exploded.
Red Skull and The Exiles
Surviving his recent encounter with Captain America, the Red Skull would find himself re-establishing on another one of his personal islands that was ran by a group of Nazi criminals known as the Exiles. Reforming his group of Exiles and their personal army of henchmen, Red Skull would once again catch the attention of Captain America as he attempted to have one of his henchmen reawaken a dormant Sleeper. Even though Captain America has already destroyed three of them, Red Skull strongly believed that this version of the Sleeper would possibly help him achieve his goals of world domination. Successfully, the Red Skull managed to reawaken the Sleeper, but found himself unable to control the rampaging robot. As the robot attacked and defeated Captain America by throwing the hero into the ocean, the robot continued on a path of destruction. With the combined efforts of Captain America, Sharon Carter, and Nick Fury, all three managed to bring down this rampaging robot and foil Red Skull’s attempt for world domination.
Knowing that his robot failed, the Red Skull would proudly realize Captain America’s weakness, which was Cap’s lover Sharon Carter. Later, the Red Skull’s henchmen would attempt on kidnapping both Captain America and Sharon Carter. Being taken to Exile Island, Captain America blindly fights an army of henchmen and finds himself defeated by a surprise attack from the Red Skull. Deciding to have Captain America forced within his grasp rather than instantly killing, Red Skull would attach a piece of nuclear tape on the back of Captain America’s neck, forcing the hero to become his slave. Giving the Red Skull the capability to remotely contacting Captain America and easily forcing him to obey his commands. Because of this, Red Skull decided to let the revived Captain America and Sharon Carter to easily escape from his thrall. Carefully planning the details of his plans, Red Skull would secretly place a bomb within Washington D.C. that would remotely blow up by his command. Unaware of the nuclear tape, Captain America began to experience frequent headaches as a side-affect and attempted to have himself looked at by a medical doctor.
Remotely contacted by the Red Skull, he briefed him of the tape on the back of his neck and that he has now became his slave. Red Skull also threatened to detonate the bomb within Washington DC if the tape was tampered or removed. Forcing the hero to return to Exile Island, the hero found himself fighting the Exiles. Managing to singly defeat each Exile member, the Red Skull would attempt to blow Washington DC anyways, but found the detonator unresponsive due to Tony Stark finding and diffusing the bomb. With his plans backfiring against him, Red Skull gathered his team of Exiles and managed to escape. Later Captain America successfully had the nuclear tape removed from his neck and no longer in Red Skull’s control.
Remembering the potential he had of ruling the world if he simply had the Cosmic Cube within his hands, Red Skull and his team of Exiles desperately kept an eye out for any signs of the Cube’s emergence. Luck would strike for Red Skull when a fisherman found the Cube and instantly attacked the poor soul and found himself in possession of the Cube once more. Expecting to be rewarded for their efforts, the Exiles would find themselves betrayed by Red Skull as he expressed his godly power onto them. During this time, Red Skull would encounter Samuel Wilson whose plane crashes onto Exile Island. Using the cube to convert Samuel’s past and giving him a mental link with his pet bird Red Wing, Red Skull would use another attempt on emotionally defeating Captain America by predicting that Samuel would act as an ally for Captain America and later betray him.
Instantly going after Captain America himself, the Red Skull would quickly hunt down the hero and torment him in an unfair fight. Taking pride with his powers against his enemy, Red Skull decided torment him further by switching bodies. With the Red Skull’s conscience in Captain America’s body, and Captain America's within the Red Skull. Red Skull took great enjoyment on discriminating Captain America’s name while his allies and the Exiles who wanted revenge for Red Skull’s recent betrayal chased the hero down, all believing that he was the real Red Skull. As Samuel would help Captain America escape, both men found themselves becoming allies as Red Skull predicted. Training and encouraging Samuel to take up a costume role, both men would find themselves fighting and defeating the Exiles. When the moment came where both heroes would finally face against the Red Skull, Red Skull would find his plan backfiring against him when Samuel (who’s now known as the Falcon) would side with the Captain and help the hero on defeating the villain and regaining his body. What was believed to be a fool-proof plan that would ruin his most hated enemy, Red Skull would find himself accidentally creating one of the most enduring and heroic partnerships within the Marvel Universe.
Taking over Latveria
It would later be revealed that during this time, the Red Skull desired an heir and found he fathering a child from a washerwoman who worked on Exile Island. Dying at childbirth, the woman gave birth to a girl, the gender that the Red Skull didn’t desire to be his heir. Much like what his drunken father did to him as a newborn, the Red Skull spat on the dead woman’s face and decided to throw the baby into the sea. Halted by the woman who helped with the birth, Susan Scarbo convinced the Red Skull to spare the child and was instructed to personally raise the child as he continued on his criminal career. After his prior defeat within the hands of his most hated enemy, Red Skull decided to focus on his main goals of ruling the world rather than by gaining his revenge.
Upon learning that the country known as Latveria was without a ruler, Red Skull reformed with the Exiles and together they took over Latveria. With the population under his command, the Red Skull turned Dr Doom’s beloved country into a developing Reich and a stepping-stone towards the Red Skull amassing his own army and possibly ruling the world. Later the Red Skull and his team of Exiles would find themselves battling the returning Dr Doom. In an intense fight, the dictator of Latveria managed to reclaim Latveria and defeat the Red Skull and his team of Exiles by using a shrink ray on them.
Terror within Las Vegas
Managing to revive from Dr Dooms defeat, the Red Skull parted from the Exiles and decided to create chaos within Harlem as a disguised leader of the group known as the People’s Militia. Taking the alias known as “The Man”, Red Skull tried to create a riot among the black population. Gaining the attention of both Captain America and Falcon, both heroes unmasked Red Skull and foiled his plans when the Militia refused to side with him and abandoned the cause. Realizing that his goals would never be successful with Captain America constantly foiling them, he regained his sights on ridding his enemy once and for all in probably one of his most elaborate schemes within his dark career. Relocating to Las Vegas after learning of a HYDRA faction residing within the city, Red Skull secretly took over as the Supreme Hydra and revived the group from underground. However, his true goals and reasons for relocating to Las Vegas was to unearth the fifth Sleeper, which was a much more powerful version than the recent.
Realizing that Richard Fisk was among the organization and quickly rising through the ranks, Red Skull saw another potential threat that could create more of a challenge for Captain America seeing how Fisk’s father was the notorious Kingpin of Crime. Richard Fisk soon reached the rank of Supreme Hydra as Red Skull intended and predicted that his current status would not only gain the attention of Fisk’s father, but also giving control of the organization over to his father. As Captain America, Falcon, and SHIELD caught attention of Kingpins operations, Red Skulls plans were going perfectly. After the heroes managed to destroy Fisk’s organization and defeat Kingpin himself, the Red Skull finally decided to reveal himself and the final part of his plans. Revealing that he duped the Kingpin and his son the entire time through a holographic projection, Red Skull would lure the Captain into a trap by attacking him with the Sleeper.
By piloting and steering the robot himself into a mindless rampage throughout Las Vegas, Red Skull vowed to stop his destruction upon the city if Captain America surrendered to him. Refusing Red Skull’s demands, Captain America, Falcon, SHIELD, and Kingpin's underlings all attacked the Sleeper as it began to decimate the city and successfully killing hundreds of innocent civilians with a poisonous gas. Before the robot could cause any more destruction, Captain America successfully penetrated the Sleeper’s defenses and sabotaged the robot into an explosion. Even though Red Skull appeared to be dead within the explosion, he managed to escape moments prior to the Sleeper exploding.
The Violent Death of a Captain America
After recently battling the criminal organization known as the Secret Empire, Captain America was shocked upon the discovery of the groups leader Number #1, who was known to be a high ranking government official. This discovery traumatized Steve Rogers and caused him to give up his mantle as Captain America and continue on his costumed career as a non-government sponsored hero known as Nomad. With his partner Falcon still continuing his costumed career, he desperately tried to find a replacement for the Captain America mantle. Even though Falcons first choices weren’t successful, he would finally find a replacement with a man known as Roscoe. Known to be a huge fan of Captain America, Roscoe proudly took up wearing the mantle and proved more than successful than what Falcon had hoped for after training him on how to be Captain America. However, both Roscoe and Falcon would find themselves instantly unsuccessful when stumbling upon one of the Red Skull’s schemes.
Capturing both heroes, the Red Skull was enraged when learning that he was fighting against a fake Captain America. Red Skull would respond to this by violently torturing and killing Roscoe, and physically beating Falcon to a pulp while demanding that he produce the real Captain America when they meet the next time. Leaving both men for Rogers to see, this inspired him to return to his role as Captain America and both heroes would track down the Red Skull for killing Roscoe. As Red Skull began an assassination campaign, he proved successful by killing a businessman in public, but later was opposed by both Captain America and Falcon. Almost killing Captain America with his “Dust of Death”, Red Skull knew that his defeat was imminent and without the aid of the Cosmic Cube, Red Skull successfully revived Falcon’s pre-programmed mind onto attacking Captain America. Making his escape, both heroes found themselves fighting until Falcon shook off Red Skull’s commands long after the Red Skull was gone.
The Conquering Red Skull
Red Skull would later relocate to Great Britain and successfully create chaos and terrorism for the country. Instantly making his attempt on reviving his own Nazi party, Red Skull would find a new enemy facing him, another hero who took pride within his country known as Captain Britain. Of course Red Skull’s actions managed to attract Captain America’s and SHIELD's attention to where an alliance was formed on attempting to put an end to the Red Skull’s villainy. Battling both heroes, Red Skull made several attempts on ruining or controlling Great Britain, even going as far as kidnapping and attempting to kill the Prime Minister himself. But with combined efforts, Captain Britain was proven successful at ending Red Skull’s attempts and driving him out of Great Britain and moving onto Latveria. This time Red Skull decided to take over Latveria by simply killing Dr Doom, which easily proved successful seeing how Latveria was temporarily ruled by Prince Rudolfo who was disguised as Dr Doom.
With Latveria at his command, Red Skull would discover a machine known as the Hypno-Ray which could cause the population of world to be at his command. With the combined efforts of Dr Doom, Captain America, Namor, and the Shroud, they successfully penetrated Red Skull’s forces as Dr Doom chased after fleeing Red Skull to the moon for a final fight. As both villains fought each other in an intense battle, Red Skull’s attempt to use the Hypno-Ray was foiled by the Shroud and Dr Doom ultimately defeated the Red Skull in combat and left him to die on the moon.
Mere moments before dying, Red Skull would find himself saved by an old ally, the Hate-Monger, also known as Adolf Hitler. Even though Red Skull was Hitler’s right-hand man during World War II, both Hitler and Red Skull didn’t fully trust each other. Introducing another ally from WWII, Arnim Zola would find himself becoming a very close and useful ally for the Red Skull throughout his continuing career. As both villains assisted with each other’s goals, Red Skull would help finance Arnim Zola’s experiments by killing and masquerading as Cyrus Fenton to have access to his fortune. As Hate-Monger transferred his mind into the super powered clone known as Nazi X, Arnim Zola would attack Captain America with his powerful creation Doughboy, yet both villains would find their attempts foiled by the combined efforts of Captain America, Sharon Carter, and Donna Marie which ended by Zola’s castle nearly ruined and Nazi X’s body destroyed.
With Red Skull attempting to build a machine known as the Death’s Head Satellite and with Hate-Monger’s assistance, he would use this machine upon SHIELD’s Helicarrier causing all the SHEILD agents upon the Helicarrier to resemble and act as the Red Skull himself. But Red Skull’s attempt on taking over the Helicarrier was foiled by Captain America and the SHIELD agents was restored to normal, yet this stunt left Captain America suffering from temporary blindness. Both Red Skull and Hate-Monger later traveled to Exile Island on their attempt on recreating the Cosmic Cube. However, both criminals found their partnership coming to an ending with one of them obviously backstabbing each other for means of gaining power from the Cosmic Cube and that the island was invaded by an Israeli commando known as Yousof Tov who attempted to capture both men for their war crimes. Defeating Tov and making him a prisoner among Exile Island, both men would also capture top scientists from several agencies such as SHIELD and AIM to aid them on recreating the Cube.
Managing to recreate a Cosmic Cube, Red Skull was the only one who was aware that the Cube was incomplete and set a trap from his soon-to-be enemy when deciding to keep this information hidden from Hate-Monger. As Hate-Monger transferred his conscious into the Cube, he realized that he was trapped within Cube and settling the differences between Red Skull and Hate-Monger as the incomplete Cube became nothing than a mere trophy that was displayed within the Skull House.
After making one more attempt on ruining and defeating his nemesis Captain America, Red Skull would learn that the experimental gases that kept him from aging was wearing off. Slowly the Red Skull was aging and eventually he would die from old age. Upon learning this, Red Skull decided to make drastic changes of how the course of his death shall take place, and of course how Captain America would be involved. Needing to ensure that there was a heir after his demise, Red Skull would use his Deus Machina to artificially age his young daughter into adulthood, along with four other female orphans who would blindly follow Sinthea as the group known as Sister’s of Sin while Sinthea took up the name Mother Superior. However, Red Skull secretly reverted back to his thoughts on how Sinthea wouldn’t succeed as his heir and had her use her powers on Baron Zemo so that he would become Red Skull’s rightful heir after his demise.
As his daughter was unaware of what Red Skull’s attentions were for Baron Zemo, he had Jack Monroe brainwashed into giving his partner Captain America into giving him a drug that would accelerate his aging. He also managed to brainwash one of Captain America’s friends into becoming the violent Slayer and sending him after Captain America, while Sinthea, Baron Zemo, and the Sister of Sin would kidnap four of Captain America’s closest friends and allies, such as Captain America’s current girlfriend Bernie Rosenthal, Falcon, and his childhood friend Arnie Roth. Drawing Captain America to the Skull House, Sinthea personally defeated Captain America and helped her father stage a final battle between the two. As Captain America was aged equally as Red Skull, he mentioned that both men would meet their fate and that if Captain America failed to kill the Red Skull in combat, his kidnapped friends would meet their fate. As the two aged men fought, Red Skull would eventually be bested by Captain America and suffer from a heart attack, slowly dying in the arms of his enemy and swearing vengeance for Captain America not killing him in combat.
As Red Skull passed away, Sinthea seemingly killed Zemo after realizing Red Skull’s plans for him, and spat on her fathers corpse before throwing his deceased body into the father, giving her father the same fate as he gave her mother. With Captain America fully recovering from the incident, Sinthea attempted on continuing her own path with the Sister of Sin with no attentions of reviving her fathers legacy. With the Red Skull legacy burnt along with her deceased father, Captain America would feel relieved that his long-lived enemy has finally met his fate.
Even though the Red Skull’s name died, Schmidt was far from meeting his fate when his ally Arnim Zola used the DNA samples he acquired from Captain America to clone a new body for Red Skull. Successfully planting Red Skull’s conscious and memory into this new body, Red Skull was fully revived as an equal towards his most hated enemy, Captain America. From there Red Skull decided to take his methods onto a different course, rather than simply gaining his goals from sheer force as the Red Skull, he decided to set his Red Skull identity aside and obtain his goals by being one with society within it’s fields of business and politics. Upon learning of Red Skull’s return, the other Red Skull (Albert Malik) attempted to ensure that he would be the only man who was the Red Skull by sending his top henchmen led by Brock Rumlow to assault and kill Schmidt at Zola’s castle. Even though Malik's assault squad instantly failed and all men died besides Rumlow, Schmidt decided to test his new fighting skills against Rumlow and bested the mercenary in combat. Impressed with Rumlow’s display of fighting skills and aggressiveness, Schmidt would hire Rumlow to be his right-hand man.
Eventually Schmidt would climb through the ranks within business and politics as Mr. Smith and stationed himself within Washington D.C. as powerful figure and managed to develop and fund several organizations. As Mr. Smith, his control within America extended itself with the connections he had with several organizations that were both good and bad. With these groups under his funding, his ability to obtain resources, information, equipment, and etc. increased to where Schmidt was one of the most dangerous men in America. Secretly operating these groups behind scenes and from the Smith Building located in Washington D.C, it’s possible that even the Red Skull himself was responsible for other tragedies among the Marvel Universe. Most of the groups that Schmidt had under his control were mostly terrorist organizations and mercenaries, however his most powerful connection was with the Director of Commission of Superhuman Activities, Douglass Rockwell. With Rockwell, Schmidt was capable to have Captain America’s finances investigated and have Rockwell force Captain America on abiding his original government contract and have the hero work underneath the governments command. As Schmidt predicted, Steve Rogers relinquished his costume, shield, and identity as Captain America, having Schmidt successfully removing Captain America from his goals. As the CSA replaced the Captain America identity with John Walker, Schmidt would act as the puppeteer within most of the events that Walker went through during his time as Captain America.
Easily gaining the advantage of Walker’s aggressive attitude, Schmidt successfully managed to ruin America’s heroic icon when Walker began killing off his enemies. Schmidt also decided to settle the score with the captured Malik by having a rogue Scourge spring him from prison and ultimately assassinating him after Malik successfully escaped and was about to retake his role as the Red Skull. After Schmidt felt that Walker was no longer useful within his plans and that Steve Rogers was still continuing on as a superhero known as the Captain, he decided to kill two birds with one stone by leading both men into a trap at his Smith Building and ridding his enemies once and for all. Managing to enrage Walker after a staged fight with hired henchmen, Schmidt staged a fight between both Rogers and Walker while gleefully watching from behind the scenes. With Steve Rogers victorious, Schmidt decided to step in and kill the confused Steve Rogers with his Dust of Death. Almost successful, Walker managed to save Rogers by throwing the shield at Schmidt and causing the dust to backfire against Schmidt. Burning his face and turning it into a reddish skull, Schmidt would find himself showing his true identity and retaking his role as the Red Skull once again after managing to flee from the scene.
An Assassin Nation Plot
Returning to his methods as a terrorist, Red Skull would use one of the terrorist groups within his division, ULTIMATUM, and attempt to orchestrate a plan to have America collapse from a war with another country known as Symkaria, home of the mercenary known as Silver Sable. Secretly hiring the mutant killer known as Sabretooth to proceed with Red Skull’s targets for assassination, he staged another to take the fall for assassinating the King of Symkaria. Funding and acting on this operation behind scenes, this eventually captured the attention of both Silver Sable and Captain America to investigate. However, Red Skull didn’t predict Spiderman’s involvement and paid little attention to his involvement, as he believed that Spider-Man wasn’t a threat to his plans in anyway. With Sabretooth’s involvement discovered and ultimately defeated by both Silver Sable and Spiderman, Red Skull successfully planted evidence of America’s involvement within Symkaria and war was set between both the U.S and Symkaria. However, Red Skull’s plans of a war between both countries found itself foiled by a meddling Spider-Man who infiltrated ULTIMATUM’s hideout and discovered Red Skull’s involvement. As Red Skull revealed his plans to the Web Slinger, he took pity on the hero and attempted on bribing Spider-Man by simply walking away. This attempt went unsuccessful as Spider-Man went against an army of ULTIMATUM guards while Red Skull made his escape. Successfully escaping, Red Skull believed that his plans of a war was still capable of being successful, until Spider-Man presented evidence to the Pentagon of Red Skull’s involvement. Upon discovering this later, Red Skull found another enemy among the Marvel Universe that was added onto his list.
Acts of Vengeance
Red Skull would later be recruited by Loki who was disguised power broker, into a group of other criminal masterminds that focused on attacking the heroes with lesser criminals that they are unfamiliar with. Among the group consisted of old enemies such as Dr Doom and Kingpin, but one particular member within the group, Magneto would soon gain Red Skull’s attention seeing how Magneto was known to be a Holocaust survivor and who was currently unaware of Red Skull’s background. With Loki duping each member into believing that he was the power behind the group, Red Skull’s alliance among the team was very fragile and unstable seeing how he was by far the most hated one within the group. As each member set about their goals on finding ways to destroy their heroic enemies, Red Skull would recruit the Iron Man villain known as Controller to use one of slave disks on Captain America’s ally Namor and force both heroes into a fight. Doing so, Namor would break free from Controllers grasp and foiled Red Skull’s plans of seeing his enemy face defeat within the hands of one of his most trusted allies.
As Controller went off on his own path after his attempt went unsuccessful, Red Skull would have Crossbones and Voice force Controller into working with Red Skull and help him force Loki under his control, which proved unsuccessful. Matters went for the worse after a brief bickering between Red Skull and Magneto, later learning of Red Skull’s history and decided to attack the Nazi criminal in his office. As Magneto went through a series of traps and instantly taking out both Crossbones and Controller, he successfully managed to track down and kidnap the Red Skull. Locking him into a cell hidden deep within the Hellfire Club Mansion with no light and a limited supply of water, Magneto would force Red Skull to pay for his crimes against humanity. Managing to recover his tracks, Magneto would use one of Red Skull’s LMD’s to take his place. After Loki was fully discovered and the group disbanded, the LMD was discovered by Crossbones and went about locating his boss with the Skeleton Crew. Managing track his boss to the Hellfire Club Mansion and rescuing him before nearly dying once more, Red Skull would share no regrets for what he has done and still continued on his goals of having the world placed underneath his heel.
Streets of Poison
Red Skull next decided to take a different approach on destroying America, and that was having it fall victim to his newly designed and devastating drug known as “Ice”. Manufacturing the drug and peddling it onto the streets, Red Skull’s operations would not only attract Captain America (who also managed to accidentally have the drug in his system) but also the Kingpin of Crime as well. Seeing the Kingpin as a possible threat towards Red Skull’s plans, he had Crossbones make an attempt on assassinating Kingpin, which proved unsuccessful. Kingpin responded back by having Bullseye make his attempt on assassinating the Red Skull. Bullseye’s attempt on Red Skull’s life found itself accomplished until it was later revealed that Red Skull secretly had an LMD physically running the operations within New York. Knowing that Red Skull wasn’t an easy target, even to the likes of Bullseye, Kingpin managed to personally settle this dispute with the Red Skull at an abandoned football stadium. With both men showing up and giving their word of a fair fight, they would strip to their undergarments and seal themselves within a bullet-proof glass dome to ensure that their dispute was undisturbed by others. With both Kingpin and Red Skull finally settling their differences in an intense fight, Kingpin managed to get the better of the Red Skull, forcing him into submission and quitting his drug operations within Kingpin’s territory.
Eventually Red Skull’s activities would be noticed across the countries of the world to where a group of heroes within Germany known as Schutz Heiligruppe would make their attempt on bringing Red Skull to justice for his crimes against humanity. Led by Hauptmann Deutschland, the group would raid Castle Zola and destroy all the Red Skull clones and equipment that could possibly have the Red Skull make his return after his death. As Hauptmann took the disguise as one of Red Skulls hired underlings and stalked him while waiting for the right moment to strike at Red Skull, he would finally make his move when being disguised as one of Red Skull’s training partners who were disguised as Captain America. As the other trainees found themselves brutally murdered, Hauptmann would have Blitzkrieger teleport both men out of Castle Zola and onto their aircraft quickly returning back to Germany.
Knowing that Red Skull’s Skeleton Crew was bound to follow, both groups found themselves in an intense confrontation that ended with the Skeleton Crew being captured as well. However, before sentence could be carried out on Red Skull and his Crew, three of Arnim Zola’s bioplastoids who were disguised as Avengers would demand Red Skull and his crew to be taken into their custody and be tried for his crimes in the United States. Handing the criminals over, Hauptmann felt uneasy at current situation and would later realize that the Red Skull successfully escaped from his clutches after contacting Captain America ensuring that the Red Skull returned to America. Realizing that tension would be rising for Red Skull and his Crew, he would have the rogue Scourge murder bioplastoids of himself, Crossbones, and his daughter Sin while he took hiding within another hideout within Colorado. As both Captain America and Schutz Heiligruppe investigated Red Skull’s hideout, they would discover the deceased bioplastoids Red Skull, Crossbones, and Mother Night. Despite how the scene didn’t make sense to Captain America, both heroes would be fully convinced that they would see the last of the Red Skull.
The Viper and the Skull
After successfully faking the deaths of himself, Crossbones, and Mother Night, Red Skull and his crew relocated themselves to the Colorado Mountains. It would also be recognized that both the Red Skull and Mother Night currently was or has been lovers during their time working together. As the tension decreased and the authorities fully believed that Red Skull was officially dead, Red Skull would find himself developing a temper and acting irrational towards his own staff and crew. Feeling that his team was in need for new recruitment, he would hire the nihilist Viper to take over the role of Mother Superior and as Red Skull’s lover. Of course Red Skull’s crew didn’t agree with his choice and this found himself firing his right-hand man. But none took more of an effect from this than Mother Night, who was jealous as to how Red Skull shared an affair with another woman and completely ignoring her. Assigning Mother Night with the task of finding a replacement for Crossbones, she would find the mercenary known as Cutthroat, whom she would soon develop a secret affair with later on. Taking notice of two criminals known as Blackwing and Jack O Lantern in action, he next ordered Mother Night to recruit them into his crew.
However this mission found itself backfiring when she found herself apprehended and later posting her own bail. Her capture verified that Red Skull’s death was in fact a fake and that authorities are now aware that he’s still alive and wanted. This led Red Skull into brutally beating Mother Night and leaving her in a state of pity as he continues his next goals as a wanted man alongside with Viper. As both villains continued on with their own personal chaotic goals, Red Skull would find himself crossing paths with the Hulk. Hiring the Juggernaut and creating the super powered monster known as Piecmeal, Red Skull would use both villains to help him brainwash the Hulk into joining his cause and to attack the Avengers. This plan found itself foiled as the Hulk shrug off the effects and defeated Red Skull’s henchmen. Later Red Skull would discover Viper's activities and realized that she was using his funds to cause the population within the world to go blind. Knowing the long-term damage of goal, Red Skull would ironically hire Silver Sable and her team known as Wildpack to foil Viper's goals. This would cease the relationship between the Red Skull and Viper and eventually find itself replaced to its original state with Mother Night.
When Captain America’s body began to deteriorate from the Super-Soldier Serum, Red Skull would also learn that he too was suffering from the same fate due to the fact that his body is a clone of Steve Rogers. As Red Skull predicted, the hero would eventually find a cure for his condition to where Red Skull hid and stalked Rogers while waiting for the right moment to strike. Finally the moment would come when another Captain America villain known as Superia would create a cure for Captain America’s condition and attempt to make a deal with the dying hero for his future services. Denying the cure, Red Skull would step in and take the only cure for himself while killing Superia to ensure that there would be no possible way of preventing his worst enemies death.
Even though Red Skull believed to have seen the last of Captain America, matters would turn for the worst when he learned that the dysfunctional Cube that contained Hitler’s conscious was stolen by a neo-nazi faction known as Kubekult. The cult wanted to not only restore Hitler’s form, but increase him with powers by spiking the cube itself with energy. Forced in an alliance with Sharon Carter, Red Skull found himself with no other option but to revive his recently deceased enemy to help him prevent Hitler’s return. Managing to revive the Captain with a blood transfusion that stabilized his Super-soldier serum, Captain America would attempt to go inside the Cube and take out Hitler’s conscious while both Red Skull and Sharon Carter handle the Kubikult members. Secretly the Red Skull planned to trap Captain America inside and hoping to both rid his enemy once and for all and to gain unlimited power once again. But Red Skull’s plan found itself foiled by Captain America’s display of willpower and having his plans discovered by the hero who responded by smashing the Cube, which caused the Red Skull to revert into a living shadow.
Red Skull would make his return when the being known as Korvac (who was Kang in disguise) would not only revive the Red Skull into normal form, but also equip him with the powers of the Cosmic Cube. As Red Skull’s powers increase after obtaining more power from Galactus's ship and under Korvac's guidance, Korvac secretly manipulated both Captain America and Red Skull into a fight that would end with the Red Skull’s death and hoping to achieve the godly power for himself. As predicted, Captain America was left with little choice but to kill the Red Skull and found himself battling Korvac within the 31 century. Upon realizing that Red Skull’s death was the key start for Korvac’s gain of cosmic powers, Captain America managed to return back to the moment before he killed Red Skull and prevented his death.
Even though Korvac’s plan was foiled, the cosmic powered Red Skull still was threat to the world that took the efforts of Captain America, Sharon Carter, and Korvac who found himself annihilated by the cosmic powered villain. Unable to physically beat the Red Skull, Captain America tricked the Red Skull into disintegrating himself and the Cube as well. Once more believing to be dead, the Red Skull found himself teleported and returned to normal.
Red Skull’s last course of action before losing his cosmic powers was forming an entity that was made of nothing more than pure hatred. He formed this entity into the being known as Hate-Monger, who closely resembled Hitler and was more controlled by the Red Skull himself. Having Hate-Monger hidden in disguise, both Red Skull and Hate-Monger managed to successfully hijack SHIELDS helicarrier and using it for gaining access to equipment that would have the America fall under the spell of Hate-Monger. Gaining the attention of Nick Fury and Captain America, both heroes would find themselves unprepared for the Red Skull when finally locating the hijacked helicarrier. With Captain America almost falling to his death from an unexpected trap after trying to capture the Red Skull among the helicarrier, Nick Fury didn’t fare any better when he fell victim to a group who was under the hatred influence of the Hate-Monger. With Nick Fury captured and forced by the Red Skull to witness America destroy itself, Captain America and Namor would interrupt Red Skulls plan as both heroes found themselves in an intense battle with the Hate-Monger. Breaking free from Hate-Mongers influence, and managed to influence those who were under Hate-Mongers influence to think positively, causing the Hate-Monger to dissipate. With his plans foiled and his partner gone, Red Skull was left with a violent defeat in the hands of Captain America before finally being incarcerated.
Out of Time
Red Skull later reappeared when he was located within a camp near Kazakhstan along with General Aleksander Lukin. Upon seeing Bucky Barnes who was contained in a tube and something very valuable to use against Captain America, Red Skull tried to bargain with Lukin who only agreed to such a transaction by trading him with the Cosmic Cube that was currently in Red Skull’s possession (possibly the same imperfect Cosmic Cube that was used to trap Hitler’s conscious). However, as Red Skull stalked Captain America, the revived Bucky Barnes under Lukin’s orders assassinated him and obtained the Cube for Lukin as well. With Red Skull officially believed to be dead, it would later be found out that Red Skull transferred his conscious inside the Cube itself.
Twenty-First Century Blitz
Red Skull’s last act of transferring his conscious into the Cube found itself sharing minds with Lukin when he began using the Cube’s powers. Unaware of this and how the Cube was draining Lukin’s life force away, Red Skull began controlling Lukin’s body at times and forcing Lukin to partake in his schemes of killing Captain America. Approaching Max Lohmer and his gang of skinheads for employment, Red Skull would recreate a new Master Man who sent him and his gang to help Red Skull wreak havoc in London. As Master Man and his gang proved unsuccessful against Captain America, Winter Soldier, Union Jack, and Spitfire, Red Skull awoke a new and much more powerful Sleeper to proceed with Red Skull’s goals. Even with the heroes defeating the robot and foiling Red Skull’s plans, secretly he was forming another plan that involved Crossbones and his daughter Sin.
The Drums of War
Probably the luckiest moment in Red Skull’s career was during the events of the Civil War. Seeing his most hated enemy forced underground and branded as an enemy of America, Red Skull slowly began recruiting and forming a group that would help him proceed with his plans of killing Captain America and reviving himself into a body of his own. Predicting the outcome of the current events with Iron Man and Captain America, Red Skull would have Dr Faustus brainwash Sharon Carter into secretly killing Captain America and hire Crossbones to take the fall for the Captains death when the moment was right. As predicted, Red Skull proceeded with his plans when Captain America was detained and was successfully responsible for killing Captain America.
The Death of Captain America
In what was known to be the darkest chapter within Marvel history, Captain America’s death not only influenced Bucky Barnes to take up Steve Rogers mantle and shield, but also gave Red Skull more opportunities to cripple and ruin America. As Bucky felt that he didn’t deserve such a right to take up the Captain America mantle, he attempted to take out Lukin/Red Skull himself, only to find himself captured and imprisoned. Realizing that Red Skull was behind the events and not Lukin, Bucky escaped captivity with the help of Sharon Carter (who was also in captivity) and decided to fight against the Red Skull and his forces as the new Captain America. With Bucky and Black Widow struggling on defeating the Red Skull, they were unaware of his true goals and plan’s that found itself reaching inside the White House. Senator Gordan Wright was Red Skull’s true plan on taking down America and after a series of staged attacks and events that involved the Grand Director’s return, Red Skull’s plans would finally be discovered and foiled as Bucky forced Wright to step down from the election by threatening to expose his ties with the Red Skull.
Red Skull also planned to transfer his conscious into Sharon Carters unborn child, which eventually found itself unsuccessful due to Red Skull’s daughter, Sin stabbing Sharon that caused her to lose the baby. With both plans foiled, matters would turn for the worst when Sharon Carter managed to escape from Dr Faustus captivity and shoot Red Skull/Lukin, seemingly killing both men. However, once again Arnim Zola would successfully save Red Skull’s conscious and place it within a spare robotic body. Shocked and horrified at his current status, Red Skull quickly sat back and planned for his proper return in a desired body of his own and to see America fully crippled beneath his feet.
Captain America: Reborn
During Norman Osborn's reign as the second most powerful man in America, he would hear of how Steve Rogers may possibly
return after understanding how the Avenger was trapped and forced to relive his entire life.Trying to prevent this and taking an advantage of Captain America’s possible return, Osborn would release both Crossbones and Sin from custody to have them locate and recruit Red Skull into joining his goals. Secretly funding and assisting Red Skull’s attempt to reclaim Steve Rogers revived body, Red Skull would ironically gain assistance from Dr Doom to help him with his goals. In a twisted idea to alter the outcome of Steve Rogers return, Osborn wanted Captain America’s return but with the Red Skull being the new Captain America working alongside with him. Successfully claiming Steve Rogers revived body, Red Skull forced Roger’s conscious into his own twisted world where he would be temporarily trapped. As Red Skull (In Captain America’s body) was fighting against Bucky and the Avengers, who would also consciously fight against Steve Rogers who was trying to reclaim his body. Managing to get the best of Bucky in combat, Steve Roger would force Red Skull’s conscious out of his body and back into his robotic form before Red Skull could give the killing blow. In a final attempt, Red Skull would use Pym particles to increase his size which proved unsuccessful as the Avengers took the Red Skull down and destroyed his robotic form.
The New Red Skull
With Red Skull gone, his daughter Sin suffered injuries that caused her face to melt and turn into a reddish appearance. This caused her to grow mentally unstable and be fully convinced that she was better as a Red Skull than her father ever was. Currently she has taken the role as the new Red Skull and successfully followed her fathers footsteps on becoming a serious threat for the Marvel Universe.
It is later revealed that during World War 2, Arnim Zola created a backup clone of the Red Skull to replace him in the event of his death. The clone emerges in the present, and after learning about the state of the modern world, realizes that he can no longer rally his followers against Jews and other minorities. Instead, he decides to target mutants, realizing that it will easier to gain control over mankind by uniting them against a common enemy.
To that end, he digs up the corpse of Charles Xavier and steals his brain, thus giving himself all of the Professor's latent mental abilities. He then assembles an anti-mutant team of "superheroes" known as the S-Men to act as figureheads in his crusade against mutants.
During the lead-up to AXIS, the Red Skull builds a mutant concentration camp on Genosha, where he imprsons the Avengers Unity Squad and several students from the Jean Grey School. Following a prison break on the island, the Red Skull is killed by Magneto, who bludgeons him to death after the Skull mockingly claims that Charles Xavier never really loved him. This unleashes Onslaught, who had been dormant inside Xavier's mind, resulting in a merged entity known as Red Onslaught.
Powers, Skills & Abilities
Red Skull doesn’t have any known physical or mental powers without the aid from the Cosmic Cube or any other known power source.
Red Skull mostly kept his body physically fit prior to his first death and after having his conscious placed within a clone. Having knowledge of several forms of fighting skills that's almost equaled to Captain America, Red Skull is a deadly and formidable fighter that even heroes such as Bucky Barnes and Falcon couldn’t compare with. Aside from his experience with fighting, Red Skull is also proficient with the use of several fire-arms, auto-matics, rifles, knives, and any other forms of weaponry that he feels to be useful for his needs. It’s also known that Red Skull is an experienced master-of- disguise, and also experienced within the fields of sabotage and espionage. During his time within Captain America's cloned body, the body had also maintained the Super Soldier effects that gave Red Skull increased strength, speed, and stamina.
Red Skull is very well-known for his ability to produce elaborate schemes and his display of strategy. Naturally forming a plan that consists of two or more goals to serve his needs, holding back a hidden plan that wouldn’t be revealed until later, and a fall-back plan in case his current plan tends to fail. After his first death, Red Skull would perform his plans behind the scene’s to where nobody would even expect his involvement. One form of strategy that Red Skull favored was his advantage of his near death experiences, several times Red Skull has performed this feat as an advantage to where even some believed that the Red Skull couldn’t be killed. Aside from his ability to produce elaborate plans, Red Skull does have knowledge and experience within the fields of leadership and is known to be extremely manipulative.
Probably the one thing that does make Red Skull extremely dangerous is the massive amount of resources and connections he has with various groups, organizations, and other characters within the Marvel Universe. After his second revival and taking the identity known as Mr. Smith, Red Skull developed access within just about everything place throughout the world, even reaching access into the White House itself. Funding several groups and holding his own division that consisted a representative from each group he funded, Red Skull was capable of training and creating new costumed heroes and villains, ordering assassinations on any selected target, gain access towards weaponry and equipment, and plus any other desired requests that would serve his own agenda. Because of this Red Skull successfully had Steve Rogers replaced with John Walker as Captain America, had Albert Malik assassinated, faked his own death several times, and had Captain America shot by Sharon Carter who was currently brainwashed. It’s unclear of the full extent of which groups or individuals were funded or controlled underneath the Red Skull seeing how he strictly acted behind the scenes or that they were unaware of who they are working with.
After his first encounter with the Cosmic Cube, Red Skull quickly studied and learned how to use it's powers and control it to where the Cube granted him god-like powers. With the knowledge he gained from the Cube, Red Skull even knew how to easily transfer his conscious in and out of the Cube. It's also known that Red Skull successfully used the Cube to create a being that strongly resembled Hitler (as Hate-Monger) and was made out of pure emotion.
The clone Red Skull possesses all of the mental abilities of Professor X, including telepathy and the power to bend the minds and wills of others.
Weapons and Equipment
Red Skull has owned various weapons and equipment that he mostly uses to serve his own needs and purposes. With his resources and criminal connections, Red Skull can acquire any type of weaponry of his own choosing such as firearms automatics, explosives, laser rifles, rockets, knives, etc. Aside from hand-held weaponry, Red Skull also has access towards equipment, vehicles, and locations that are secretly hidden in various locations throughout out the world.
Dust of Death
Red Skull’s trademark weapon that he mostly uses for defensive or assassination purposes is his Dust of Death. Developed and manufactured by the Red Skull himself, the Dust of Death is a reddish powdered base substance that has a violent reaction when coming into contact with the skin of the victim. Once contacting the skin, the dust deteriorates and changes the skin into a reddish dyed shriveled appearance, causing a reddish skull when contacting the face of the victim. Strictly using this substance to come into contact with the face of the victim, the victim’s face would quickly change while he or she would die from asphyxiation after inhaling the substance. When Red Skull accidentally used the substance on himself, he survived its devastating effects but was left with a reddish skull appearance. Usually the Dust of Death is kept in a secret compartment that’s mostly hidden within Red Skull’s cigarette holder, a hand-held gun, or placed within any object such as a telephone or a coat.
The Cosmic Cube
Formerly Red Skull came into possession with more than one Cosmic Cube throughout his career. After acquiring the first Cube, Red Skull was granted god-like powers that caused him to alter reality to his own choosing. Such as switching bodies, creating elemental beings, altering his own appearance, granting powers, creating beings out of pure emotion, and any other known power that he chooses to display at his own will. After losing possession of the recent Cosmic Cube, Red Skull possessed an imperfect Cube that was secretly designed as a trap for his former ally the Hate-Monger. This imperfect Cube only served as a trophy that contained Hitler’s trapped conscious, and the Cube was long forgotten until a neo-nazi cult increased its powers. Possibly the same Cube, Red Skull later possessed another imperfect Cube that granted limited abilities and was used by the Red Skull to transfer his own conscious in and out of the Cube at will. This was the last Cube that was seen in Red Skull’s possession, which was also destroyed by Bucky Barnes.
Prior to Hitler’s downfall at the end of WWII, Red Skull created and designed various robots that he hid deep underground in various locations throughout the world. Calling these robots Sleepers, they would lay in dormant until the Red Skull himself would activate them. Each robot proving more powerful and different from the other, Red Skull has used these massive Sleepers’s for the purposes of wreaking havoc throughout populated cities. It’s unclear as to how many of these robots Red Skull created or if there are any more hidden deep underground.
Life Model Decoy's
After taking the role as Mr. Smith, Red Skull would take an advantage of one of his employers known as Machinesmith who designed several Life Model Decoys that the Red Skull strictly used for defense, protection, and other uses that gives Red Skull a higher advantage with his schemes. Holding several of these LMD’s at his command, each LMD is updated with the current events and is fully aware of Red Skull’s status, unless the memory program is either altered or changed. Later Red Skull disbanded his needs for LMD’s and instead used Arnim Zola’s life-like plastoids.
Aside from his basic usage of weaponry and robots, Red Skull usually has his current location equipped with several death traps and escape routes in case he's either threatened or his base is infiltrated. Even the mutant terrorist Magneto had difficulty capturing the Red Skull due to his series of traps that almost had the Red Skull escape from Magneto's clutches.
Earth X (Earth-997)
Johann Schmidt was killed by Captain America and later, the Red Skull legacy was passed on to Ben Beckley, son of the Comet Man. Ben was later killed by Captain America and later seen with his father.
Marvel Zombies (Earth-2149)
Red Skull is one of the infected and is now a zombie. He is seen finally killing his nemesis, Colonel America, by ripping out the last part of his brain of his head... After Loosing an Arm by Colonel's Shield. His head was Blasted off by Spider-Man and finally had his head stepped on by Giant Man... Which, according to him, was fully worth killing his enemy.
Old Man Logan
50 years earlier, in this Universe, the Red Skull had organized all of the villains and had defeated the heroes. In what was left of Washington D.C., the Red Skull was standing on what was left of the U.S. Capitol, with Captain America (Bucky Barnes) laying on the ground, near death, and after Red Skull told Cap about how he's going to tear his country apart and divide it up between the villains, then the Red Skull kills Captain America. 50 years into the future, the Red Skull has become president of his new Nazi Country, he is now wearing the now dead Captain America's uniform. Since the heroes fell, the Red Skull has taken things from other superheroes that are now dead and put them in his trophy room, such as Iron Man's armor, Captain America's shield, Thor's helmet, Spider-Man's mask, The Vision's head, and even the Thing's arm. As Red Skull was standing in his trophy room thinking, two of his mean brought in the dead bodies of Logan and Hawkeye, and as Red Skull talked to his men, one of them noticed that Logan's bullet holes were starting to disappear, Logan then kicks the man between the legs, then killing the rest of the Skull's men. Red Skull then began to beat Logan up, but reluctantly threw him into the trophy case. Logan then picks up Captain America's shield and beats Red Skull to the ground, Red Skull then began to mock Logan, but Logan ended his mocking by cutting of Red Skull's head, killing him, Logan then took Iron Man's armor and blasting out of the building.
Ultimate Universe (1610)
During the second World War Steve Rogers, Captain America, was on leave so he visited his girlfriend Gail Richards. He only had one night of leave and after three years of not having seen her, passion grew and he accompanied her for the night. Months later it turned out Gail was pregnant but the government did not want to let the Captain America name to be tainted by Gail giving birth to Captain America's child out of wedlock. The government made sure there was no evidence of Gail's pregnancy or birth of the child. So the world thought when Captain America died he was the last hope for a super soldier but the government considered the baby a second chance for a Captain America so they had him taken to a secluded army base where he was to be raised and trained in secret. The boy grew up to be strong, smart, agile, fast and appeared to be surprisingly happy. His abilities far surpassed his father's because the super-soldier formula was a natural part of his genetic make up unlike his father who was only injected with it. It turns out the boys happiness and kindness was just a act to cover up his truly evil demeanor.
He had waited years until he was ready to escape the army base he was forced to call home his entire life and at the age of 17, he finally made his move to break free. He brutally fought his way out of the base not only killing the guards in his way but everyone who was residing at that base. All two hundred and forty-seven people lost their life at the hands of what was thought to be the next Captain America. The most shocking part of the boys escape was when he had finished killing everyone in the base, he went into the kitchen, picked up a knife and then proceeded to cut his face off. He did this because he did not want the face his father gave him and thus the Red Skull was born. Over the years, the Red Skull developed a reputation as one of the most deadly assassins in the world. He would usually take on an assignment then disappear for sometimes years at a time until he accepted a new assignment. Steve Rogers was never aware of his son's existence, even after he was recovered from suspended animation until one fateful day after Ultimatum.
Hawkeye and Captain America were on a mission to stop the terrorist organization AIM from looting the Baxter Building when the two finally met. Captain America boarded an AIM helicopter where the easily dispatched several AIM agents until he came face to fist with the Red Skull. He and Red Skull fought but Red Skull quickly and easily took over the fight. While they fought Captain America was amazed by his foes strength, speed and knowledge, Cap was severely beaten and as the Red Skull was about to throw him out of the helicopter, he told him that he was his son. Captain America eventually went rogue in order to find his son and learn the answers that only The Red Skull can answer.The Ultimates go on a mission to neutralize the Red Skull only to discover he's gotten a hold of the Cosmic Cube. It takes no time for him to defeat the heroes. Captain America uses a teleplane to get to Red Skull's location and he crashes the plane. Captain America contacts Hawkeye and asks for Skull's coordinates, when Hawkeye questioned him on it, Cap simply states "Because you never miss and I never lose." Cap used the teleplanes final teleportation to impale Red Skull through his chest.
In this universe, Johann Schmidt survived the collapse of the Skull-house that supposedly killed him, and before letting the Nazi's grip on Europe slip through the Axis's fingers he killed Adolf Hitler and took his place. After gaining access to all of the Axis Armies as Hitler's successor, he lead the Nazis into victory and killed everyone who dared to oppose him... Captain America included. At the end of the war, he had successfully destroyed the Allied Countries and ruled the world.
Years later, he would come across a boy named Victor von Doom in a meeting similar between the one he had between himself and Hitler years ago... Schmidt took Victor under his wing and gave him the title as his heir to his world domination. Victor eventually killed his adopted father and assumed his role as the leader of the Nazi-occupied planet, possibly as Dr. Doom.
The Marvel Super Heroes (1966)
Red Skull would make his very first television appearance in 1966 within the Canadian-made cartoon known as The Marvel Super Heroes. The show presented episodes within each week and each day would show an episode of a different hero. With Captain America holding 13 episodes that was shown only on Monday’s, Red Skull be seen as the main villain who fought against Captain America within several episodes. Red Skull was voice acted by Canadian actor Paul Kilgman, who would also be the same voice actor for Jonah. J. Jameson in the 1960’s Spider-Man cartoon series.
Red Skull would reappear in the 1981 version of the Spider-Man cartoon series within the episode known as “The Capture of Captain America”. Within the episode Red Skull tries to capture Captain America and mentally switch bodies with him and take over the military. However Red Skull would find his plans foiled by the interrupting Spider-Man who also managed to save Captain America. Famous Canadian voice actor Peter Cullen would be the actor for the Red Skull within this series.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1983)
Red Skull would make another return into one of the Spider-Man cartoon series in the last episode of the first season of Amazing Spider-Man and his friends. Within this show Red Skull would attempt to start World War III, but was defeated by Spider-Man and his partners Iceman and Firestar.
X-Men: The Animated Series (1992)
Red Skull would appear in a flash-back within the episode known as “Old Soldiers”. Within the episode, Wolverine retells his past when he teamed with Captain America to defeat the Red Skull and his Nazi forces. Red Skull was voice-acted by Cedric Smith, who was also the same voice actor for Professor X.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994)
Red Skull would make his full appearance within the 1994 Spider-Man cartoon series. Displayed much more differently than the comics, Red Skull would still appear within three episodes as an enemy of Captain America and a criminal mastermind bent on ruling the world. Within the cartoon series, Red Skull would be trapped in a vortex after his recent battle with Captain America. About fifty years later Red Skulls son Reinholt Schmidt (who later becomes Electro) and his stepson Chameleon frees Red Skull from the vortex. As Red Skull planned to rule the world with a doomsday weapon, both Red Skull and Captain America would later be trapped within the same vortex as the hero bravely sacrificed himself in order to stop the Red Skull’s plans. Red Skull would later reappear within the Secret War concept of the series as one of the many villains who was selected by the Beyonder to participate in duel between good and evil among an alien planet. Forming an alliance with Dr Octopus and Alistair Smythe, Red Skull would cross paths with the heroes, Black Cat who was trying to avenge her fathers crimes, and Dr Doom himself. After the event was over, Red Skull was returned to his rightful place holding no memory of the event. American voice actor Earl Boen would be the voice actor for the Red Skull within this series.
The Super Hero Squad Show
Red Skull would make his colorful appearance in Marvel Super Hero Squad Show in the episode known as “Wrath of the Red Skull”. Voiced by famous actor Mark Hamill, who also voiced the Joker within the DC Animated Universe, Red Skull would be displayed with a stereotypical German accent. Red Skull would make another appearance within the episode known as “World War Witch”.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
While his Season 1 appearance was limited to flashbacks, he appeared in his Dell Rusk disguise as a major antagonist in Season 2. He is revealed to be behind Code Red, a government task force consisting of Red Hulk, Falcon, Doc Samson, and the Winter Soldier. He was voiced by Steve Blum.
The Red Skull is the main villain of the series, and the leader of the Cabal. At the beginning of the series, he is shown dying due to the imperfect Super Soldier Serum in his veins, but he is able to counteract his condition after stealing a suit of Tony Stark's Iron Man armor. In the season finale, he transforms into the Cosmic Skull after absorbing the energy of the Cosmic Cube, but is defeated. He is voiced by Liam O'Brien.
Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel
Red Skull was one of the main antagonists of the episode, along with Whiplash, Venom and M.O.D.O.K. In the special, after Doctor Doofemsmirtz accidentally drained the powers of Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and Spiderman, Red Skull attempted to kill the heroes while they were in Danville hunting down the culprit. He later stole some of Doofemsmirtz's weapons and made them far more dangerous, but was defeated. He shares his voice with his Assemble characterization.
Captain America (1990)
Red Skull would make his first film debut in the 1990 low budget film known as Captain America. Even though the film was anticipated to be the 50 anniversary of Captain America’s first debut within comics, the film found itself receiving poor reviews from critics and other movie viewers as well. Within the film Red Skull is played by actor Scott Paulin and is displayed differently from the comic book version, basically displaying the villain as an Italian fascist.
First seen as a child who was forced into an experiment, Red Skull would be a man who served underneath Hitler as a horrible super soldier with mutated features that changed his face into a reddish skull. Easily besting Captain America in combat within their first encounter, Red Skull strapped the hero onto a missile and launches it before the hero manages to disrupt the course and force the missile to land into the Alaskan arctic. As Captain America’s frozen body wasn’t found until years later, Red Skull found himself running his own crime family who partook special requests in killing powerful and inspirational Americans, and his newest target was the recent President of the United States, President Thomas Kimball.
Even though Red Skull went threw extensive plastic surgery to alter his hideous appearance, his appearance was still seen as a hideous form that forced Red Skull to act behind the scenes. With Captain America revived and the Red Skull trying to kill the President and his revived nemesis, Red Skull found himself unsuccessful and killed in a last confrontation with Captain America.
The Red Skull is the primary antagonist in the film Captain America: The First Avenger. In this film, he is portrayed as a Nazi officer who has become obsessed with the acquisition of occult power, and his own status as "the superior man". Prior to the events of the film, he stole Dr. Abraham Erskine's Super Soldier Serum, despite the fact that it had not been perfected, and injected himself. He thus has enhanced strength, agility and resilience; however, the incomplete serum also alters his physical appearance, giving him the distinctive red skin and skull-like face. He is the leader of HYDRA, the advanced weaponry arm of the Nazi Party that has since broken away from the Nazis and become a cult-like terrorist organization that is fanatically dedicated to serving the Red Skull's aims. He and his followers search for and acquire the "tesseract," also known as the Cosmic Cube, from a church in Norway. With the help of Arnim Zola, he is able to harness the power of the Cube, which he uses to power new weapons and machinery that he uses to fight Allied forces and further his plans for global domination. He is apparently killed in a climactic battle with Captain America, when he holds the Cosmic Cube without any protective equipment. He appears to disintegrate, and vanishes into the opening into deep space created by the Cube. He is played by Hugo Weaving.
The Red Skull does not appear directly in the sequel, but images of him can be seen. It is also revealed that after his death, the Skull's work was continued by Alexander Pierce and Baron Von Strucker.