Captain America is portrayed as the all-American hero. He’s the good guy; the one that does everything he believes is right. In Captain America: Civil War, he refused to sign the Sokovia Accords despite Tony Stark agreeing with them, believing whole-heartedly that they were wrong. He's the hero of every story he appears in.
However, did you know that Captain America has now turned evil? He’s the bad guy that everyone is unknowingly fighting against. These days, he’s better known as Hydra-Cap in the comics, due to the way that he was turned and the organization he is now working for.
Cap’s evil actions can’t just be blamed on the events before he became Hydra-Cap. In his fight for doing what he believes is right, he has made questionable decisions that come across as downright evil for the all-American hero. There have been cases where he has followed his heart rather than focus on the greater good, or even just the good of the people who look up to him. He may be a hero, but he’s not perfect.
Let’s take a look inside the war hero, the man who sacrificed himself to save the world, by diving into the 15 Most Evil Things Captain America Has Ever Done.
Admittedly, this is the least evil item on the list. It’s more of a Tony Stark thing to do, and Cap was doing something that he believed was right. Still, in the end, it's a pretty terrible thing to do.
It’s bad enough that the modern Captain America is dating the niece of his girlfriend Peggy Carter, after being unfrozen decades after World War II. However, in the 1960s, when he was first unfrozen, he started dating Sharon Carter, the younger sister of Peggy. He was still dating Peggy at the time, and he ended up electing to date them both at the same time.
The excuse? Cap didn’t want to hurt Peggy, so he thought dating both would be the best thing to do. It’s not the worst thing ever, but this is a dark insight into how Steve Rogers believing something is right can turn out to be very wrong, indeed.
S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson has always been a strong supporter of Captain America, but he wasn’t afraid to dig deep when he believed something wasn’t right with his hero. It was Coulson who managed to learn the truth about Steve Rogers’ connection to Hydra, which meant trouble for him.
This is a current storyline in the Deadpool comics, and it’s actually the Merc with a Mouth who pulls the trigger on the evil act. However, it isn’t without some encouragement from the Star-Spangled Avenger that Wade Wilson ends the MCU fan-favorite's life, so the majority of the blame here definitely falls at Cap's feet.
Hydra knows that Coulson is onto Captain America, so the all-American hero turns to a friend to manipulate his loyalty. Rogers encourages Deadpool to shoot Coulson in order prevent him from sharing the truth about Cap’s connection to Hydra. Wade (Deadpool) shoots Coulson in the heart at point-blank rage, pushing our hero's fall from grace into point-of-no-return territory.
During Captain America: Winter Soldier, fans were rooting for Captain America to try to save his best friend Bucky from the government. In the end, it looked good. Bucky would be under some government control, but he had the chance of redemption.
Then the Sokovia Accords came along, and Cap refused to sign them. Rather than work with the government to help get Bucky back after he was framed by Zemo, Steve Rogers decided to hide his best friend. Cap makes Bucky a fugitive (along with anyone else on his side) by working against the government and not trusting the actual good guys to learn the truth about Vienna.
While on the run, both Cap and Bucky fight against (and likely kill, despite their efforts) a number of cops. They put innocent people at risk. The events also lead to Bucky making the decision to freeze himself, because he can’t trust his own actions. Not only did Cap lead to Bucky becoming a fugitive a second time, but his efforts also led to his pal being put on ice. Again.
Comic book fans were shocked as they moved towards the Secret Empire storyline to learn that Captain America wasn’t the good guy anymore. After his whole history was rewritten (actually, the whole of Earth’s history was rewritten), fans learned that Steve Rogers had been brainwashed.
Thrown into a world where the Nazis had won in World War II, fans learned that Steve Rogers was now a secret agent for Hydra. There are some major questions about gaps in the storyline, but for the most part, fans learned that our hero joined the Hydra Academy; the place where he would learn everything needed to become Hydra-Cap. This was despite Hydra killing his parents!
Among the things he learned while at the academy were the skills of espionage, which allowed him to infiltrate the Super Soldier experiments and become Captain America. It is a messy storyline, but it’s evil to the core.
So this is actually an action against a villain, but it’s the way that the shield was used that makes it so hardcore and dark. Nobody wanted to see it used in such a nefarious way.
When Captain America went to England, he faced off against Baron Blood, the brother of a former comrade, Union Jack. Baron Blood was a vampire, and made it extremely clear that the only way to stop him was through death. If nobody stopped him indefinitely, he would continue to attack his family. So Captain America decided to take his enemy down, once and for all. Rather than a stake to the heart (like most vampires), he used his prized piece of weaponry to decapitate Baron Blood. The use of the shield definitely shocked folks reading along at home, and although he had altruistic intentions, this was still a pretty dark thing to do.
Having been one of Cap's greatest enemies for decades in the pages of Marvel Comics, Baron Zemo recently made the jump to the big screen in order to orchestrate the events of Captain America: Civil War. The longtime foes have turned over a new leaf recently, however, and in the recent Secret Empire storyline, our red, white, and blue hero is now best friends with a Nazi.
The two met at the Hydra Academy. As a young, scrawny Steve Rogers was bullied, Zemo stepped in to stick up for the helpless young man. Throughout their years at the academy, Zemo helped Steve learn everything he needed to be an effective Hydra agent, and it was this friendship that turned Steve into the man he is now (in this reality, anyway).
That friendship continued after the academy, and Zemo regularly acts out Cap's plans. They are still the best of friends, but in secret, while Cap works as a double agent. If that isn't enough proof our all-America hero doesn't mind cozying up with Nazis, he has also once saluted Hitler voluntarily.
Surprisingly, this beatdown isn’t from one of the Hydra-Cap storylines, but from Volume 6 of the original Civil War comic arc. Small-time villains Goldbug and The Plunder wanted to work with Captain America's Secret Avengers, because they feared the idea of a world with government-sanctioned superhero teams running around. Cap wasn’t the only one with bad guys looking to team up with him in this conflict; Iron Man was also working with some villains, but then, Iron Man didn’t beat the living hell out of his fellow heroes for killing those villains.
Had The Punisher let two villains escape, few fans (or characters) would have batted an eye. As it was, Captain America nearly beat Frank Castle to death for killing the two villains.
It turned out that the two supervillains were attempting to ally with Cap. When our Star-Spangled hero learned about The Punisher’s actions he saw red. To make matters worse, Castle refused to fight back. Captain America had every right to be pissed, but he definitely went overboard here.
When you initially hear about breaking Red Skull’s neck, you’ll likely think it’s a good thing. Red Skull was a villain—and a major villain at that. However, Captain America didn’t break the neck of the Red Skull we all love to hate. He killed a newer version of the character; one that was just a teenager.
Granted, this teen did have mind control powers and was using them for evil. Rather than try to help the young man and perhaps even bring him into the heroic fold, Cap snapped the boy’s neck and claimed victory. It’s something that anti-heroes like the aforementioned Punisher would do, rather than something you'd expect the all-American golden boy to decide was the right course of action.
If that wasn’t evil enough, he did actually kill the Nazi Red Skull we know, but only because the baddie was a threat to Hydra!
Over the course of the Secret Empire storyline in the comics, Captain America becomes a sleeper agent for Hydra as part of a larger scheme by the infamous organization that initially involved the Cosmic Cube. After Earth's history was changed and Cap joins Hydra Academy, he infiltrates America's Super Soldier experiment to take down the program (and eventually, the country) from the inside.
There are certainly many "good" things that the Star-Spangled hero does throughout his sleeper agent storyline, putting in meaningful work on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. government. Yet everything is tainted, as fans know that everything "good" he does involves an ulterior motive.
It's always sad to see a good guy turned bad, especially one who has traditionally always done what's right. We can take solace in the fact that Steve Rogers doesn't quite understand the events of the past, but that doesn't make his actions any less evil. The level of deceit he's apparently capable of is pretty insane.
As if joining the Academy and Hydra wasn’t bad enough, Captain America has become the Supreme Leader of the nefarious organization. This was revealed after Elisa Sinclair came back as Madame Hydra. She put together a new Hydra High Council, but there was one position left unrevealed: the head honcho.
Cap’s involvement was revealed when Hydra was ready to attack, but it wasn't too surprising when all the Hydra-Cap storylines leading to this point were considered. Everything the hero-turned-villain did was to boost his rank among other his fellow villains; his one goal had been to take that High Council seat.
It also turned out that the new High Council was a gift for Steve Rogers, as she had fallen in love with the shield-wielding hero.
While the comics never explicitly stated the president to be Richard Nixon, it's never really a question of who this character is modeled after. Regardless of your thoughts on the matter, Captain America stood by and watched him commit suicide.
After discovering that there was a secret world of corruption within the government with connections reaching all the way up to the POTUS himself, Cap chooses to confront the man at the top of the scandal. Our hero is surprised to learn that it's the president behind it all, though the corrupted leader of the free world decides not to face the wrath of the people or the authorities. Rather than take responsibility, the president blows his brains out.
Sure, it could be argued that the scene unfolds too fast for Steve Rogers to do anything about it. But it's hard to imagine that the greatest soldier the world has even known couldn't have done more than cover his eyes.
The events depicted here lead to another dark storyline: Cap walking away from his country, his fans, and his shield.
Throughout the Hydra-Cap stories, lingering questions have loomed over the meshed and jumpy timelines. When he's uncertain of Steve Rogers' true views and opinions, Helmut Zemo straps Bucky Barnes to a rocket with the intention of killing him.
There is a strong sense of poetic justice to this storyline: this was the exact way Bucky killed Zemo's father, so it just looks like Zemo is getting some sweet, sweet revenge. Marvel fans reading along at home hoped that their hero would step in and save his best pal Bucky from the real villain in the story. If there was anything that would snap Captain America out of his trance, it was this.
Unfortunately, Hydra-Cap makes it very clear where his loyalties lie. In a final recorded message for Bucky, Cap explains that Zemo is his real best friend, and he allows Zemo to kill the former Winter Soldier, once and for all.
After being recruited by Captain America to work with S.H.I.E.L.D., Jack Flag goes on a mission to stop Zemo. Rather than listen to instructions to remain behind, however, Jack elected to confronted the dastardly villain. With a "Hail Hydra," Cap throws his protégé out of Zemo's plane to what should have been a certain death.
Luckily for Flag, his healing powers prevented his demise, but he was left in a coma. Rather than risk the young man waking up and spilling the beans, Steve later attempts to poison the young boy while in the medical bay at S.H.I.E.L.D. He's only stopped because Flag's parents decide to take Jack off life support. The double-agent's secret is safe, and he continues his mourning friend charade.
Later on, at the funeral, Rogers comforts the kid's parents, all while frustrated Marvel fans in the know screamed at them about Cap's involvement. Too bad we can't break the fourth wall like Deadpool, right?
If working with villains, murdering protégés, and working with the Nazis isn’t enough, Captain America is fooling the American people. As you'd expect from of a double agent, Steve Rogers will do anything to hide his true intentions -- so he continually masterminds plots to make him look like the true American hero that people believe him to be.
As the secret Supreme Leader of the Hydra High Council, Hydra-Cap also needs to push the organization's agenda and boost its influence. So what does this new villain do? He decides to let some powerful villains free to attack the people, so he can swoop in and save the day. While allowing supervillains to attack New York City, Steve made sure the Avengers were dealing with other situations. There weren't enough good guys to go around, so Cap could receive all the praise, thus solidifying his standing to the outside world.
There will be very few people who will be able to forgive Steve Rogers for this. With Ulysses’ abilities to predict the future, Captain America needed to protect himself. The best thing was to throw Ulysses off and create a potential future that could happen: Bruce Banner on a rampage.
Ulysses only reports on the most dire of the multiple futures he sees. One of those is Bruce experimenting with some new Gamma radiation therapy on himself, which could lead to a future in which the Hulk rages out and starts killing everyone. This future is instantly prioritized as the worst, and the Jade Giant is viewed as a liability. There is no option but to kill the Hulk to save the future. So yeah, Cap's killing his friends and allies left and right these days.
Do you agree with this list? Have you been shocked by some of the events that have happened in Captain America’s storylines? Feel free to share your views, opinions, and own top evil actions in the comments.