There is just something about the dastardly men in the Marvel universe that makes us love to hate them. This week we are going to take a look at the those we believe are the top ten villains that have plagued the star-spangled Avenger, Captain America’s past, present, and future. The comics currently have Steve Rogers as an old man with his former partner Sam Wilson, AKA The Falcon, having taken up the mantle, but we are sure these villains will be plaguing Captain America no matter who is beyond the mask and shield. Then in the movies, some of these villains we have already seen, and some we are all excited to see in the upcoming third film of the series, Captain America: Civil War. Check out our picks below, and as always, let us know in the comments your top picks!
10. Batroc (First Appearance Tales of Suspense #75 1966)
Batroc the Leaper is a mercenary and master of the French fighting style savate, which means he boxes with his feet. Batroc has faced off with Captain America on several occasions, usually being soundly defeated. Batroc has been associated with several groups of villains in hopes of achieving their evil deeds. He has been mostly a thug that always could use a good beat down. The thing that makes him unique is that fact that he has had to team up with Cap on a few occasions. Hydra hired him to take out Cap only to betray him and attempt to kill him along with Cap. He once teamed up with Mr. Hyde to blackmail New York. When the city refused to pay up the demands, Hyde wanted to kill tons of New Yorkers. However, Batroc carries a strong sense of morality when it comes to killing and teamed up with Captain America to stop Hyde in the end.
9. MODOK/MODOC (First Appearance Tales of Suspense #93-94 1967)
Modok stands for Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing. George Tarleton was a technician in AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) that “volunteered” for the Modok experiment in human advancement. His mental capacity was improved but the results created the abomination you see above. Modok has been a burden to Captain America for decades appearing during the 70’s and 80’s. Tarleton had also been the creator of the artificial cosmic cube, which he battled with Namor and Doctor Doom for control. Modok has been more of a joke in recent years. They killed him off in the 90’s replacing him with MODAM. He also re-appeared in the Secret Avengers.
8. Serpent Society (First Appearance Captain America #310, 1985)
Here we have a group that uses a snake theme to create their villainous group. Their membership includes Sidewinder (who founded the group), Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Boomslang, Bushmaster, Coachwhip, Cobra, Copperhead, Cottonmouth, Death Adder, Diamondback, Fer-de-Lance, Princess Python, Rattler, Rock Python, Slither, and Viper. The group had several run-ins with Captain America throughout the years. Sidewinder had decided to improve the groups infrastructure by creating a villain labor union with benefits and higher paying jobs. Sidewinder’s cloak of teleportation made it so none of their members were imprisoned for long. They were hired by AIM to kill MODOK. Captain America attempted to stop the society but did not succeed. The Society even registered during the Civil War story line; guess being good pays better.
7. Sin (First Appearance Captain America #290, 1984)
Can you believe someone got busy with the Red Skull? Sinthea Schmidt’s mother died during childbirth and she almost was murdered by the Skull for being a female. Her life was spared by Susan Scarbo, who was devoted to the Skull’s beliefs. Sin was raised by Scarbo as her nanny. Red Skull was seeking allies in his fight against Captain America. He aged Sin into the character known as Mother Superior. She created the group Sisters of Sin. They battled Captain America on several occasions until the group was de-aged to their younger selves. Susan Scarbo returned to become Mother Night and reformed the Sisters of Sin with Sin taking the name Sister Sin. Sin was later captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and “reprogrammed” to be an American girl by the name of Erica Holstein. Crossbones deprogrammed her and reunited with the Red Skull when his mind was in the body of a General Lukin. They plotted the assassination of Captain America during the end of the Civil War story line. The plot had included putting the Skull’s mind in the body of Captain America. Sin’s face was horribly scarred during an explosion at the end of the Captain America: Reborn. She became the main protagonist in the Fear Itself story. She even succeed in knocking out Bucky Barnes who was Captain America at the time.
6. Baron Strucker/HYDRA (First Appearance Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #5, 1964)
What makes the Baron such an issue for Captain America? Let’s see, he has been alive for a really long time which helps. You would think the secret to a really long life would be worth more than world domination. Herr Baron has been a member in the Nazi party and the founding leader of the notorious Hydra. From Hydra there have been many burdens put upon Cap including Madam Hydra, The Serpent Society, and Modok. Even though Strucker was a Nazi, he gave those ideals of human purity for world domination. He appeared in an issue of the X-Men, where he was trying to brainwash the Black Widow to be part of Hydra. His plot was foiled by Captain America and Wolverine, before Logan gained his metal claws. Strucker became involved with Thunderbolts team hoping to use the team undermine the heroes during that time frame.
5. Winter Soldier (First Appearance as Bucky Barnes Captain America Comics #1 1941, as Winter Solider Captain America #1, 2005)
Bucky, Bucky, Bucky. If many of you are up on your Captain America history, you know that Bucky was Cap’s sidekick during WWII. He was presumed dead when Captain America was lost at the end of the war. It had been said in the Marvel offices that nobody stays dead except Uncle Ben and Bucky. At least that was until 2005 when Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting brought back Bucky as the Winter Soldier. Bucky was recovered and brainwashed by the USSR to be an assassin. Bucky was more of a spy legend at this point in the Marvel Universe who no one knew existed. Bucky was just as strong and skilled as Captain America ever was. He was more of a psychological villain against Cap then a physical. Our Captain had to come to terms that his old teammate actually alive and around as a killer until he used the cosmic cube to give Bucky back his mind. Eventually Bucky actually took the mantle of Captain America but was defeated by Sin during the Fear Itself story line. He was thought dead but yet again brought back to life as Winter Soldier.
4. Arnim Zola (First Appearance Captain America #208, 1977)
This was another of Jack Kirby’s villains for Captain America that had a really big head and liked the purple color scheme. Zola was a Swiss bio-chemist during WWII who came up with the means to transfer the brain patterns of humans into a cloned body. The Nazis found this useful when he transferred Hilter’s brain patterns into the Hate Monger during one of his battles with Captain America. The Red Skull teamed up with Zola when he created Primus, Doughboy, and Man Fish. Zola had actually succeeded in killing Captain America during the Civil War event. During all these events, Zola’s mind was trapped inside a computer but he eventually found his way to Norman Osborn when he was the leader of HAMMER. It seemed Cap was actually trapped in time and space instead of actually being killed. He was reliving WWII and eventually returned to foil Zola and the Red Skulls plans. Later on Captain America defeated Zola in an alternate dimension called Dimension Z. He continues to be and issue for the Captain even on the silver screen.
3. Crossbones (First Appearance Captain America #359, 1989)
Every evil mastermind has his muscle or lead thug. Granted The Red Skull’s thug Crossbones is one of the meanest bastards in the Marvel Universe. He was a gangster in the lower east side of New York. He was recruited into the Taskmasters training outfit for criminals gaining a training within three years. Crossbones was brought into the Skull’s attention when he was attempting to assassinate Arnim Zola in his Swiss retreat. He was the only mercenary to survive the encounter. He was first introduced during the Bloodstone Hunt storyline in the 90’s. Crossbones also was apart of the plot to assassinate Captain America during Civil War. The thing that makes Crossbones such an excellent henchmen to the Red Skull is that he has been loyal.
2. Baron Zemo (First Appearance The Avengers vol 1 #4, 1964)
The original Baron Heinrich Zemo was a Nazi scientist during World War II. He had fought Captain America and Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos. He had developed a large death ray that he tested in Germany on civilians making him a mass murderer. Zemo attempted to turn the blame on the allies but ultimately made him hated in all of Europe, including Germany. Seeking to hide his identity, he donned his now famous hood. His hood became permanently bonded to his head during a battle with Captain America. Zemo had been developing Adhesive X, which was an adhesive that could not be removed or dissolved. Having it bonded to your head can create issues for an already sadistic cad like Zemo. The Masters of Evil were originally created by Zemo and have been a bane to the Avengers for years.
1. The Red Skull (First Appearance Captain America Comics #7, 1941)
Of course you knew the Red Skull would be number one on our list. The Red Skull came into life by killing his own mother during child-birth. His father committed suicide blaming Johann (Skull) Schmidt for the death of his wife. Johann was orphaned and led a lonely existence. He was in and out of prison for theft or vagrancy. He had found small jobs from time to time but mostly with a Jewish shopkeeper. The shopkeeper had a daughter that had been someone who gave him kindness. Johann took this act in a form of passion only to be rejected by the girl. He murdered the girl in a fit of rage but felt alive for the first time in his life. Schmidt became a bellhop in a hotel that Hitler had been staying for sometime and he became Hilter’s excuse to train anyone to become a Nazi. Under the Furher’s training, Johann became the Skull and the head of the terrorist Nazi party. He became so notorious that Hilter himself feared what he had created. The Skull fought Captain America many times during the war and resurfaced when the Captain made his own return. In a more recent battle the Red Skull had cloned Steve Rogers and transferred his brain patterns into the clone. Because his current physical perfection, he no longer donned the Skull mask that made him infamous. He spent most of his time trying to rule the world from within the capitalistic ideals of America. During a battle with Captain America and John (who had been stepping in for Rogers as Cap) Walker his face was covered in the Dust of Death scarring his face a returning him to the Red Skull we all know and hate. More recently the Skull has been back to his Nazi ways by wanting to kill off all of mutant-kind. He even went so far as to steal the brain of the deceased Professor Xavier in order to gain mental control powers.