The idea for Captain America started out pretty simple: a superhero who had just enough strength, resourcefulness, and patriotism to get in front of Hitler and punch him. But, since that guy isn't a problem anymore, the writers have tried all sorts of different angles for Cap, from Captain Meth Addict to Captain Werewolf. Some of the more outlandish tales to come out of those efforts include ... 

Captain America Gets "Ripped Off" By Ben Franklin

 

In 1976, Marvel asked Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby to produce a special comic to celebrate the USA's 200th birthday. Kirby decided that the best way to mark this occasion was a story where Cap goes back in time and meets a Founding Father ... and accuses him of plagiarism.

Let's back up. This nutty tale opens when Cap is invited to view America "with a universal eye" by some guy called Mr. Budda. Cap, not being into drugs (other than steroids), rejects the kind offer and walks away -- only to find himself transported into other time periods anyway. Cap ends up visiting (or re-visiting) World War II, the Old West, and the future, but the most intriguing section is the one where he lands in 1770s Philadelphia and has the honor of meeting Ben Franklin, who is immediately impressed by Cap -- not because of his powers or patriotism, but due to his fashion sense. Franklin calls over Betsy Ross to show her this garishly-dressed yahoo. 

Captain America meets Ben Franklin.

Marvel Comics

Based on his Assassins Creed cameo, Ben is probably showing Cap some tasteful granny nudes.

Slowly, it dawns on Cap that Franklin copied his star-spangled costume to design the American flag, and he runs away in horror, yelling, "I've been ripped off by Ben Franklin!" Meaning that Cap has at least one thing in common with Gulliver's Travels author Jonathan Swift, who unknowingly came up with some of Franklin's most inventive (and profitable) quips

Captain America meets Ben Franklin.

Marvel Comics

So if Marvel's time travel worked under Terminator rules, the US flag would be a dong.

Before he can find a lawyer, Cap is transported into another time period to continue his quest, but presumably, he never forgot the day he learned the nation he swore to protect was built on plagiarism and the "A" on his forehead stands for "Anti-Original." 

Captain America Fights Ronald Reagan, Who Is A Lizard

 

This story happens after the government forces Captain America to give up the "America" part and start going as "The Captain," which is why he's dressed like a ripoff Avengers action figure in the panels below. Cap is fighting a group called the Serpent Society, which is what happens when Marvel's surprisingly numerous snake-themed supervillains decide to stop quarreling and unionize. The SS (not that one) has managed to poison the water of Washington DC with a virus that turns people into humanoid lizards. Captain Nothing goes to the White House to prevent President Reagan from being infected, but ...

Captain America meets lizard person Ronald Reagan.

Marvel Comics

... it looks like he's a bit too late. Apparently, the virus not only turns Reagan into a lizard person but also makes him violently horny, since he immediately strips down to his undies and starts trying to wrestle with Cap into the ground.  

Marvel Comics

To add insult to injury, reptilian Ronnie tries to impale Cap with a US flag -- the very design that was stolen from him, which he can't even wear anymore. 

Captain America fights lizard person Ronald Reagan.

Marvel Comics

Cap realizes that Reagan's scales are falling off the more he sweats, so the only way to save him is to, uh, "keep him sweating." Unfortunately, after the virus wears off, Reagan is left hideously deformed and incohe-- 

Lizard person Ronald Reagan turns back to normal.

Marvel Comics

Wait, no, that's just regular Ronald Reagan. Never mind. 

Captain America Is Brainwashed Into Being Racist (By Captain America)

 

During one storyline in the late '70s, Cap is fighting a racist organization called the National Force when he manages to track down its leader and finds out that it's ... himself, Steve Rogers. Not himself himself, though, but a fake Steve Rogers created by the government in the '50s to fight commies while the real deal was still stuck in giant Popsicle form. Yeah, it was that fake Steve who got brainwashed into becoming racist; can you imagine how unfortunate it would be if Marvel did a story where the actual Captain America goes Neo-Nazi? 

Anyway, that's exactly what happens in the following issue. The next time we see the real Cap, he's fighting Black people while shouting stuff like "Your hearts are blacker than your skin!" or "A white America is a strong America!" 

Captain America is brainwashed by Nazis.

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics

It then turns out that Cap is recording a TV ad for the National Force (presumably to be aired during a show that rhymes with Cucker Tarlson Tonight) where he calls Black people "animals" who must be "cleansed" from the country. Then he raises his shield and reveals a big ol' swastika on it. Say what you will about '70s Neo-Nazis, but at least they were honest about what they were (as opposed to the alt-right or new right or whatever they're calling themselves now that the term "alt-right" is radioactive). 

Marvel Comics

Luckily, Daredevil happened to be watch-- er, listening to that ad and he's able to track down Cap and beat the racism out of him. More specifically, he counteracts the brainwashing by cleaning the Nazi decal off Cap's shield and showing him the original design underneath. Probably best not to think too hard about the fact that brainwashed Cap managed to memorize and act out a whole Nazi propaganda video with no problems, but realizing that his precious shield had been vandalized shocked him to the core and made him snap out of it. 

Captain America Is Almost Turned Into A Woman

 

This adventure starts with Cap infiltrating a luxury cruise ship full of female supervillains headed to a place called "Femizonia Island." Why does Cap care what some ladies do in their free time? Because the mastermind behind this trip, a new villain called Superia, has a plan that will turn America into a new nation ruled entirely by women, where men are only kept for menial labors and as walking sperm banks. Step one: turn Cap himself into a lady, for some reason.  

Superia actually captures Cap and another male hero and puts them in a tube full of "feminization" chemicals ... 

Captain America captured by Superia.

Marvel Comics

... and that's when some higher-ups at Marvel must have looked at the scripts and told the writer that, nope, he can't make Captain America grow breasts, sorry, because the heroes manage to escape the tube mere minutes before the "synthetic estrogen becomes perceptible." The editors did allow the writer to dress up Cap in a female villain's costume, but it wasn't a particularly feminine one, so that was a pretty poor consolation prize if you ask us. 

Captain America dressed in female villain clothes.

Marvel Comics

Cap and some female villains who didn't care much to live in a women-ruled future team up to stop Superia right before she can detonate some rockets that will sterilize every woman on Earth except the ones on her island. Superia is defeated, and as for the sterilization rockets, we are told that they landed harmlessly in Uranus. There's probably a filthy joke in there but we're far too classy to make it. 

Anyway, something tells us the MCU ain't ever touching this one. In fact, maybe they retired Steve Rogers for the specific purpose of ruling this out. 

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com. 

Thumbnail: Marvel Studios, Wikimedia Commons 

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