Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!
Who better to lead your team than Captain America when a pair of warring planets both want your world because of its strategic proximity? Though he’s not there from the beginning of the events, Cap certainly makes his presence known in the seminal Kree-Skrull War. Written by Roy Thomas with art by Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, and John Buscema, this story runs from AVENGERS #89–97 and kicks off as the reduced team—Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Quicksilver—along with Rick Jones run into Kree super hero Captain Marvel.
Before the Avengers even head into space they face a Kree Sentry, Annihilus, a hypnotized Clint Barton during his Goliath days, and outlaw Kree Ronan the Accuser. The team asks a group of witness scientists to keep the whole matter under wraps to avoid a public panic, but they let the cat out of the bag and the Avengers fall under public scrutiny. They even think that Thor, Captain America and Iron Man show up to disband the team after being so disappointed with how they handled the situation!
With the actual versions of Cap, Iron Man and Thor back in action, the team finds itself under fire from Skrulls and humans alike, but nowhere near as bad as the attack on the Inhuman homeland overseen by the Kree. The Avengers help Black Bolt regain control of his territory, but their work remains far from done.
“We’re coming for you—Kree and Skrulls alike! And nothing can stay out hand from vengeance—nothing but death,” Captain America declares before the heroes head into space to save the still-captured Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Captain Marvel. Once among the stars, Captain America takes control of his crew, leading them in a variety of attacks against their alien enemies using everything from space crafts to good old fashioned fists.
Though he’s surrounded by more well-known champions, Rick Jones actually steps up to become the true savior of the day thanks to what the Kree Supreme Intelligence calls the Destiny Force. He uses this ability to bring forth versions of characters he read about in old Marvel Comics—including WWII-era Captain America and Namor—to help win the war!
To get the pesky humans out of the picture, the Supreme Intelligence teleports them back home after admitting that a rocky peace now stands between the Kree and Skrulls. Though happy to be home, the day does not end in celebration as Clint Barton did not make the return trip with them. Eventually he makes it back to Earth and reclaims his Hawkeye identity bringing one of Cap’s closest confidants home safely.
Though he might not be as prominent in the entirety of The Kree-Skrull War as other big stories, the event does hold quite a bit of significance for Steve Rogers. In CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN, while he found himself landing in various times from his past, he came up with a plan during the Kree-Skrull conflict: record a message via Vision that the android would forget, yet it remains in his memory banks until properly primed. A few issues later, Vision’s with Hank Pym and Mr. Fantastic, the file becomes triggered and he plays the message which helps the big brains figure out what’s up with the living legend.
Next, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale lend their considerable talents to the First Avenger in the CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE limited series.