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The History of the Red Skull Captain America's Biggest Enemy
Reference from Captain America # 12 1998

In the back of Captain America #12 1998 the Red Skull's history up to that point is laid out. These are words from that issue for the most part.

Describing the Skull the article says, "He has been called the most evil man who ever lived. The symbol of hate. The incarnation of torture. A bane to all those who would live free from tyranny. And therefore, it should come as no surprise that he is the sworn enemy of the land of the free's protector of liberty, Captain America."

It goes on to tell the origin of the Red Skull. " The Red Skull was born Johann Schmidt. Ironically, Steve Rogers and Johann Schmidt could have been brothers. Both came from poverty. Both suffered rejection for their lack of strength and power. And both were chosen to become more than average men.


click for wallpaper image of Captain America 298
 
The Red Skull's life story was revealed in this issue 1984


Read this excerpt from Cap 298

But, unlike the man who would become Captain America, Johann was born into hatred as much as poverty. Were it not for the doctor who delivered him Johann would have been murdered, only minutes after being born, by his own father. Johann's father, a man whose senses had long been dulled by the siren call of alcohol, blamed the child for the death of his mother. Martha was the wife Hermann Schmidt repeatedly beat and abused yet claimed to love.

Hermann killed himself the next day. The doctor took Johann to an orphanage where the child remained until the age of seven. Seven years is the age of reason, some say. To Johann it was the age of madness. "

The article goes on to describe Johann's means of living on the streets, sleeping outdoors and jail sometimes for petty crimes. It then goes on to say, "As a young man, Johann went to work for a shopkeeper, a Jewish businessman whose daughter was perhaps the only person who ever showed Johann any kindness at all. When she rebuffed his affections, he rewarded her kindness by killing her. This was Johann's first murder. More it was his first moment of....joy."

"As a bellboy in an era pregnant with the hint and rumor of war, Johann was given the "honor" of serving refreshments to certain members of the growing ranks of the Third Reich, including Adolf Hitler.

The Birth of the Red Skull
Reference from Captain America # 12 1998

Continuing the article from Cap #12 " Hitler saw something of himself in the young man and decided to mentor the bellhop in all things murderous. He gave the boy a mask, a mask the color of blood.  And so...the Red Skull was born."

"Hitler's pride in creating the Skull, in time, turned to jealous fear. Hitler had believed he had seen something of himself in that bellboy's eyes years before. But he was wrong. The Red Skull by this point had risen within the ranks to become Hitler's second-in-command. And Hitler knew this man who once served him would not rest until he himself was Uberman. Until he himself was the master of the Master Race.

Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, one of Hitler's greatest officers in the Reich, had fallen from Hitler's grace. But not from the Skull's. The Skull sent him to Japan to create a subversive organization that would one day be known as HYDRA.

Hitler's paranoia regarding the Skull and his own limitations led to the decision that should he not win the world, he would destroy it. This resulted in the creation of a number of weapons that were buried only to resurface years later. These were robots of mass destruction known as Sleepers.

These doomsday weapons were "lost" when Captain America tracked the Skull down to his hidden bunker and defeated him. The Skull, spitting his vengeance through blood and broken bone, was caught in the cave-in. He was believed lost forever.

This was the first death of the Red Skull. The Red Skull unknowingly, had become a Sleeper himself. For the cave-in released an experimental gas that so slowed the Skull's aging process that he virtually became an immortal. It was during this state of suspended animation that his wounds slowly healed."

The article goes on to describe how years later a research team found the body of the Red Skull and revived him. The Skull then went on his own mission to rule the world. Captain America who had also been in suspended animation on ice revived and started the war between the two all over again.

The Red Skull gained the Cosmic Cube. The same cube that holds Adolf Hitler according to Captain America # 299 and Super Villain Team-Up #17.
See the whole page from Cap #299

The cube had the power to make it's holder's imagination become reality. The Skull lost it twice and was still unable to defeat Captain America. 
Here's a cool link I found that gives the history of Hitler in the Marvel Universe

In time the Red Skull's only purpose in life was to destroy Captain America. When the gas that had preserved the Skull started to wear out causing him to age, the Skull poisoned Cap with a formula to make him age as well. The Red Skull attempted to end his life in glorious battle against Captain America, but Cap would later be rejuvenated and the Skull cremated. Still the Skull came back this time in a different body one cloned from Steve Rogers (Cap) himself.


Captain America # 300 Wallpaper sized Image

The death of the Red Skull

Since then, he has disintegrated himself twice, it's doubtful Cap will ever see the last of the Red Skull.

 

 

 

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