Captain America (1980’s)

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The 1980s included a run by writer Roger Stern and artist John Byrne. Stern had Rogers consider a run for President of the United States in Captain America #250 (June 1980), an idea originally developed by Roger McKenzie and Don Perlin. Stern, in his capacity as editor of the title, originally rejected the idea but later changed his mind about the concept. McKenzie and Perlin received credit for the idea on the letters page at Stern’s insistence. Stern additionally introduced a new love interest, law student Bernie Rosenthal, in Captain America #248 (Aug. 1980).

Writer J. M. DeMatteis revealed the true face and full origin of the Red Skull in Captain America #298-300, and had Captain America take on Jack Monroe, Nomad, as a partner for a time. Around this time, the heroes gathered by the Beyonder elect Rogers as leader during their stay on Battleworld in the 1984 miniseries Secret Wars. Homophobia is dealt with as Rogers runs into a childhood friend named Arnold Roth who is gay.

Mark Gruenwald became the writer of the series with issue #307 (July 1985) and wrote 137 issues for 10 consecutive years from until #443 (Sept. 1995) the most issues by any single author in the character’s history. Gruenwald created several new foes, including Crossbones and the Serpent Society. Other Gruenwald characters included DiamondbackSuper Patriot, and Demolition Man. Gruenwald explored numerous political and social themes as well, such as extreme idealism when Captain America fights the anti-nationalist terrorist Flag-Smasher; and vigilantism when he hunts the murderous Scourge of the Underworld.

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