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When Did Captain America Reveal His Secret Identity?

This is "Got Me a Secret," a feature where I spotlight notable instances of comic book characters revealing their secret identities to people.

Reader Pedro D. wrote in to ask, "I started reading Captain America comics during the early Gruenwald era, quite a while ago, and remember that during that time Cap's identity as Steve Rogers was not public - he even had a gig as a comic book artist, as you have already covered in an article. If I remember correctly, at least until the end of Gruenwald's long stint on the title the public in general didn't know that Cap was Rogers. I spent some years away from Captain America comics and now it seems that his identity is common knowledge. So, when did this happen? When was it that Captain America true identity became known to the public? Was there an "unmasking" plot or something similar?"

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Sure thing, Pedro. I actually covered some of this a while back in an Abandoned Love, but the main part of Pedro's question has nothing to do with that, so here ya go!

When Captain America debuted, his identity was very much a secret, as highlighted by the fact that when Bucky Barnes found out, it was, you know, a big deal...

That was the case until Tales of Suspense #95, where Cap decided to retire to marry Sharon Carter, so for some reason, his retirement also included him revealing his identity...

Jim Steranko tried to give Cap a secret identity again in Captain America #113 by having "Steve Rogers" get shot and have it be revealed that "Steve Rogers" was actually a fake identity...

So at the end of the issue, Cap had a secret identity again, but it was no longer Steve Rogers....

Well, Stan Lee came back to the book and had no interest in that.

Eventually, in Avengers #107, Steve Englehart revealed that the Space Phantom had hypnotized the world into forgetting Cap's secret identity of Steve Rogers because the Space Phantom had cut a deal with Grim Reaper to give Cap's body to Vision so that the android could have a human body (this was during the time when Grim Reaper decided to treat Vision as his brother)...

So that was the case for the next few decades. Cap's identity was a secret. But then John Ney Reiber and John Cassaday launched a Captain America series in 2002 and the opening arc involved terrorists attacking America in response to Captain America killing a terrorist leader. Cap decided that the problem was that he was seen as a SYMBOL of America and he was just a dude, so he felt that it made sense to reveal on national television that he was more than a symbol, that he was just a man...

In the next issue, we see that he definitely told ALL of his information, including his name and everything...

And Cap's secret identity has been public ever since.

There ya go, Pedro!

If anyone else has a question about comics, feel free to send them my way at brianc@cbr.com! I love answering questions!

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