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The Best Captain America Stories to Buy After Endgame

WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now.

Avengers: Endgame promised to shift the status quo of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially for its longtime heroes. Chris Evans' Captain America is one of these figures, with the shield now being placed in the hands of another of his fellow Avengers.

RELATED: Avengers: Endgame Writers Address Captain America's On-Screen Future

In the wake of this passing of the torch, and with the MCU set to shape brand-new adventures for the Sentinel of Liberty, here are some Captain America stories that every Marvel fan should check out after Endgame.

SECRET EMPIRE

GET IT NOW: COMIXOLOGY

Nick Spencer's Secret Empire back in 2017 dealt with Kobik (a sentient Cosmic Cube) reshaping Steve Rogers' history as a Hydra operative. It was a highly controversial event that twisted Steve Rogers into an unrecognizable version of himself, made even worse by HydraCap wielding Mjolnir, despite his numerous heinous acts.

Endgame borrows one pivotal moment  from the book, when Evans' Cap whispered "Hail Hydra" to Jasper Sitwell and his S.H.I.E.L.D. spies in order to steal the Mind Stone back in 2012's Battle of New York. Not only was it a callback to this book, but it tied together events from Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie where it was revealed that Hydra infiltrated several key arms of world security. Secret Empire is worth a read because it dissects the philosophies and principles of justice Cap operates on, even in his warped form.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE DEATH OF THE DREAM

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After Civil War, Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting created a compelling story in 2007 through the death of Captain America. It linked his inner-circle such as Sharon Carter and the rebels who stood against the Superhuman Registration Act, and most importantly, it featuredBucky Barnes and Sam Wilson going after enemies such as Red Skull, his daughter Sin and Crossbones.

Bucky and Falcon teammed up to go after these villains, and even eyed Tony Stark as an enemy, which serves as a reminder of how much Steve inspired his former partners. With the MCU charting a Falcon and Winter Soldier TV series for Disney+, this is a perfect buddy-cop story dealing with pain, loss and PTSD for both heroes. It collects Captain America #25-30 which marked the start of Bucky's march towards becoming Captain America himself.

FEAR ITSELF

GET IT NOW: COMIXOLOGY

In 2011, Fear Itself, by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen, plunged the Marvel Universe into great danger when the Serpent -- an old enemy of Asgard -- had minions attack almost everything in the Marvel Universe as part of a plot to free himself. This war saw Sin turn into his avatar, Skadi, and then use hammers to create an army called the Worthy. Ultimately, Marvel's heroes had to fuse with Asgardian weaponry to fend off this threat, which pushed Thor, Iron Man and BuckyCap to the limit.

Eventually, a resurrected Steve showed his mettle as the leader of all these heroes in what was one of Marvel's most high-stakes events. Steve even got to lift Mjolnir, proving how worthy he was, which was adapted in Endgame as part of the final fight against the Mad Titan, Thanos.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE TOMORROW SOLDIER

Captain America the Tomorrow Soldier

GET IT NOW: COMIXOLOGY

Rick Remender's 2014 Captain America run tied directly into Endgame's finale. In the comics, Steve grew old after the villainous Iron Nail messed with his super-soldier blood. After Arnim Zola launched his attack from Dimension Z, the older Steve had to lean on Falcon and the other Avengers to save New York. It was one of Cap's most difficult tenures as all he could do was coordinate, but it also showed him he needed to rest, especially since he had someone to replace him.

The book focused on Sam Wilson, the Falcon, subsequently getting the shield in the wake of victory for his years of service, while giving Steve a temporary happy ending with an older Sharon after getting a taste of fatherhood taking in Zola's son, Ian. Of course, Steve achieved a similar happy ending when he went back in time at the conclusion of Endgame and grew old with Peggy, before handing Sam the mantle of Captain America.

ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA: HYDRA ASCENDANT

GET IT NOW: COMIXOLOGY

Remender immediately picked up Sam's career as Captain America with this Marvel NOW! book, pitting him against Steve's old villains such as Zemo and Sin. The first six issues provided a high-octane arc which saw Sam using Ian (who also had powers) as his Nomad. In the wake of Steve's retirement, those two heroes stood tall against a world full of villains like Hydra who thought that Captain America, and everything he represented, was dead.

Sam, however, stood tall against all adversity, proving to doubters he deserved the shield. If you want to get a preview of what Anthony Mackie's Sam might be in Phase Four, this is the ideal book for you. This series also offers deeper insight on how FalconCap went from war hero to one of America's most selfless and sacrificing civil servants.

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