WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
When Avengers: Endgame hit, Marvel fans knew to bring a box of tissues because there was a good chance they would lose at least one major character that had been around since the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched. Their fears were realized when not just one original Avenger died, but two. However, even with those two deaths, a third saw his story come to an end in a very satisfying way.
Captain America is finished in the MCU. He didn't die, but instead remained back in time and got his last dance—and a long-married life with Peggy Carter in another time-dimension. This means, in this reality, he is now an old man, showing up to hand over his shield to Sam Wilson—the Falcon. With Steve Rogers finished as a fighting superhero, here are some great comic book storylines we will never get a chance to see.
10 The Secret Empire (Captain America 169-176)
Not to be confused with The Secret Empire crossover event where Cap joined HYDRA, this was an older Captain America storyline where instead of joining HYDRA, Steve Rogers completely gave up his role as Captain America and laid down his shield. The story came out in 1974 around the time of Watergate when America learned they couldn't trust their own president.
When the President of the United States in Marvel Comics turned out to be the leader of a secret empire trying to take over the country, Cap gave up his role and title and ended up becoming Nomad, still a noble hero, but no longer the face of an America he no longer believed in.
9 Under Siege (Avengers 277)
One character that never got the chance he deserved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Baron Zemo. In the comics, he was right up there with Red Skull as Cap's greatest enemy. They made Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War an anarchist who wanted revenge for the loss of his family, but that was not what he was in the comics. In the comics, he shared a connection with Cap and his battles in World War II, and his best story was in the pages of The Avengers with Under Siege when he led his Masters of Evil on a covert attack on The Avengers and Captain America—and won, at least for a short time.
8 The Death of Captain America
There was a huge difference between the end of Captain America: Civil War and the comic book storyline Civil War. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man basically won and Captain America saw his associates locked up in prison while he lost his shield to a petulant Iron Man. In the comics, Captain America died at the hands of an assassin's bullet.
The world then had to deal with how to move on without Captain America. and Iron Man had to live with the fact that his battle with his old friend ended in death. This did not happen, and some thought that Avengers: Endgame would finally deliver this story, but thankfully it did not.
Captain America has been in three solo movies, and all three of them were deadly serious. The first was about his battles in World War II, the second was fighting his old friend Winter Soldier, and the third was Civil War and a battle with his former ally Iron Man. However, there were a ton of fun stories in Captain America's past to choose from for a lighter tone. Captain America: Madbomb was possibly the best of those type of stories. The Madbomb itself was a device that caused chaos when it was set off in New York City. Captain America and Falcon had to then set out to find the bomb, unravel a conspiracy, and save the world.
6 Captain America: No More
Captain America: No More was a 24-issue storyline that started when Captain America did the unthinkable—he shot an attacker dead in a public situation and sentiment started to turn against him. New heroes started to step up and believed they could replace him, including G.I. Max, Nike, and Super Patriot.
When the U.S. government determined that the costume, shield, and symbol belonged to them, Steve Rogers was ordered to be a government agent and only answer to them. Just like in Secret Empire, Cap quit, and this time came back as The Captain while the future U.S. Agent became the new Captain America.
5 Operation Rebirth
Captain America dying at the end of the Civil War story was not the only time that he died. Cap also died back in the 90s, but he also came back from the dead then as well. The world was mourning his death when he was brought back to life by none other than Sharon Carter, his former girlfriend that he thought was dead.
What made this return so interesting is that it was Red Skull who brought his old enemy back from the grave to help him stop America's WWII enemies in one of the strangest team-ups of all-time. The Cosmic Cube is also involved, and this helped revitalize Cap for a new generation.
4 The Strange Death of Captain America
This was a new era for Captain America. While fans today know that he is more than just an All-American super soldier, at one point that was it for Steve, and he was always a quite boring character. With this run, Cap became a super spy as much as he was a superhero and it brought something new and interesting to his comics. It also ended with the death of Steve Rogers—which led to the aforementioned Operation Rebirth storyline. This run also included Madame Hydra, someone that would have been great as part of the movie world and a new Bucky in Rick Jones.
3 Second Secret Empire
The second Secret Empire is nothing like the first, and it is one of the most polarizing comic book series of all-time, mostly due to the fact that people judged it based on how it started without a clue how it would wrap up the story. It is almost comical that Avengers: Endgame poked the critics with a stick when Cap muttered those controversial words in the movie—"Hail, HYDRA."
Of course, in the end, Secret Empire showed that Steve Rogers was a sleeper agent all along and helped create a new world power with HYDRA in control. For people who believed that Cap was a traitor and Marvel was dismissing years of his character, they just need to finish the series to see that everything was a lie created by the villain Kobik—but the entire series got the world talking.
2 Secret Avengers
When it comes to Captain America stories that will never see life in a movie, this is the only one that actually could still theoretically happen. That is because the Secret Avengers is a team led by old man Steve Rogers after his aging was accelerated in the main Marvel timeline. Now, there is the fact that the team with Cap, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and Black Widow from Avengers: Infinity War was technically Secret Avengers.
With that said, the team led by Commander Steve Rogers included names like Black Widow, who is dead now, Beast, a character to whom Marvel just re-acquired the rights, Valkyrie, who is very different in MCU, and Moon Knight, who has yet to be introduced into the MCU. It would be amazing.
1 Castaway In Dimension Z
Now, one of the most bizarre Captain America stories that never would have made it to a movie even if Steve Rogers was still going strong is Castaway in Dimension Z. This sees Captain America transported to another world and sends the blue-blood superhero into a pulp-adventure sci-fi-fantasy realm where he has to battle to survive in a world with nothing left to fight for. The villain here is Arnim Zola, who runs Dimension Z and conducts scientific experiments on children. Steve Rogers ends up there because Zola wants the super soldier serum to give to his "children." Cap is then there for 12 years, although time passes differently there. This might be the weirdest Captain America story ever.