You guys can all remember the basics from last week. Captain America and Bucky beat up Baron Zemo, Baron Zemo launches a missle with the two of them attached and then Uatu shows up to tell you how much watching he enjoys watching things. (Spoilers: It is a lot.)
So this time around, Cap and Bucky manage to catch up to the missile. Welcome to a chilling alternate reality where motorcycles are slightly faster and Ghost Rider is unstoppable. *Shiver* Anyway, Cap and Bucky defuse the missile, landing it safely and escaping with their lives not frozen. Good times.
Meanwhile, Baron Zemo escapes in a rocket ship that promptly explodes and returns to his boss, the Red Skull. Red Skull is flat out chilling like an anti-semitic nazi pimp in his solid gold Bone Throne (So named because it is made of solid gold bones, not because it is a solid gold throne that he bones in. Although he might.) waiting for the good word that Zemo has finally killed that accursed Captain America. When he finds out that Zemo hasn’t killed accursed anyone, he shoots Zemo and kicks him down a staircase. What a monster. Oddly, he also takes a few minutes to explain to a lackie that he hasn’t actually killed Zemo, he’s only been shot with a new, highly experimental Put-Somebody-To-Sleep-In-The-Basement-For-Roughly-Twenty-Years-Anator. Bet that won’t come up again. His great foe/former employee safely stashed downstairs, Skull blows up the castle and fucks off out of the story, leaving his nazi legions to die. What a dick.
Time passes and Captain America and Bucky (Now called Buck for some terrible reason.) are fighting Commies and Hydra in the sixties, taking time only to mention in passing how tragic it was that Nick Fury is dead. Seems a grenade landed a little close to his left. Seriously. That is hilarious. Anyway, President Johnson calls Cap into his office and offers him a position as head of SHIELD*. “I was going to give it to Nick Fury,” says Johnson. “But he’s been dead for ten years.” Cap declines but suggests they offer Buck the job.
Unfortunately, Buck only keeps the job for about ten minutes before everyone gets randomly attacked by the Hulk (Hulk attacks are almost routine in the Marvel Universe at this point. There’s a guy on the radio every morning telling you if it’s safe to be an army guy in the desert or not.). The Hulk attack goes disasterously as Cap is knocked out and it’s up to Buck to save everyone’s favorite teenage asshole Rick Jones from getting buildinged in the face. Guys, I think I hate Rick Jones.
So Rick recovers back at SHIELD HQ**, and Buck tells Cap that it might be time for him to hang up the old cowl with little wings on it. Cap tells him it’s not so easy being Captain America and Buck replies that heading SHIELD ain’t so simple either. They then swap jobs for a week. Unfortunately for everyone, Rick wakes up in time to hear all of this and blackmails his way into being the new Buck. Except they just call him Rick. Finally, a super hero with a lamer name than the Whizzer.
So basically everything starts working out. Bucky Cap’s doing a great job fighting Hydra and hooking up with attractive spy person Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers: Director of SHIELD is actually digging being in charge of a bunch of awesome spies.. It’s almost as if we could have completely skipped over the whole Bucky: Agent of SHIELD thing. But, of course that would be ridiculous.
Bucky Cap and Steve mount one final push on Hydra and its mysterious hooded boss, the Supreme Hydra. No idea who that guy could possibly. Oh, wait, no, it’s the basement liberated Baron Zemo, driven mad by his years of starving to death in an exploded french castle. Bucky, Steve and Sharon slip in to Hydra headquarters in disguise but are quickly revealed for spies when a lonely Hydra agent notices the way the uniform clings to Sharon. It’s like Metal Gear Solid all over again but with less stupid war fetishing and implied vagina hiding.
A fight breaks out and Zemo shoots Bucky before Cap knocks him into a pit of lava, which is pretty high up on the list of cool ways to kill old nazis. Unfortunately, and twenty years late, Bucky finally dies. His last words: “I should have known there was only one Captain Americuuuuuuuuhh.” Jesus, Steve. A last “Hey, you did okay, pal.” before he died wouldn’t have been out of order. Dick.
So, at a funeral in the rain, Sharon chews out Cap for training Bucky back in WWII***, and Steve wanders around his secret Captain America museum, wondering what if he did the right thing. Then Rick bursts in in his Bucky costume and tells Steve that he, Rick, wants to be Captain America. So yes, Steve. It WAS all for nothing.
*Strategic Headquarters for Intelligence, Espionage and Lion Defense, true believers!
**It stands for HeadQuarters, dumb ass!
***Seriously? World War 2. It was a big deal. Ask your grampa.