Top 10 Captain America vs. Foreigner Beat-Downs

A column article, Top Ten by: The Comics Bulletin All-Stars

Symbol of imperialism or great action hero, Captain America loves to get into fights. And some of his very greatest battles have been against some of the most outrageous foreign foes of any hero. So let's celebrate some of Cap's greatest beat-downs of those freaky foreigners!



10. Captain America vs. Mexico
by Maxwell Yezpitelok

In this classic story by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Cap and Bucky are sent on a special mission to Mexico to rescue a fellow American who has apparently been captured by bandits. Sombrero-wearing, "Ay caramba!" shouting bandits. But news travels fast in Mexico, despite the fact that (judging by this story) the country has no electricity whatsoever and the only method of transportation is horses. This, of course, is inaccurate (there's also donkeys).

Cap and Bucky go into Mexico also by horse, probably figuring that a car or any other type of civilized vehicle would draw too much attention. Unfortunately they happen to be dressed in brightly colored, star spangled costumes including ridiculous shorts and are eventually ambushed by the aforementioned bandits, just as they were robbing villagers out of their beloved dollar-sign bags. Captain America solves this predicament by punching some Mexicans, then goes about investigating his countryman's disappearance by punching some more Mexicans. In the meantime he runs into some sort of she-bandit who claims to be the leader of a gang, even though she's a woman! That's the craziest part in the whole book.

Anyway, Cap, Bucky and the woman are later captured by some sort of thuggish military type, who I'm assuming is the President of Mexico. Just as they are about to be executed they are saved by Yafata, the most feared and most legendary of all the bandits, who swiftly defeats the President, thus singlehandedly destroying an entire government. As Yafata and the she-bandit make out, Bucky notices that Yafata's fake moustache is coming off. Cap deduces that Yafata must be the missing American in disguise, because a real Mexican cannot not have a moustache. That is seriously how the story ends.

(Actually, we were short one entry so we borrowed this story from a 1966 issue of Fighting American by Simon and Kirby. But, you know, same difference.)

9. Captain America vs. Yellow Claw
by Danny Djeljosevic

In the '60s, Stan Lee and company had a tendency to bring back forgotten characters from the Timely and Atlas period of the company, albeit in new and exciting reinterpretations (see: Namor, the Vision). The Yellow Claw was a Mandarin-like supervillain from the 1950s that resurfaced more than a decade later, but in pretty much the same racially suspect form. I'd like to think that Cap beat him savagely out of a dislike for stereotypes.

8. Captain America vs. Flag-Smasher
by Jamil Scalese

This guy would probably hate someone calling him a foreign villain. Flag-Smasher can't really argue he's a bad guy. He's pretty brutal in the methods he uses, but he'd fundamentally debate the meaning of the word of "foreign". The Swiss-born anarchist believes that the concept of nation and loyalty to a country are obsolete and that mankind needs to unite under a single banner. He makes for a different kind of opponent for Captain America, one who doesn't necessary hate what America represents but simply hates the fact that it someone has the gall represent it.

Most other villains on this list represent a strong national hostility with America or the Captain. However, Flag-Smasher and his group of radical followers represent the lack of nationalism and the eradication of national identity in order to put everyone on equal ground. In a twisted way I agree with Flag-Smasher, except I don't goaround hitting people with a giant mace to get my point across.

7. Captain America vs. Batroc the Leaper
by Nick Hanover

Batroc the Leaper, or Batroc ze Lepair, is a gross stereotype of hilarious proportions, complete with a hideous costume and a moustache that's so hilarious only Turner D. Century could top it. But Batroc is also a French mercenary who specializes in the kickboxing art form savate, long making him a thorn in Cap's side, albeit a mostly comedic one.

It's that combination of French superiority and ridiculousness that makes this page from Jack Kirby such a giddy pleasure. Across 9 incredible panels, Kirby offers up one of Captain America's finest moments and undoubtedly the best example of the phenomenon of Captain America punching foreigners. Not to go hyperbolic, but it's quite possible that this page is the most patriotic piece of sequential art of all-time, an excitable bit of national wish fulfillment where the ultimate symbol of the American dream beats the absolute crap out of a parody of what is already the world's most easy comedic target of a nation. This is the kind of thing that should be broadcast on the Fourth of July on a constant loop while "America- Fuck Yeah!" plays in the background.

6. Ultimate Captain America vs. the Liberators
by David Wallace

The climax of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's Ultimates 2 threw the audience something of a curveball. Having built up the major threat of the series as being a traitor from within the ranks of the Ultimates, the cliffhanger to issue #9 saw the other shoe drop. The 'wolf in the fold' (who turned out to be the so-obvious-it-couldn't-be-her Black Widow) was misdirection all along: the real threat was an entire team of foreign superhumans, intent on taking down America in the wake of Loki's successful attempt to sow dissent among the team.

And which character was able to turn the tide, overcome seemingly unbeatable odds, and save the country (and perhaps the world)? Ultimate Captain America.

With the support of the rest of the team (as well as most of the Ultimate universe's other heroes), Cap was able to turn the tables on the 'Liberators', culminating in a hand-to-hand battle with Abdul al-Rahman--essentially Captain Iran--in a fight to the death. Whilst it appeared on a surface level to be the usual bombastic superhero clash, it also raised questions about just how laudable the Ultimates' actions had been, and whether the 'Liberators' were simply the natural reaction to a superpower like America throwing its weight around by deploying 'persons of mass destruction' in foreign conflicts. As such, it stands as one of the more original and thought-provoking Captain America battles of recent years.

5. Captian America vs. Al-Tariq
by Danny Djeljosevic

Al-Tariq is hardly an iconic character in the Captain America mythos, but he's an important one: in Captain America's "New Deal" story arc John Ney Rieber and John Cassaday took a page from '40s comics and had Captain America fight villains corresponding to real-world events. Instead of monstrous Nazis and vampire-like Japanese people, Cap tries to fight Jihad itself. The foreigner in this case isn't the terrorist leader Al-Tariq -- not really, at least. The foreign invader in Cap's 2D adventures is real-life politics -- as gray and unpunchable as they can get.

4. Captain America vs. Adolf Hitler
by Jamil Scalese

I've always been fascinated that Captain America broke into this world by punching Adolf Hitler right in the face. The cover of Captain America Comics #1 debuted nearly a year before the U.S.A. entered what would be known as the Second World War and set a precedence not only for the character, but also the yet-to-exist Marvel brand and the real world roots it still enjoys today. While I think Nazis are the most played-out fictional villains ever, I can't deny I love that Cap faced off with Hitler before most of the world had the guts to.

3. Ultimate Captain America versus Russian Super Soldier (Ultimate Red Guardian)
by Tristram Taylor

The Ultimates track a destructive signal broadcasted to the Tunguska wasteland in Russia. Once there they discover an abandoned complex which used to house a Soviet super soldier program created in response to Captain America himself. Deep within the facility they find a man who had been waiting decades for this very encounter. Though his name is never actually given, it's pretty obvious from the costume that this is the Ultimate Red Guardian. He was created over half a century earlier for one purpose: to kill Captain America. Instead he was trapped underground with nothing to do but fight and eat the other failed experiments.

He never gave up hope that he would get his chance, however, and he kept himself fit and equipped with a shield made from human remains. As luck would have it, he finally gets the chance to take on the man he was created to destroy and the good Captain, recognizing this dark reflection of himself, obliges him to a one on one fight. What results is brutal fight to the death. Naturally, the good Captain emerges victorious, stating "Fighting is about winning." after delivering the final blow.

2. Captain America vs. Baron Zemo
by Danny Djeljosevic

There are many variations of the gaudy Nazi supervillain Baron Zemo. For one thing, he can be Helmut Zemo or Heinrich Zemo. There's also a question of whether your preferred Baron Zemo is "guy with form-fitting purple mask and leopard spotted boa" or "guy with bag on his head." If I were a Nazi supervillain (be nice) about to get punched by a guy with wings on his head, I'd like to go out in style. Bring that feather boa. I bet that bag-mask flies off real easy.

1. Captain America vs. Baron Blood
by Justin Carmona

Captain America has been battling various incarnations of the vampire Baron Blood since World World II when the Super Soldier was a fighting member of The Invaders. And don't let the goofy costume fool you, Baron Blood has been a formidable foe for the shield slinging Avenger for decades.

But that all came to an end for the British aristocratic vampire when Cap had no choice but to end Blood's murderous killing spree once and for all by taking his shield and using it to brutally decapitate the wicked Baron! If that wasn't enough, Captain America made sure that the bloodthirsty creature would never rise from the dead again by burning his head and body separately from each other and scattering the ashes in different locations. That is stone-cold hard-core, Captain!

Is it too much to hope for wanting to see Cap kill the Twilight vampires in his next sequel?

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