We all know him as the greatest enemy of Captain America, recurring through the comics since his first appearance in the thirties and figuring into both animation and live action adaptations of the character, most recently appearing in Captain America: The First Avenger.
First of all I wanna give some facts about Red Skull. He might be one of the evilest super villains out there, but he has no superpowers, which doesn’t make him powerless. He is gifted with a high level of intellect and inventive genius, and is a highly gifted subversive strategist and political operative.At one point, Red Skull’s mind inhabited a body cloned from Captain America’s, which possessed the mutagenic alterations induced by the Super-Soldier Formula. He was thus endowed with a body that was in perfect physical condition, with strength, speed, durability, agility, dexterity, reflexes, coordination, balance, and physical endurance that exceeded that of any Olympic athlete who ever performed.While sharing Alexander Lukin’s body, he lost his superhuman abilities. Since then he resides in one of the android bodies engineered by Arnim Zola, with enhanced endurance and resilience.
Being Red Skull isn’t that easy I think, you have to be evil to be yourself. And you know what they say, be your best self, so for Red Skull that means be as evil as possible. Here are some of the evilest acts that Red Skull has done.
He attacked Las Vegas
Red Skull was still making trouble after his HYDRA Island army splintered after their defeat. He migrated to Las Vegas, where an underground faction of HYDRA believers were organizing under Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Red Skull shows up, and is reasonably threatened by Kingpin’s rise in the HYDRA ranks. However, before Kingpin can take control, Red Skull finds a Sleeper robot and uses it to wreak havoc on the city.
At this point there’s no escaping the wanton destruction from the brainless Sleeper. Red Skull and his robotic armageddon machine crushes the city and kills hundreds with the help of a poisonous gas. Red Skull says he will only stop if Captain America surrenders to him. Cap refuses and with the help of other Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and a few of Kingpin’s men, they take him down. Captain America triggers an explosion inside of the Sleeper and the robot explodes, with Red Skull barely escaping with his life.
HIJACKING PROFESSOR X
Red Skull mysteriously returns and assembles a team called the S-Men. Red Skull’s S-Men attack Rogue and Scarlet Witch at the grave of Professor X and steal his body. In his hideout, Red Skull is then seen removing Professor X’s brain in a plot to “eradicate the mutant menace”. This Red Skull is revealed to be a clone of the original, created by Arnim Zola in 1942 and held in cryogenic stasis in the event that Germany lost the war. Fusing part of Professor X’s brain with his own, Red Skull brainwashes Scarlet Witch as part of a plot to wipe out the world’s mutant population. Rogue attacks the Scarlet Witch and they fight until they both discover the lobotomized body of Professor X. Red Skull arrives and reveals that he has fused his brain with Professor X’s brain. Using Professor X’s telepathy, Red Skull provokes ordinary citizens of New York into a mass assault against even potential mutants, even managing to take control of Thor. However, his telepathy is still erratic with Red Skull being unable to completely control Captain America and an attack against him by Wolverine cutting off his right hand and disrupting his powers long enough for Rogue and Scarlet Witch to break free. The team ultimately force Red Skull to retreat after Rogue manages to temporarily disrupt his powers.
ENSLAVED S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENTS
Red Skull kills Roscoe. He also revives the use of his “dust of death”. Red Skull later fights Doctor Doom on the moon but is defeated. With Arnim Zola, Red Skull seeks to transplant Hitler’s brain into Captain America’s body. He transforms a number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into his skull-faced slaves. Red Skull teams with the Hate-Monger, a clone of Hitler, and traps him in the Cosmic Cube. The Skull leads the Nihilist Order for a brief time. Establishing a Nazi colony on a deserted island, Red Skull fathers a daughter who would eventually become known as Mother Superior.
VINTAGE MASS MURDER
Any super villain worth their salt has dabbled in violent crime, but not every super villain has as many instances of mass murder as the subject of this list does. However, for this entry, the focus will be on Red Skull’s original war crimes perpetrated during World War II. In “Tales of Suspense” #66, Red Skull has a leisurely conversation with a captive Captain America about his rise under Hitler’s regime. After his initial transformation from Johann Schmidt to Red Skull, he went on a murder spree in every town that the Nazis razed to the ground.
Because of his unique mask, the Red Skull became Hitler’s greatest propaganda tool during the war. He took a machine gun to fleeing villagers, crying “Wherever there was injustice, tyranny, ruthlessness, Red Skull was there, leading the attack upon the weak and the helpless.” There isn’t an official body count associated with this time, but readers can probably be assured it’s very, very high.
THE ASSAULT OF ESTHER
As a young man, Schmidt was from time to time employed by a Jewish shopkeeper, whose daughter Esther was the only person who had treated Schmidt kindly up to that point. Seized with passion for Esther, Schmidt tried to force himself upon her, only for her to reject him. In unthinking fury, Schmidt murdered her. Schmidt fled the scene in terror but also felt ecstatic joy in committing his first murder. In killing Esther, he had given vent to the rage at the world that had been building up in him throughout his young life.