Fallen Son: the Death of Captain America #1

Issue Date: 
June 2007
Story Title: 
Chapter 1: Wolverine: Denial

Jeph Loeb (writer), Leinil Yu (pencils), Dave McCaig (color/digital inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Alejandro Arbona (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor), Tom Brevoort (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
FROM AN IDEA BY: J. Michael Strazynski

Brief Description: 

Wolverine is in denial of the fact that Captain America is dead. He meets up with the Winter Soldier in an abandoned, former SHIELD recruitment office where they discuss Logan’s plan to find out the truth. However, Winter Soldier has his own agenda and refuses to cooperate, though he does with Logan good luck on his quest. Logan next travels to Hell’s Kitchen, where he convinces Daredevil to cooperate. They also enlist the aid of Doctor Strange, who uses his magic skills to make Wolverine and Daredevil invisible to the detectors on board of the SHIELD Helicarrier, where Cap’s body is being held in a guarded room. However, Logan takes a little detour and interrogates the villain Crossbones in his cell. Logan thinks Crossbones is responsible for the shot that killed Cap, but Crossbones claims he took a shot, but not the one that ended Steve Rogers’ life. Crossbones also suffers from a memory loss, and doesn’t even know who really shot Cap or who he was working for that day. Logan gives Crossbones a punch in the face, and then continues on to see Cap. However, by the time he arrives, the time limit for Dr. Strange’s illusion is almost up and Daredevil wants to leave. Logan thanks Murdock for his help and finally makes it to the room Cap’s casket is in. As he sniffs the body and identifies it, Iron Man and Yellowjacket appear behind Logan. Stark confirms it’s really Cap in there, and he too feels sorry for having lost perhaps his best friend ever. Logan notices Cap’s shield isn’t with him, meaning Stark could be replacing Cap, though he gets not answer. Hank wants to arrest Logan, but Stark instead lets him go, because he wants him to tell the renegade Avengers, and all the other heroes who still believed Cap is alive, the truth. Logan leaves, but not before giving Stark a final warning that, if he finds out he had something to do with Cap’s murder… he’ll kill him.

Full Summary: 

Sam’s barbershop. Lower East Side, New York City…
In a former barbershop, now closed with planks boarding up its windows, are two people talking. One of the two states that he doesn’t buy it. To this, the other, someone with a metal arm and doing his best to pull a stuck lever, replies that he doesn’t want to argue about this. He was there and saw him get shot. There is no denying it. The other person, holding an adamantium claw against his chin, still disagrees. He thinks maybe his companion was a witness there for a reason. After all, Nick Fury told him to be there. Maybe the kid just saw what they wanted him to see. The kid strongly points out that nobody wanted to see that. He thinks his friend doesn’t get it… it was the death of Captain America.

Wolverine plays with a shard of claws and makes scratches on it with his claw. He explains that things aren’t always what they seem, as this place used to be a barbershop. It all stinks of spooks to him. Wolverine’s companion, the Winter Soldier, who is sitting in a barber’s chair and struggling with the chair lift lever, asks if that’s why Logan wanted him to meet him there. He can’t even imagine what this place was like, back in the day. Someone came in there for a haircut, and some operative presses a button, and whoosh, you’re sent down to a SHIELD office below the street. He jokes somebody was reading too much James Bond novels.

Winter soldier manages to finally pull the lever but much to his surprise the chair immediately and rapidly descends to a lower level. Taken by surprise, Logan calls out to the Soldier and, looking down into the level below, asks if he’s okay. Luckily he is and Logan jumps down after him. He sees the Soldier lying on the ground and asks the kid if he can help him with something. “Yeah,” Winter Soldier says, “you can stop calling me kid.” Logan points out that’s how he remembers the soldier… as a kid. That’s how everybody and their grandmother remembers the Soldier. He was Bucky, Captain America’s sidekick back in World War Two. Kids all around the world dreamed of just meeting Cap, and there Bucky was in his dandy red-and-blues, fighting alongside the living legend. And everyone remembers how Bucky died.

Many years ago…
Bucky jumped on a plane with explosives on it that had just risen up. Captain America jumped after him.

The Winter Soldier reminds Wolverine he wasn’t the only one people thought had died that day. The world also lost Cap back then. “Exactly,” Wolverine exclaims, and there he is, alive and stuff. And after digging Cap out of a block of ice, he survived as well. All Logan is saying is, that this isn’t the first time the world thought Captain America was gone. The Winter Soldier demands to know what Logan wants from him.

Wolverine knows that people say Cap is dead. Seems to him that the next step is to identify the body. The Soldier realizes Wolverine plans to go up there, right into the lion’s mouth, and wants him to come along. Logan confirms, but the Soldier doesn’t want to be included in this because he has his own agenda. “Suit yourself,” Wolverine concludes. Before Logan leaves, the Soldier wants one favor. If Logan does see Steve… he wants Logan to say “hi” for him. Logan disappears in the shadows, leaving the Winter Soldier alone in the underground place he just found.

Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, night…
Daredevil jumps gracefully from rooftop to rooftop. To himself, he remarks how quiet the city is, but believes that’s naturally when they lose on of their own. Suddenly, Wolverine jumps through a wall and attacks Daredevil. Despite the swiftness of the attack, Daredevil effortlessly avoids it with a backflip. Casually saying Wolverine’s name in a greeting, Daredevil asks if he thought he could sneak up on him. He could smell the beer on Logan’s breath four blocks.

Daredevil throws his billy club at Logan but he blocks it with his claws, actually impaling it. In reply to Daredevil, Logan says that word is that he’s got two or three other guys running around in his costume and had to know if he was talking to the real Daredevil. Wolverine explains he’s going to take a look at Cap’s body, and Daredevil’s heightened senses could come in handy at peeling back the truth. Daredevil takes his billy club back, and answers that people die. Logan of all people should know that. He’s certain they’ll be arrested on sight and wonders how Logan is planning to get around all that. Logan smirks that he’s got a guy.

Later, at the SHIELD Helicarrier, 10.000 feet above New York City…
Tony Stark, in his SHIELD uniform, finds it unacceptable what Commander Hill just told him. He’s certain their prisoner knows something. Maria reminds Tony there’s a little something called “due process” and wants to know how much longer they’re going to keep him there. Until they find the truth, Tony answers. He wants to know who their captive works for, and what they thought they’d gain by killing Captain America.

Maria and Tony go for a walk, not noticing that, around a corner, Wolverine and Daredevil are standing. Logan jokes that it turns out Daredevil isn’t the only one who’s blind around here, to which Daredevil asks that they can’t be heard either. Nearby, Dr. Strange appears in his astral form, wanting to remind the two they have ten minutes to get back here. Magic isn’t exactly science and doesn’t want them to be late. Logan asks the doc if he’s going to tag along with them, but he can’t. As it is, he’s only here in his astral form. The strain of the teleportation and cloaking spells have left his corporal host in a state of exhaustion. He again reminds them about the ten minutes, and Logan and Daredevil take off.

Daredevil sees Logan is wandering off and reminds Logan that he told him they kept Cap’s body below. To this, Logan replies simply that they’re taking a detour. Daredevil realizes what’s going on. They’re not here for Cap, but for the guy they’ve got in lockdown there. Through gritted teeth, Daredevil tells Logan that he won’t let him kill him, but Logan replies coldly that he is actually counting on that. He just wants to ask the guy some questions, and Matt is going to be the lie detector. Daredevil asks Logan didn’t just tell him, to which Logan answers Daredevil might have said “no.” Daredevil wonders why Logan doesn’t bring a telepath like Emma Frost, but Logan states this isn’t X-Men business. Besides, Daredevil’s a lawyer, too. Still, Daredevil won’t let Logan violate the prisoner’s civil rights. Logan is surprised that’s what people are calling them these days. He told Doc Strange what they needed and he gave one last trick.

They arrive in front of Cell 26, which is guarded by two soldiers. With the guards unable to see either Wolverine or Daredevil, they are able just walk inside without any trouble. And in the immense, almost completely empty room sits the villain Crossbones. Crossbones thinks Wolverine is there to do him, to which Logan wonders aloud why everyone thinks he’s here to kill Crossbones. Is it because he killed Captain America? Daredevil is surprised Crossbones can see and hear them, unlike everyone else, but Logan whispers to Daredevil that Crossbones is the only one. Daredevil whispers he now understands why Dr. Strange is so exhausted and starts listening to what Logan and Crossbones start discussing.

Crossbones confirms he took a shot at Cap, but he didn’t get the kill shot. Wolverine places a gun on a table next to Crossbones. He moves his hand towards it, mentioning he saw the news footage and that means Crossbones is an accessory. Or maybe Cap wasn’t shot at all. When Crossbones asks what the gun is for, Logan replies he borrowed it from one of the guards outside. Daredevil then also asks what the gun is for, though Wolverine ignores him. Instead, he asks Crossbones if he really thinks Cap is dead. Crossbones replies that he’d better be.

Daredevil confirms Crossbones is telling the truth. Or what he thinks is the truth. He repeats his earlier question about the gun. Still ignoring him, Wolverine tells Crossbones he knows he’s a hired assassin and asks who he was working for. Hesitant, Crossbones admits he doesn’t remember, but Logan thinks that’s a pretty weak excuse. Daredevil again listens intensely. Wolverine suggests he take a shot in the dark. He remembers Crossbones worked for the Red Skull and that he hates Cap more than anybody. He wants to know how the Skull is involved in all this. Daredevil mentions that if Crossbones can’t remember, it might be because he’s been blocked. And he also warns they haven’t got much time left, but Logan thinks it’ll be long enough.

Logan becomes angry and thinks Crossbones isn’t even the real shooter. “Yeah,” he answers. Logan adds that, when the world finds out Crossbones is too dumb to know anything… that will make him the punch line to the worst joke ever. To this, Crossbones becomes furious, and Daredevil tries to warn Logan about it, but Crossbones quickly grabs the gun and fires! Wolverine is thrown backwards as over half a dozen shots hit his head and torso. Still very much alive, though in pain from the bullet wounds, Wolverine quips that that’s what the gun was for.

A moment later, Wolverine lunges towards Crossbones, grabbing him by his throat and pushes him against a wall. He’s got until the count of three to tell him who shot Cap, he yells Daredevil tries to tell Logan not to do it, but he refuses to listen. Wolverine snikts the outer two of his claws out on either side of Crossbones’ neck, but he still won’t answer. He wants to pop out the final claw, but Daredevil holds him back, saying it’s been enough. He asks Logan if he simply thinks just because he shot at him he’s got some right to kill him? Because of self-defense? Is that why Logan brought him here? Crossbones doesn’t know anything.

Logan sheathes his claws back in, and gives Crossbones a very hard punch in his face, knocking him out. Daredevil asks Logan if he’s feeling better now that he had his pound of flesh. He warns their time is almost up and have to leave. Logan says he won’t be coming with Daredevil, who is surprised to hear this. Logan has something else and, before he asks, it’s not about Crossbones. He thanks Daredevil for helping but, Logan tells Daredevil, he has enough trouble in his own life and shouldn’t be adding his.

A few minutes after Daredevil left, in another, dark room at the Helicarrier…
Wolverine stands in front of a casket that has an American flag covered over it. Logan opens it and takes a sniff. Iron Man enters the room and confirms to Logan it’s really Cap inside the casket. Logan takes a look inside, and sees Cap lying in it, wearing his Army dress uniform. It remains quiet for a while. Iron Man realizes Logan came there to make sure Cap is dead. Stark mentions that, twelve seconds ago, Logan showed up on all their sensors. He jokes that Doctor Strange is going to have to learn he’s getting tired of this little trick. Crossbones is a mess. Tony tells Logan has been busy and wants to know if somebody came with him.

When Logan doesn’t answer, Tony says he thinks Logan is just going to have to accept that Cap is dead. Logan wonders if Stark is telling this to him, or to himself. He doesn’t see Cap’s shield in the casket. He wants to know how Stark is going to play this. Now that Steve Rogers is dead, should Captain America live on? Logan knows that’s what Stark would like to see happen.

Tony opens his helmet, revealing his face to Logan. He reminds Logan that Cap was his friend… perhaps his best one. Logan is ready to leave, but a giant hand blocks his way. The hand, belonging to Yellowjacket, wants to arrest him instead. However, Logan interrupts, informing Stark that he is going to let him go, and even give him some transport. Hank smirks Logan really thinks he can take Iron Man and every SHIELD agent outside this door right now. “Yeah,” Logan confirms, but that isn’t why Stark is going to let him go. He knows they want him to go back to the Avengers and tell them. To tell it to anyone who had hope. Those who are in denial. Luke Cage. Spidey. The other Avengers. That Stark wants Logan to tell them he has proof.

Considering this for a moment, Stark orders Hank to let Logan go, and he does as told. Logan walks outside, giving Stark one last warning. If he finds out he had anything to do with Cap’s death… he’ll kill him.

Characters Involved: 


Winter Soldier


Iron Man, Yellowjacket

Dr. Strange (in his astral form only)


Maria Hill
various SHIELD agents (all unnamed)

In flashback to World War II:
Captain America

Story Notes: 

This story takes place after the Civil War event.

Captain America was first found alive in an iceberg in Avengers (1st series) #4. Steve Rogers was assassinated in Captain America (6th series) #25.

The reason for multiple people wearing the Daredevil costume besides Matt Murdock (such as Iron Fist) is the result of Murdock’s recent problems with his secret identity. [Daredevil (2nd series) #87]

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