Sitting alone in a secure hideout, Steve Roger holds his pencil in hand and tries to draw. He tries to focus only on drawing and nothing else, but his mind continues to race back and forth over his long history. Steve’s mind keeps returning to the fact that he has no home, and now he has no one he can trust. Solemnly, he thinks of the irony that the world has turned against him, yet he should have died sixty years earlier. He remembers the Avengers pulling him from the ice, and wishes they’d have left him there as a symbol of peace instead of him becoming a war criminal.
Sitting alone in the darkness, looking over the blank page, he thinks that he should write a book, explaining himself in his own words. He wonders why he stopped drawing in the first place, something that made him happy. Thinking it was because the people needed Captain America, he decides instead that Steve Rogers needs Captain America. These thoughts bring Captain America around to the reason he was trying to draw in the first place. America wants their heroes to be puppets of corporate America, instead of remaining the only thing left keeping them truly free. Steve gets angrier as he decides that the people simply don’t care. Believing that wrong, he decides instead that the people care, it’s just that they want to be comfortable, not safe.
Steve’s judgment continues, until he forces himself to stop. He decides he needs sleep so that he can focus. He then realizes if he could focus, he would have heard them coming long ago. Steve jumps up to find himself surrounded by Capekillers.
With a quick, fluid movement Captain America grabs his shield and flings it into his attackers. Steve remembers that these Capekillers were specially trained to take him, and other superheroes, down. Given technology by Steve’s former friend, Tony Stark. Taking his shield back, he tells the Capekillers that before they get hurt, they should return to their masters and tell them they failed. The Capekillers quickly open fire. As Steve smashes his fist into a soldier’s helmet, he feels bad for these kids. They’re just being good soldiers.
Using one of the Capekillers as a human shield, he deflects most of the bullets. One however, finds its mark in his shoulder. As the bullets continue to fly, Captain America uses his shield to take out more of the Capekillers. Working past the pain in his shoulder, Steve steals one of the soldier’s guns and fires.
He springs toward the remaining soldiers and takes them down one by one in close combat. As he puts the gun against a soldier’s helmet, another slams his fist into Steve’s wounded shoulder, causing him to let go of the captive.
Quickly he takes down the man that hurt him, smashing his helmet and driving him to the ground. Steve repeats that the Capekillers don’t even know what they’re fighting for. The soldier hits the ground and removes his helmet.
Sitting there among the flames and wreckage of Captain America’s battle against the Capekillers is Dum Dum Dugan. The SHIELD agent asks Captain America to finish it, or else he’ll have to take Steve in. Cap realizes that out of three thousand agents SHIELD sent a friend. Captain America grabs Dum Dum’s communicator and tells SHIELD Command that he is Dugan and that Captain America is dead. Captain America decides that he’s got mere minutes before they realize what just happened.
Later, Captain America wakes with the Falcon looking down at him. Confused and disoriented, he realizes he doesn’t know where he is. Steve tells Falcon that he doesn’t even remember coming there. Cap immediately becomes suspicious, asking the Falcon how he knows about this place. The Falcon looks at him as he tells Cap that he took him there once. Captain America becomes angry and demands that the Falcon removes his mask.
The Falcon takes off his mask, revealing Sam Wilson. Captain America doesn’t relax, however, instead demanding to know the name of ‘the girl that time.’ Sam answers correctly and then tries to understand what’s going on. Before Cap explains, Steve wonders how long he was out. The Falcon tells him that he’d just gotten there. Next Cap desperately asks if Sam had signed it. Sam asks if Steve’s insane. Captain America explains that there have been some surprises, to which the Falcon explains that Tony Stark was always a sellout.
Steve tries to get information on what’s going on. Falcon explains that SHIELD came to his house looking for Cap, and then wonders how long they’d be safe in this hideout. Steve tells him that it’s one of Nick Fury’s old hideouts. Cap assumes he came here looking for Fury.
He pries open a box with equipment for passports and fake IDs along with money. Falcon wonders if Steve wants to leave the country. Cap dismisses the idea and asks if Falcon is with him. Sam tells him that Cap has never needed to ask that. Captain America explains that they’re going to fight back. When Sam explains that he’s down with it, Captain America explains it’s going to get bloody. The Falcon tells Steve that he’s not worried about today, but tomorrow
Sam explains that he’s worried about when the fighting is all over. No matter who wins they’ll have been fighting their friends. He explains that he’s worried about Dr. Doom or one of the villains who escaped from the Raft and having no one left to fight them. Captain America decides that that will simply have to be tomorrow’s problem. The two heroes suit up and are ready to go put together a team.
The two watch from high above New York City as Spider-Man swings toward Avengers Tower. Captain America looks on disappointed. The Falcon is surprised, saying that he always thought Spider-Man would have had a lot more to lose than most of the other heroes in an event like this. Captain America explains that Spider-Man and Tony Stark have a bond. Falcon is quick to condemn Spider-Man, whereas Captain America tries to defend him, but is interrupted by gunshots. Captain America decides that they need to go down there and help whoever’s in trouble despite the risk of them being caught.
Later, Hank Pym sits in his lab watching the news as it shows Captain America and the Falcon defeating Shocker, while ignoring calls from the police for his surrender. As Hank calls the act amazing, Captain America and the Falcon slip in through the window asking for the doctor’s help.
When Hank asks for what, Captain America explains that they have to fight for their rights. The Falcon tells Hank to grab his ants and follow them. Hank explains that he’s back to working on his Giant-Man formulas. Before Hank can continue, Cap asks if Hank had signed the Registration Act. Hank explains that he didn’t keep his identity a secret anyway and that he’s with Tony all the way. The Falcon warns Hank to stay out of the way in that case. Hank tries to tell Cap that lots of people, people they both care about, are going to get hurt because Captain America is being difficult, because he won’t play ball. To that Captain America demands to know who they’d be playing ball for, and why now one can answer that.
Hank tells Captain America that he’s the linchpin in all of this. If he’d join, others would follow. Cap gets angry and reminds Hank that he was a founding member of the greatest team the world has ever seen. He tells Hank that they working for no one except the people that needed them, and now Hank is throwing it all away. The Falcon tries to get Cap to leave, but Hank stops him, telling them that he had no idea they thought that much of him. As the Falcon and Captain America leave, Cap tells Hank that he was wrong once again. As they reach the window, Hank grows and grabs the two with his outstretched arm.
Hank begs Captain America to stop this before it goes any further. Captain America gets angrier and tells Hank to stand down or else he’ll understand the difference between war and superheroes’ battles. Hank tells Cap that he never wanted to fight, and that’s what he told “them.” Hank explains he said he’d hold them there, but not fight. Falcon glares at the giant, focusing on Hank’s use of the word “them.”
Hank explains he’d never thought Captain America would come there. The Capekillers rise on the other side of the windows, with their weapons ready. Captain America and the Falcon prepare themselves for the battle ahead. As Cap flings his shield, breaking Hank’s nose, Falcon dives out the window distracting the Capekillers.
Hank extends his enormous hand trying to grab hold of the fleeing Cap, but he dodges. Captain America flings himself out the window past the Capekillers. As they fire on Cap, Falcon catches him. Using his shield, Captain America protects the two from their bullets as Falcon makes their getaway.
The Capekillers contact headquarters asking for permission to follow Cap into the city. Meanwhile, Maria Hill and a squad of SHIELD agents enter Hank’s lab. After Hank tells her that Captain America is gone, she orders the Capekillers to find him and not come home without him. She praises Dr. Pym, but he simply tells her to shut up. Hidden away outside, Falcon asks Captain America who’s next.