Captain America—Steve Rogers again—breaks into the warehouse the Red Skull had been using as a hideout and finds it deserted except for a raven. The bird presses a button with its beak, turning on a viewscreen with a videotaped message from the Red Skull. The villain tells Cap that April 30, 1975 (four months away) will be the 30th anniversary of the death of Adolf Hitler, and on that day the Skull shall have his revenge, destroying the United States of America. Leaving the building, Cap comes face-to-face with several news crews, wanting an interview with the newly-returned hero. After reluctantly speaking to the media he continues toward Sam Wilson’s apartment to check up on his inured partner. He is admitted by a hostile Leila, but Sam welcomes him and insists on joining him on their mission to the Capitol in Washington DC as the Skull had let him know the time and place of their next meeting. Though everyone seems to think that Cap’s abandoning of his identity in favor of Nomad was a mistake, Cap regards it as a necessary regaining of perspective on his mission.
The next day in DC, Captain America and the Falcon arrive at the Capitol to find a large crowd has gathered to welcome the return of the great national hero. A limousine pulls up and government official Herbert Glass emerges from the car for his appointment with some Senators. To his surprise, his car radio turns itself on, playing Chopin’s Funeral March; suddenly the Red Skull descends with a jet pack and sprays his Dust of Death in Glass’ face. Cap leaps forward and engages his foe, who jets high into the sky with Cap holding on. The Skull forces Cap to let go and the Falcon grabs his partner and lowers him to the Capitol dome. The Skull descends briefly to reveal the name of his next victim, and then jets away. Returning to the crowd, the heroes discover Glass dead, his flesh shrunken into the form of a red skull. Cap goes over to visit Sharon and finds her angry and bitter at his resumption of the Captain America identity without consulting her.
The Red Skull’s next intended victim is retired admiral G. Lawton Sargent, who lives in a converted lighthouse. Cap and the Falcon are there and SHIELD has sent Peggy Carter and Gabe Jones to join them. During a private moment together, Peggy reveals that she realizes times have changed and that she must move on with her life. Later, as she patrols outside, she is jumped by the Red Skull and fights back but the villain gets away. She and Cap head back into the house to check on their charge. Knowing the Red Skull is nearby, Cap locks himself, the Falcon, Peggy, and Gabe in the room with Sargent. Suddenly they hear Chopin’s Funeral March and the lights go out. When Cap manages to light a candle, they discover Sargent dead, a victim of the Dust of Death. But how was he killed?