He's best known for revolutionizing the X-Men and reinventing Superman in Man of Steel, but John Byrne also had an incredible, albeit brief, run on Captain America in the early 1980s. Teaming up with writer Roger Stern, Byrne captured the classic look of the character that Jack Kirby introduced in the ‘60s, but he also brought along a style all his own.

Byrne was known for portraying superheroes at their most idealistic, but with Cap he added a great sense of torment and pain to the art. From solemnly contemplating America’s political landscape, to painfully deciding to decapitate Baron Blood in self-defense, Byrne’s Cap was a tortured soul underneath his glossy exterior. That added a layer of depth to the character that other writers and artists would build off of for the next few decades.

There is no telling just how great Byrne could have been on the character if editorial disputes had not prematurely ended his run, but the work that did come out shows a rendition of the character that has rarely been topped.