6. WAR & REMEMBRANCE (CAPTAIN AMERICA #247-255, 1980-1981)
Woefully brief yet absolutely brilliant, War & Remembrance featured the creative team of writer Roger Stern and superstar artist John Byrne tackling the character for the first time. The run only lasted nine issues, but the team managed to elevate some of Captain America’s goofier villains into real threats by providing more than just some thin moustache twirling motivations for them to opine about.
Batroc the Leaper, Mister Hyde, and Baron Blood were all temporarily elevated to A-list status after Stern and Byrne were finished with them. And in what became the team's single most famous moment, Byrne created one of the most memorable comic panels of all time when Cap was forced to decapitate Baron Blood using his famous shield.
While watching Nazi vampires get beheaded may sound better than a supermodel pillow fight, the real highlight of this nine-issue run was Captain America #250, where Cap briefly contemplated a Presidential run. In an era where big business was running unregulated and actors were masquerading as politicians, this issue served as succinct commentary for the state of the country at the time. It’s the perfect blend of intelligence and fantasy that makes the comic book medium one of the most unique artistic platforms around.