As whacky as it may sound, everyone’s favorite shielded super soldier, Captain America, actually once took on Nazi Transformers.
Captain America is known for punching Nazis, and sometimes those Nazis come in all different shapes and sizes… shapes and sizes that change. As whacky as it may sound, everyone’s favorite shielded super soldier actually once took on secret Nazi Transformers – yes, really.
The tale was originally published in the mid-60s as three separate issues; Tales of Suspense #72: The Sleeper Shall Awake, Tales of Suspense #73: Where Walks the Sleeper, and Tales of Suspense #74: The Final Sleep. The story was reprinted again in 1972 as one collection under the title Captain America Annual Vol 1 #2. Like some of the best comics to ever come out of Marvel, this Captain America adventure was written by Stan Lee with art from the ever amazing Jack Kirby.
When Captain America has a nightmare about Red Skull, he finally makes the connection between what Red Skull said as his final words during their last WWII encounter about “Der Tag,” which is German for The Day. Cap realizes “Der Tag” is in reference to a day twenty years after the war where Nazis in hiding will awaken their special sleeper agents, and that day is today. He opens a metal box that he took from Red Skull twenty years prior and finds the names of three different Nazi sleeper agents. Cap attempts to stop the first sleeper, but by the time he arrives the sleeper has already awoken a massive robot hidden behind a boulder, and the robot goes on a rampage. Unable to damage the massive robot, Cap follows it to the location of the second sleeper agent.
Captain America arrives in the town of Telbeck to find the second sleeper agent has killed herself in an explosion in order to awaken the second robot. This second robot flies through the air shaped like a giant manta ray, and, just like the first, is impervious to Cap’s attacks. Upon discovering that this second Sleeper is also unable to be defeated, Cap decides to hop on board and hitch a ride. It’s at this moment we see the first transformation of the Sleepers, as the first and second robot combine together, providing the first now with the ability of flight as they form a mega bot. While heading to the next sleeper agent, a NATO airstrike hits the bot, forcing Cap to ditch the ride, and unfortunately at the same time, the final sleeper agent gets what they need to activate the final robot.
Cap finds himself in a NATO camp, but luckily, with the help of General Logan, he is able to explain the situation and convince them to help. However, at this same time, the Nazis find the third robot, a giant flying robotic Red Skull head. This Red Skull head combines with the other two robots to transform into its final form (although the head placement is a bit odd).
This now final Super-Sleeper sets its course for the North Pole, with plans to fire a super laser directly into the Earth’s core, which in turn will destroy the entire planet. Thankfully, Cap is always willing to put the lives of everyone else before his own and is flown to the robot, where he drops on top holding a flamethrower. With this flamethrower, Cap is able to damage the components of the evil robot enough to send it hurtling towards the ocean and saving the world, which is very reminiscent of how Cap got frozen in the ice to begin with.
While it might not be as fun as Captain America going toe to toe with a literal Nazi Optimus Prime, this definitely helps to scratch that itch a little. And, if anything, at least one gets to see Cap wielding a flamethrower while fighting giant robots.