Real Name: Heinz Kruger
Identity/Class: Human (German, World War II era)
Occupation: German spy & assassin during World War II
Group Membership: Gestapo, Nazi party
Affiliations: Baron von Blitzschlag, Adolf Hitler, Major Kerfoot, Agent X (Cynthia Glass), several unidentified Nazi operatives
Enemies: Dr. Abraham Erskine, Steve Rogers (Captain America), Project: Rebirth, the Allied Forces of World War II
Known Relatives: Elise Kruger (wife), unidentified children
Aliases: Agent X-9, Frederick Clemson
Base of Operations: Germany
First Appearance: Captain America Comics I#1 (March, 1941)
Powers/Abilities: None, Kruger was a normal human,
skilled in espionage. He used a specially built weapon -- a gun very similar to a
Luger, capable of piercing the protective glass of an observation room.
He allegedly had a lovely singing voice and he build the most beautiful model ships.
(Captain America Comics#1/Captain America I#155 (fb) - BTS) - During World War II Kruger was a Gestapo Agent.
(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - He was Baron von Blitzschlag's friend who appreciated Heinz's singing voice.
(Marvels Project#4 (fb) - BTS) - Kruger had trained for months to pass as an American.
(Captain America I#155 (fb) - BTS/Marvels Project#4 (fb) - BTS) - Kruger was also a spy. When his superiors heard rumors about an American experiment (under Dr. Abraham Erskine) to create Super-Soldiers he was ordered to stop the project by murdering Erskine in the USA. His contact and direct superior was Major Kerfoot.
(Captain America I#109 (fb)) - A German submarine approached the USA coast near Long Island. Kruger got off the U-boat and reached the coast using a boat. There, three agents of the Fuhrer's Fifth Column waited for him. They told him about the special credentials that they had obtained to allow Kruger access to Erskine's experiment.
(Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (fb) - BTS) - Part of Erskine's formula was smuggled out by Fifth Columnists from one of Project: Rebirth's hidden facilities in New York City, but they lost it to a federal agent. Kruger and two Fifth Columnists hunted him down and stabbed him to death. The agent still managed to escape them and bumped into the frail Steve Rogers. He handed over the amulet, which had part of Erskine's formula written in spider silk on it, and told him with his dying breath to bring the amulet to a guy named Simon at the Timely Building.
(Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1) - Kruger and the two agents saw how the dead agent had handed over the amulet to Rogers and ran after him. Rogers tossed a garbage bin lid at the columnists. The big columnist deflected it into the smallest, who fell in front of a train. Kruger and the big columnist jumped on the train to follow Rogers, who hid on the roof. They had him cornered, but Rogers tackled the big columnist from the roof and fell with him into a truck loaded with chickens. Rogers succeded to deliver the amulet to Simon. Remaining on the train's roof Kruger was the sole survivor of the failed attempt to steal the amulet.
(Marvels Project#4) - Kruger met with Kerfoot, who reminded Kruger to speak English, before handing over the credentials Kruger needed to attend the experiment. Kerfoot told Kruger that he was only days away from getting his hands on Erskine's formula. Kruger would be free to murder Erskine as soon as Kerfoot had the formula. Their meeting was observed by the detective known as the Ferret, who was murdered by their handler.
Kruger went through the dossier Kerfoot had stolen from Operation: Rebirth on their test subject Steve Rogers. After reading it Kruger finally felt the urgency and weight of his mission. He burnt to file to not leave behind any evidence.
(Marvels Project#4) - Despite having access to Operation: Rebirth's facilities Kruger failed to assassinate Erskine in over a week. His handler demanded an explanation for Kruger's failure. Kruger explained that Erskine was seldomly alone and he didn't want to give away their entire operation. When his handler told him that Kerfoot had already copied the formula and that it was now up to Kruger to assassinate Erskine and stop Operation: Rebirth even if it meant turning it into a suicide mission for Kruger.
(Marvels Project#4 - BTS) - Kruger wrote a letter to his wife and asked her to tell his children that he had died a hero serving Germany.
(Captain America I#155 (fb) - BTS) - Kruger reached the place of the experiment a few hours before the start of the experiment. He succeeded in stealing the formula and passed it to Major Kerfoot by unknown means.
(Captain America I#255 (fb)/Adventures of Captain America#1) - Kruger had the identity of Special Agent Frederick Clemson, of the U.S. Ministry of the Interior.
(Adventures of Captain America#1) - Kruger's credentials certified he was there in substitution of Secretary Ickes. When he arrived he was stopped at the door by the security guards but Cynthia Glass (secretly the Red Skull's Agent X) helped him to enter.
(Captain America Comics#1/Captain America I#109 (fb)/Captain America I#255 (fb)/Captain America I#488/Marvels Project#4) - Kruger, behind a glass, attended the experiment which transformed Steve Rogers into a new man.
(Captain America Comics#1/Young Men#24 (fb) - BTS/Tales of Suspense I#63/Captain America I#109 (fb)/Captain America I#176 (fb)/Giant-Size Invaders#1 (fb)/Captain America I#215 (fb)/Captain America I#255 (fb)/Adventures of Captain America#1/Marvel Super-Heroes III#3 (fb)/Marvel Universe#1/Captain America V#25 (fb)/Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1 (fb)/Marvels Project#5) - Understanding the great importance of the experiment and of Dr. Abraham Erskine to the Allies, Kruger shot him. Erskine died seconds later.
(Captain America Comics#1) - Kruger turned his fire on the group in the observation room and hit FBI Director Grover.
(Adventures of Captain America#1) - Kruger also shot at Colonel James Fletcher and took Cynthia Glass as hostage.
(Captain America Comics I#1/Captain America Comics#59 (fb)/Tales of Suspense I#63/Captain America I#109 (fb)/ Captain America I#176 (fb)/Giant-Size Invaders#1 (fb)/Captain America I#215 (fb)/Captain America I#255 (fb)/Adventures of Captain America#1/Marvel Super-Heroes III#3 (fb)/Marvel Universe#1/Captain America V#25 (fb)/Captain America: Reborn#2) - Kruger was assaulted by Steve Rogers and overpowered by him. The Nazi was pushed into the electric Omniverter; still stunned, he touched an electric wire and was electrocuted and died.
as unidentified Gestapo agent by
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
Named as Heinz Kruger by Stan Lee in Captain America I#109.
In Kerfoot's history, Kruger was never
mentioned but it is reported that he was present at the experiment and that he died
during it. It's rather strange that Kruger passed the
formula to Kerfoot after he entered in the building of the experiment, such a
secret and protected place. Probably he stole the formula before or Kruger passed the formula to Glass who passed it to Kerfoot.
In some issues, Kruger is disguised as one of the officials, in other issues he wears street clothes.
In some of the stories, Kruger runs into the equipment and causes his own death, in other stories Kruger is pulled or punched on the Omniverter by Rogers.
In some of the stories Kruger had a mustache, in others he did not.
In Truth: Red, White, & Black#6 (fb),
Captain America recalls the events of the murder in a different way. Kruger had
another ally, Phillip Merrit, who firebombed Reintein/Erskine's laboratory.
Kruger murdered Reinstein during a press conference, after the succesfull
experiment, and he died using a cyanide capsule in his tooth. Phillip Merrit,
however, didn't believe in Cap's version.
That wasn't Kruger/has been retconned to be a different assassin, since it's been established that the Reinstein who was assassinated in Truth#6 was Erskine's successor.
(Captain America I#488) - The Red Skull built a pocket-reality for Captain America using the Cosmic Cube. There, Steve Rogers saved Erskine from Kruger's shots. Kruger was arrested. The pocket-reality ceased to exist when Captain America understood he was in the Cube and broke Red Skull's illusion.
For further discussion on the Super-Solder serum, etc., see Nuke.
For a detailed analysis of the differences amongst the early origins of Captain America, see Marvel Comics Index#8A: Heroes from Tales of Suspense-Book 1: Captain America.
In the prolog to Bullet Points#1, the death of Erskine
gets recapped, but the assassin is named as Wilhem
Schuller, who joined the NSDAP after his father died
in World War I.
That reality was obviously an alternate Earth, rather than a divergent one.
Heinz (or an alternate reality version thereof) apparently turned up as a major antagonist in Dynamite's Justice Inc #6, a crossover story between the Shadow, Doc Savage and the Avenger. He got namechecked in prior issues, and the prior Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Knights miniseries.
Heinz Kruger received a profile in Captain America: America's Avenger (2011).
Heinz Kruger has no known connections to
Captain America: America's Avenger, Heinz Kruger profile (main image)
Tales of Suspense I#63, p9, pan3 (Kruger, head shot)
Tales of Suspense I#63, p9, pan5 (Kruger, full body)
Captain America Comics#1 (March, 1941) - Joe Simon (writer/inks/editor), Jack Kirby (writer/pencils)
Captain America Comics#59 (November, 1946)
Tales of Suspense I#63 (March, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Jack Giacoia (inks)
Captain America I#109 (January, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Syd Shores (inks)
Captain America I#176 (August, 1974) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant-Size Invaders#1 (July, 1975) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Frank Robbins (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Captain America I#215 (November, 1977) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), George Tuska (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
Captain America I#255 (March, 1981) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Adventures of Captain America#1 (September, 1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Kevin Maguire (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#3 (September, 1990) - Danny Fingeroth (writer), Gary Hartle (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#448 (February, 1996) - Mark Waid (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Denis Rodier (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel Universe#1 (June, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Steve Epting (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
In Truth: Red, White, & Black#6 (June, 2003) - Robert Morales (writer), Kyle Baker (Pencils and Inks)
Captain America V#25 (April, 2007) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Steve Epting (pencils and inks), Frank D'Armata (colors), Lazer, Sitterson & Breevort (editors)
Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1 (January, 2008) - Dan Slott/Christos Gage (writers), Tome Feister/Carmine di Giandomenico (pencils), José Villarubia (colors), Molly Lazer/Tom Breevort (editor)
Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (June, 2009) - James Robinson (writer), Marcos Martin (artist), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Captain America: Reborn#2 (October, 2009) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Bryan Hitch (pencils), Jackson Guice (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvels Project#4-5 (February-March, 2010) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Steve Epting (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 11/28/2005
Last updated: 07/12/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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