Membership: Grand Director (William Burnside, aka. Dr. Steven Rogers), other unidentified members;
formerly Captain America (Steve Rogers), Sharon Carter
Purpose: Terrorism, hate crimes, brainwashing the populace
Affiliations: Doctor Faustus (Johann Fenhoff)
Enemies: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Peggy Carter, Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Karl Janacek, Morgan and his gang (Glitterbug, Reese, others), National Guard, NYPD
Base of Operations: Mobile in a dirigible from the Lakehurst Air Pavillion in Lakehurst, New Jersey;
formerly the Bismark waterfront warehouse in New York City, New York
First Appearance: Captain America I#231 (March, 1979)
Powers/Abilities: The National Force used energy rifles, energy guns and flame throwers as weapons. Though they were bold they lacked proper hand-to-hand combat skills and mostly relied on their numbers or weapons to overpower opponents.
All members of the National Force were mind-controlled via a special gas invented by Doctor Faustus for the Corporation. Their brainwashing went so far that they willing to commit suicide in case they were caught. They all wore belts that included a self-immolation mechanism that apparently activated a chemical reaction in the substance that was part of their uniforms. After activating the self-immolation process each member uttered following phrase: "We have lived by the flame! And, by the flame shall we be free! By the flame, shall our beloved America be purged until she is strong once more."
(Captain America I#236 (fb) - BTS) - The Corporation set up Doctor Faustus as the administrator of a mental institution in the Catskills where he perfected his mind-controlling gas. The mentally unstable heroic duo of Captain America (William Burnside) and Bucky (Jack Monroe) were turned over to this institution after their defeat at the hands of the current Captain America (Steve Rogers). Faustus tested his mind-gas on the 1950s Captain America and eventually forced him to apparently kill his former partner (Jack Monroe survived; see comments).
(Captain America I#235 (fb) - BTS) - Doctor Faustus set up the National Force organization and made the Grand Director their spokesman.
(Captain America I#231 (fb)) - The National Force held a rally in Central Park. Their spokesman the Grand Director spouted his hatred-filled rhetoric for a white America. The police and undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Carter and Janacek were present to observe. When the situation got out of control Carter suggested calling in support. Protestants against the rally began throwing eggs at the Grand Director, who lit a cross on fire. This only made the situation grow more hostile, but suddenly white people began to listen to the Grand Director and they turned aggressive on everyone with a different skin color. The Grand Director watched the fight.
(Captain America I#236 - BTS) - The riot was the result of a canister of Faustus' mind-control gas being released into the crowd when the wooden cross was burned.
(Captain America I#231 (fb) - BTS) - The Grand Director fled with Sharon Carter and the other white rioters, who had now joined his cause, before the riot squads arrived.
(Captain America I#231 - BTS) - A story about the riot was published in the Daily Bugle.
Peggy Carter asked Captain America for help to find Sharon after telling him everything she knew about the riot and how her sister disappeared.
(Captain America I#231) - Two members of the National Force shot Peggy's car with energy rifles when she was going to leave after her meeting with Captain America. The car blew up.
(Captain America I#232) - Captain America beat up the two National Force members and called an ambulance for Peggy, who had barely survived her car's explosion. The police handcuffed the two National Force members, but they activated a self-immolation mechanism on their belts to commit suicide. They burnt to ashes in front of the shocked policemen and Captain America.
(Captain America I#232 - BTS) - Captain America went looking for information on the National Force and interrogated drug addicted informant Carl "Pigsticker" Peel, who sent him to Boss Morgan to find out more about the National Force.
Captain America asked Morgan if he knew where the Grand Director was, but Morgan had no interest helping Cap even though the National Force were his enemies as well. Morgan's henchman Reese then informed Morgan that the National Force was marching on Harlem. Cap asked Morgan to stay out of it, but Morgan ordered to send everyone into battle with the National Force as soon as Captain America was gone.
(Captain America I#232) - The Grand Director met with Doctor Faustus in his midtown office to inform him that the National Force was marching on Harlem. The Grand Director questioned the cause and didn't like it that he had to rely on mind-control to get people to follow him. Faustus promised him that people would soon join his cause without mind control after they saw the National Force win a few battles.
Meanwhile the National Force arrived in Harlem and started setting buildings on fire. The police called in reinforcements and tried to hold back the locals. Captain America attacked the National Force and was shocked that Sharon Carter was among them. Boss Morgan and his crew joined the battle against the National Force.
(Captain America I#233) - Captain America was caught between Boss Morgan's crew and the National Force and asked everyone to drop their weapons. He picked up Morgan's henchman Glitterbug and tossed him at two National Force operatives while Carter shouted orders to purge Morgan and his crew. Captain America fought against both sides until the National Guard arrived.
(Captain America I#233/Captain America I#237 (fb)) - The National Force members committed mass suicide after they were captured.
(Captain America I#233 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Steven Rogers (the Grand Director) had Peggy Carter transferred into his care to lure Captain America to him and Doctor Faustus. The Grand Director met with Faustus in his office and questioned their plan. Faustus became angry with him and belittled the Grand Director, who cowered before Faustus. Captain America arrived at the 7163 building and fought his way through a Sharon Carter robot and several illusions of past enemies, created when he inhaled Faustus' mind-control gas. When he finally reached Faustus he was no match for him and was shocked when the Grand Director was revealed to be Dr. Steven Rogers, a man with Captain America's face.
(Captain America I#234 - BTS) - According to an article in the Daily Bugle the National Force's attack on Harlem left hundreds of people homeless.
(Captain America I#234) - Captain America, as a mind-controlled member of the National Force, filmed a commercial for the National Force fighting black men in front of a set that resembled Harlem. The commercial was recorded by National Force members and in the end showed Captain America holding up his shield with a Swastika painted on it. The commercial was soon broadcast to all televisions in New York City. Matt Murdock recognized Captain America's voice and decided to investigate as Daredevil.
Daredevil soon found the police in car chase with National Force members, who escaped the police. Daredevil caught up to them using his hyper-senses and found them at a waterfront warehouse. Inside he not only found the set used to film the National Front commercial, but also a group of National Force operatives, along with Doctor Faustus, the Grand Director and Captain America. Faustus sent Captain America into battle against Daredevil, but when oil dissolved the new paint on Cap's shield, Faustus' mind-control broke and he was back to normal. Realizing that Captain America was not under his control anymore Faustus ordered the Grand Director and the National Force to kill Cap and Daredevil.
(Captain America I#235) - The National Force set the warehouse ablaze. They loaded up all the crates filled with Faustus' mind-control gas and then fled. Daredevil and Captain America barely escaped the burning warehouse.
The National Force drove to the Lakehurst Air Pavillion. They gained entrance when the Grand Director, posing as Captain America, sprayed a guard with Faustus' mind-control gas. The National Force loaded the crates with Faustus' gas on a dirigible, but Daredevil and Captain America arrived on the scene after Daredevil used his senses to find out where the National Force were headed. Faustus ordered the National Force to kill the heroes. The Grand Director held a gun to Peggy Carter's head and threatened to kill her if Cap and DD interfered any further. Faustus, the Grand Director and some of the National Force escaped on the dirigible with Peggy as their hostage while the others were left behind to fight the heroes. Cap and DD quickly got to a plane to go after the dirigible, but the National Force members that had remained on the ground hunted them down with old fighter planes. Though they managed to damage Cap's plane, they parachuted back to the ground after accidentally crashing into each other.
(Captain America I#236) - Cap and DD failed to catch up to the National Force's dirigible because their plane was too damaged. On the dirigible the National Force affixed the canisters filled with Faustus' mind-gas to special hookups so the gas could be released over New York City and bring the whole city under Doctor Faustus' control. Faustus boasted to Peggy Carter about brainwashing the Grand Director (the former Captain America of the 1950s) and forcing him to kill his former partner Bucky (Jack Monroe) as the ultimate test of his control over the Grand Director's mind. The Grand Director sunk to the ground with his mind broken upon being reminded of this. Captain America jumped of a Quinjet to get on to the National Force's dirigible. Faustus ordered the Grand Director to do something about Captain America, but the Grand Director activated the self-immolation mechanism on his belt to burn himself, causing a fire on the dirigible (William Burnside survived; see comments). When the other members of the National Force saw their beloved leader sacrifice himself they were shocked, but Faustus ordered them to continue their work to release the mind-control gas. Captain America fought off the National Force operatives and took their immolation belts from them to prevent their suicides. He then stopped Faustus from releasing the gas over the city. The burning dirigible crashed into the ocean near the Statue of Liberty. Faustus, Captain America, Peggy Carter and the National Force members apparently all escaped before the crash and floated in the water until they were rescued.
(Captain America I#237) - Captain America was shown video footage by young reporter Katie Burns that clearly showed Sharon Carter was one of the National Force members committing suicide via self-immolation after the battle in Harlem. (see comments)
Comments: Created by Roger McKenzie, Sal Buscema & Don Perlin.
I think Katie Burns and her crew were actually S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the footage shown to Captain America was fabricated.
Concerning Sharon Carter's death: It took Sharon Carter almost 20 years to return in Captain America I#445 (November, 1995) in a storyline written by Mark Waid. In Captain America I#446 (December, 1995) it was revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. faked her death so they could send her on a deep cover mission and then they abandoned her. Nick Fury is a jerk!
Concerning Bucky (Jack Monroe)'s death: In Captain America I#281 (May, 1983) in a story written by J.M. DeMatteis it was revealed by the returning Jack Monroe that the gun the 1950s Captain America (William Burnside) used to kill Monroe was actually filled with blanks. Burnside didn't know that and his trauma caused by murdering his former sidekick was real. Doctor Faustus is a jerk!
Concerning Grand Director (William Burnside)'s death: He healed from his burns for a few years in the care of Doctor Faustus and was next seen in Ed Brubaker's Captain America V#36 (May, 2008). He was again used as a pawn by Doctor Faustus while he worked for the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt). He eventually joined the Watchdogs and went full terrorist. William Burnside is a jerk!
The National Force seen in Captain Marvel X#8 (October, 2016) wore the costumes of Grand Director's National Force from Captain America I#231-237, but worked with a character that looked like the Hate-Monger from the Punisher War Journal storyline. I don't think they were connected to either of the previous versions.
Profile by Markus Raymond.
National Force has no known connections to:
Captain America I#233, p1 (main)
Captain America I#231, p14, pan1 (Grand Director and more)
Captain America I#232, p5, pan1 (self-immolation)
Captain America I#232, p5, pan4 (ashes)
Captain America I#236, p15, pan4 (group attacks Captain America)
Captain America I#237, p3, pan6 (Sharon Carter's "death")
Captain America I#231 (March, 1979) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#232 (April, 1979) - Roger McKenzie & Jim Shooter (writers), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#233-234 (May-June, 1979) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#235 (July, 1979) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#236 (August, 1979) - Roger McKenzie (plot), Michael Fleisher (script), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#237 (September, 1979) - Chris Claremont (plot), Roger McKenzie (script), Sal Buscema (pencils), Don Perlin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
First Posted: 05/26/2022
Last updated: 05/26/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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