Johann Shmidt came to prominence during World War II as part of the Nazi party. Believed to have died battling Captain America, the Red Skull placed himself into suspended animation and was revived in the modern era by Hydra. He soon learned that his body was dying and turned to Arnim Zola to save him. Zola cloned Captain America and transferred the Red Skull’s mind into the body. The Red Skull continues to be one of Captain America’s most persistent enemies.
The Red Skull is a fine unarmed combatant, marksman, and master of disguise. He possesses a keen mind at military, political, corporate and subversive strategies. He often carries a handgun and his “dust of death”, a powder which kills within seconds of skin contact, shrivelling and reddening the victim’s face into a “red skull.” The Red Skull usually conceals this weapon within his cigarette holder or a specially modified handgun. His mask protects him from the powder’s effects. The Red Skull has often used special equipment such as the robotic Sleepers and the Cosmic Cubes. He has wielded sophisticated side arms, including laser beam weapons, and exotic technology such as his hypno-ray or teleportation devices. He often wears protective armor