The Red Skull, the Nazi super-soldier

The Red Skull is the alter-ego of Johann Schmidt, a former Obergroppenfuhrer in the Nazi Party, leader of HYDRA and nemesis of Captain America.

Schmidt first appears in Chapter 1: The Avengers as the major antagonist.

Johann Schmidt



Place of Origin


Other names

Red Skull, the master, Obergroppenfuhrer


Nazi Party, HYDRA


Johann Schmidt was born on January 1st 1900 to an abusive German father. Growing up, Schmidt was beaten by his father but found peace in a passionate romantic relationship with his step-sister.

In 1914, only 14 years old, he wished to prove his father he was strong, and immediately signed up to fight in the Great War. He saw the full horrors of the trenches of France, including the battle of the Somme, and returned to Germany blaming his misfortunes on Kaiser Wilhelm and his own father. He found that the girl he loved had died during his disappearence and took out his fury on his father, murdering him brutally.

In the 1920s, Schmidt became affectionate of the growing popularity of the Nazi Party and its new speaker Adolf Hitler. Hitler saw Schmidt as having the potential to become the perfect aryan soldier. Together, they worked through the '20s to let the Nazis rise to the top of the political agenda with Hitler as the leader. Schmidt is the shadowy figure who really started the mysterious Reichstag Fire.

After Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Schmidt became weary of the Nazi image of the perfect aryan race, and saw the persecution of ethnic groups as an embarrassment. However, he stayed worthy to Hitler to his appointment as Fuhrer.