In the wake of Marvel's Civil War, Captain America seemingly died in Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Mike Perkins' "The Death of Captain America." While that mid-'00s tale was highly publicized and widely-recognized, it wasn't the first time Captain America died that decade.

In sharp contrast to his 2007 death, Captain America's death in 2002's Captain America #50 went largely unacknowledged, even by Marvel itself. That issue marked the end of the third volume of Captain America's adventures and the end of writer and frequent artist Dan Jurgens' tenure on the title. The giant-size issue featured several shorter stories and was also part of Marvel's "'Nuff Said" month, which featured stories without any dialogue.

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After a silent "Nuff Said holiday tale, Jurgens brought his run to a close with a story focusing on the relationship between Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter, which was a hallmark of his run. Rogers bares his soul to her, but Sharon relents that she needs a little more time to figure out her life after everything that happened to her.

Later on, another story, "Relics" by David-Marshall and Igor Kordey, picks up where Jurgens' story left off, with Cap sitting alone in his room and desperately waiting for a call from Sharon. After a quick heart-to-heart with Nick Fury, Captain America gets a call about a nuclear bomb that's set to go off.

After suiting up as Captain America, he chases down the bomb and ends up in an abandoned New Jersey town that's been overrun by Red Skull's disciples. After an encounter with their leader and a true-to-form speech by Cap, the bomb goes off.

After that blast, the issue shows a hazmat team, sifting through the rubble for Steve's body. When they can't find it, they publicly announce that Captain America has been killed.

The remainder of the issue deals with the fallout of Captain America's death. First, the death of Captain America is seen through the eyes of the American public. It's shown in the story, "A Moment of Silence" by Jen Van Meter, Brian Hurtt, and Jim Mahfood, where a school mourns when they hear the news of Steve's death. Particularly, a young immigrant boy is shown to be hit especially hard by Rogers' passing.

The final story in the issue is "Stars and Stripes Forever" by Evan Dorkin and Kevin Maguire, which shows the funeral of Captain America. The entirety of the Marvel Universe mourns and reflects on the life of the Star-Spangled Hero.

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The Falcon, Captain America's longtime superhero partner, gives a heartfelt eulogy, various Avengers speak and Sharon Carter tearfully admits her true feelings for Cap. As the Marvel Universe, mourns, Captain America volume 3 seemingly ends with the death of Steve Rogers.

However, almost immediately after that series ended, Darko Macan and Danijel Zezelj launched a three-issue miniseries called Captain America: Dead Men Running. Despite its title, the story doesn't address Captain America's apparent death at all and follows Captain America as he navigates a conflict between soldiers, refugees and drug lords in South America. Although he was seemingly vaporized in Captain America #50, we never actually see how Steve escaped the bomb and made it to Colombia.

While all this was going on, Steve never stopped appearing in Avengers, which was at the end of Kurt Busiek's lengthy run on the title. By the end of the Dead Men Running mini, Cap is able to board a plane out of the Colombian jungle, seemingly heading back to New York.

Instead of announcing his survival to the world or telling his mourning friends that he's not dead, Captain America's next series kicks off with a brand new story from John Ney Rieber and John Cassaday.

Despite her graveside declaration of love, Sharon Carter didn't appear in this story and only scarcely appeared in the next few Captain America stories. In fact, she didn't really become a major part of the title again until Brubaker's run on Captain America began in 2005. Steve's apparent death wasn't ever addressed with Sharon, the Falcon nor Fury --and he never even mentioned it himself.

While it's not clear if the idea of the death was either abandoned entirely, forgotten or undone by an unseen resurrection, Captain America's death never went beyond those few stories in Captain America #50.

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