CAPTAIN AMERICA IS DEAD! The nation grieves the death of their hero while the Punisher continues his mission. And someone makes a surprise return…
Captain America is wheeled into an emergency room with Nick Fury on his heels. Despite the doctors' urgency, Fury prevents them from operating on Cap until proper security checks are run on all the staff involved. Alone with Fury and the Contessa, Cap reveals what he has learned about the conspiracy and urges Fury to let him die. Later on a rainy night in Washington, DC, Jarvis and the Avengers bury Captain America in a state funeral, while Nick Fury dodges reporters' questions about his culpability.
In Michigan, a roadside diner watches the funeral, instigating mixed reactions among the patrons - some lamenting Captain America, some gripping that Vietnam veterans never got the respect WW2 veterans got. In the same diner, an undercover Punisher listens to a supposed whistleblower on the secret activities of the DEA, while some patrons cheer Punisher's involvement with Cap's murder.
Attorney General Mollech continues his conspiracy with General Navatilas of Medisuela; after their meeting, Mollech confirms his counter-plan with his rogue militia men to eliminate Navatilas and make America pay. The militia group starts to eliminate loose ends by attacking Punisher and killing the pseudo-informant. Steve Rogers comes out of hiding in time to join Punisher's counter-assault on the rogue militia group. Once they take care of the militia group, Rogers confronts Castle about the conspiracy, which soon devolves into a reenactment of the Vietnam vs. WW2 veteran conflict from the diner earlier. Castle is more angry that Rogers did not fight Vietnam than anything else. Somehow Rogers convinces Castle it's the reasons for going to war that is important - and they should team up for a just war against this conspiracy. Back in Medisuela, Mollech and Navatilas engage in a destructive orgy, allowing Mollech to continue his personal debasement.
Undercover again, Cap and Punisher investigate the faulty weapons pipeline, discovering that the US government is actually selling the weapons and drugs to Medisuela. Unfortunately, Mollech's aide also learns they are on to them, leading to a trap in the Medisuelan jungle. Sensing the trap, Cap pushes Punisher to safety before a bomb separates them. Cap is taken hostage and about to be executed.