"First Strike" is the third episode of the first season of United Universe's Captain America Series.
As Nazi soldiers patrol the area, Captain America lurks within the shadows carefully waiting to strike. When the soldiers separated, Cap subdues them one by one with his new found strength. Though he defeats them, he misses one soldier who shoots him at the back. A man then shouted "cut" and proceeds to talk to Cap and tells him he misses his cue to shoot one soldier from behind. It is revealed that Steve Rogers was shooting a Captain America movie...
Months before, when Dr. Erskine's lab was being pulled out, Steve begs General Phillips to go the front lines of the European Theatre but Phillips would rather he be a lab rat than a soldier in an army. Steve is approached by Senator Brandt holding a newspaper of the prior day's events, emblazoned with a front-page photo of Steve chasing down Heinz Kruger. Steve has become an overnight celebrity and the Senator has an idea that will be mutually beneficial.
Steve is enlisted in the USO (United Service Organizations), and travels around the Midwest performing musical numbers in a shoddy red, white and blue costume while carrying a triangle-shaped shield bearing the stars-and-stripes. He takes on the name "Captain America" and the show includes a theme song written specifically for him, features dancing girls and a short segment where he punches out Adolf Hitler, played by an actor. Captain America becomes an overnight success, spawning comic books and black and white movies. His antics drum up revenue for the USO.
Meanwhile, the Red Skull and Dr. Arnim Zola are visited by a trio of Hitler's top commanders, tasked with inspecting Schmidt's operation. They ridicule Schmidt, saying that the Nazi party no longer takes him and HYDRA seriously due to his obsession with magic and the occult. Schmidt takes the three to his weapons lab where they are shown his unstoppable energy weapons created using the newly acquired Tesseract and a strategic map of Europe dotted with targets. One of the three notices a target hovering over Berlin and confronts Schmidt. Schmidt quickly vaporizes the three Nazi officers.
Steve is soon taken overseas, to Italy, where he is to continue entertaining the troops. Upon his arrival the surly and war-torn men tease him and tell him to get lost. He reunites with agent Carter, who along with General Phillips, is overseeing European Theatre of the war. She tells him that the men are unhappy because many men from their division, the 107th Infantry, have been killed in battle. Steve realizes that this is Bucky's division, and quickly runs to see Phillips. Phillips is unable to find Bucky's name on his casualty list and tells Steve to go back to his job as a movie star and a cheerleader. Steve asks Carter where the men, and Bucky, are being held. She shows him a map, and a known HYDRA weapons factory 30-40 miles behind enemy lines. Steve hastily pulls on a pair of army trousers and leather jacket over his Captain America costume, and a blue helmet with a white 'A' stamped on the front. He aims to steal a jeep and drive into HYDRA's back yard, but she has a better idea.
Howard Stark flies them both over the battlefield in his private propeller plane. Steve surmises that Stark and Carter have a relationship and bashfully withholds his feelings for her. Just as AAA guns from HYDRA begin firing on Stark's plane, Steve parachutes in, while the other two escape back to safety. Steve stealthily makes his way into the HYDRA base, taking out numerous guards in the process.
Inside, Schmidt and Arnim Zola are manufacturing enough weapons to wipe out every capital in the world. Steve makes his way to the holding cells where he sees hundreds of imprisoned men from the 107th. He frees the men and tells them to make a "messy" exit. They manage to overpower their captors, steal guns and tanks, and escape from the facility, destroying much of it. Schmidt watches Steve by CCTV, and quickly realizes that he must be Erskine's man. He quickly activates several explosive charges that will level the base.
Steve makes his way through the facility and happens across Bucky, who is tied down to an operating table. There, he also notices an oversized tactical map mounted on the wall, with various marked installations. Steve frees Bucky, who is surprised to see that Steve is taller than him, and commits the map to memory.
The two head up the catwalks and find themselves face-to-face with Schmidt on a retractable bridge. Rogers punches Schmidt in the face who surprisingly stands his ground. Schmidt plays with his face, as it has apparently come free from his skull and quickly peels it away as a mask. The Red Skull stares back at Rogers and Bucky and swiftly enters an elevator. In the elevator The Red Skull tells Arnim Zola to meet him at another one of Hydra's bases and to take his car. The Red Skull escapes the exploding facility in a private plane while Zola sneaks away in Schmidt's roadster. Inside Steve and Bucky have a huge divide to cross to their freedom. Bucky crosses a trembling, buckling support beam and manages to cross to safety moments before the beam plummets into the fire below. Left with no other option, Steve backs up as far as he can and leaps over the burning chasm.
Back at the 107th base camp, Phillips dictates a letter to his typist, telling how Rogers disappeared the prior night and likely perished during the battle. Just then Rogers arrives, with nearly 400 survivors of the 107th, leaving the base in a fervor. Rogers submits himself to Phillips for disciplinary action for going out in direct violation of orders, but is forgiven. The men then cheer for Captain America.