Synopsis for “The Shadows of the Past”
A cancer sticken Jeff Mace has had an conversation with the Contemplator, an Elder of the Universe. The Contemplator has agreed to pull the four Captain America’s from their timeline and battle Adam II in an alternate universe where his robot hordes overthrew the world shortly after World War II. This will allow Mace to re-establiush himself as the active Captain America or if he is unsucessful to at least go out in a blaze of glory.
The Contemplator sends both Rogers and a now 20-ish Mace to the alternate Earth to fulfill Mace’s desires. Mace is horrified to see the cost of his own selfish desires in the deceased and robotic converted counterparts of his friends in the former Invaders.
In the end, Adam II’s regime is overthrown by Mace sacrificing his chance to defeat Adam II himeelf in favor of Rogers. Mace accepts that his time as Cap is over and accepts that Rogers is best suited to continue on as the active Captain America. Rogers accepts Mace’s decision and helps Mace destroy Adam II which Mace does by crushing his own shield through Adam II’s chest.
Mace and Rogers return to 1982 with Mace returned to his true older 60-ish age. Mace states that he is at peace with himself and accepts that his costumed adventuring is now finished and is now focused on confronting his cancer. Rogers accepts Mace as a good successor to the legacy of Captain America and wishes Mace good luck in his battle as Mace walks off to regular life.