The government kicks in Cap’s door and arrest him for treason. Turns out that Red Skull made it look like he leaked some top secret weaponry during the last arc, and so an ungrateful nation strips him of his title and country.
Here’s President Clinton:
And he heads off into the world to clear his name, with Sharon beside him.
Sharon gets him a “blank” costume and a plasma shield.
It turns out that Machinesmith has the Argus Weapon, and he’s hiding in Moldavia. Sharon and Cap track him there, and fall into a trap. Machinesmith has managed to download Captain America’s memories…
Cap gets hurt.
They escape and flee to the neighboring country of Latveria, where Doctor Doom helps Captain America get everything he needs to defeat Machinesmith. Why? Because he doesn’t like the idea of Machinesmith having powerful weapons bordering on Doom’s country.
Cap gets his country back.
And then goes on to take out Machinesmith for good.
Over the course of the story, Sharon eventually forgives Cap for their past romantic issues and it looks like they’re going to kiss for the first time when Cap has to be pulled out…
And that is the final panel of Captain America Volume One.
It’s amazing that a story as interesting and complex as Mark Waid’s Captain America run came at a time when Marvel seemed otherwise to be out of ideas–Iron Man was 16, Thor had no powers, and the entire universe was about to implode into Franklin Richards’ head so that the Image Comics creators could come in and play with Marvel’s toys for a year and a half.