The Grand Director is a Marvel Comics supervillain. His name is William "Bill" Burnside & he is most often an enemy of Captain America.
Powers and Skills
- Super-Soldier treatment enhancements
- Enhanced strength, speed, stamina and intellect
- Accelerated healing factor (ageless immortality)
- Peak-human physical and psychological systems
- Expert knowledge of Roger's skills, tactics and fighting styles
- Utilizes almost exact replica of Roger's equipment and fighting styles
Having idolized the original Cap to the point of obsession, William Burnside focuses his life in an intense analysis of American history with Captain America as its best representative. He attains a PhD in American History in the early 1950s, with a thesis on the life of Captain America. Soon after graduating, he further researched the secret "Project: Rebirth" and discovered private Nazi files revealing the true identity of the original Captain America as well as the lost Super Soldier serum. The man who would later become the Grand Director returns to the United States with this information and legally changes his name. Then he approaches the FBI offering the Super Soldier serum as leverage to become the next Captain America as a symbol during the Korean War. He undergoes surgery to get the physical appearance and voice of Rogers. After all of this preparation, the situation in Korea changes and the FBI cancels the project, feeling that introducing a symbol of national pride would be unwise in the current political climate. The FBI sets up the new Rogers at the private preparatory Lee High School in Connecticut to take advantage of his extensive American history background as a teacher. He began wearing glasses and smoking a pipe and settled into his quiet life as a teacher. He found an intense advocate in James "Jack" Monroe who shared his obsessive fascination on the wartime exploits of the original Cap. When the Red Skull resurfaces in the mid-1950s (this communist Red Skull was not the Nazi original but a successor) attacking the United Nations in an elaborate scheme now promoting Communism, "Rogers" takes matters into his own hands and injects himself and Monroe with a sample of the unproven "Super-Soldier" serum and goes off with him to confront the Red Skull as the new Cap and Bucky. However, without the vita-ray exposure Rogers received to activate and stabilize the serum, his 1950s successors underwent a dangerously flawed application. Although initially accepted in the roles of the new Captain America and Bucky, the radiologically untreated formula they ingested eventually gave them psychotic symptoms. The two become unreliable with a violent paranoia that led them to attacking innocents simply for their race or for holding opinions that even remotely differed from their own. They were arrested and put into suspended animation by government agents. The Captain America of the 1950s and his sidekick Bucky are kept in suspended animation until they are reawakened decades later. The still mentally ill duo were sent out to kill the original Captain and his then-partner Falcon. They were defeated by the heroes and returned to their suspended animation, although Rogers had the disquieting thought that he could have suffered his 1950s successor's fate himself in the same circumstances. They are given over to the custody of the psychologist Doctor Faustus for treatment. Faustus mind-controls the 1950s Captain in an attempt to use him against the World War II Steve Rogers. The unnamed man returns as "The Grand Director", the leader of a Neo-Nazi group called "The National Force" under the mind control of Dr. Faustus. Dr. Faustus proudly reveals that he brainwashed the 1950s Captain America into becoming the Grand Director. Then Faustus orders the Grand Director to kill Captain America and Daredevil. Instead, horrified with the revelation of his manipulation against his former identity as 1950s Captain America, the Grand Director curls up into the fetal position and presses a button on his utility belt engulfing his body in flames. After the true Steve Rogers' death, Sharon Carter finds that Faustus and the Red Skull have been keeping the 1950s Steve Rogers in suspended animation so that he would heal from his fire wounds. It is revealed that Faustus was conditioning the 1950s Cap to kill the current Captain America, James Barnes, who was the murderer of "his" Bucky, Jack Monroe as part of a larger plan. The plan was revealed to help third party candidate Senator Gordon Wright gain public sympathy as part of bid for the US Presidency under the ultimate control of the original Red Skull. The 1950s Rogers did not know the involvement of the Skull. The 1950s Rogers was last seen to have left Dr. Faustus' association after helping to rescue Sharon Carter from Arnim Zola and is now considering his place in modern society akin the same way that the World War II Rogers did when he first returned to modern society. Though based on his reflections, he seems to be less than impressed with the current United States cultural view and reflects a worldview that is no longer in line with current society but more that of the earlier US history such as that of former US President Theodore Roosevelt from the Spanish-American War sometimes called "American imperialism". Eventually, the 1950s Rogers (whose real name was eventually revealed to be William Burnside) turned up with the terrorist group Watchdogs, whom he considers true patriots, and captured Barnes to force him to wear his only World War II Bucky uniform and become his new Bucky, threatening Falcon's life if Barnes did not comply. Burnside's plan involves blowing up Hoover Dam to rally other groups like the Watchdogs behind him. Barnes stopped him and shot him over the edge of the dam when he threatened to detonate the bomb. A later search determined that Burnside was nowhere to be found, suggesting he might have survived being shot by Barnes and the fall to the water below the dam.
- Grand Director is similar to Professor Zoom. Both villains were obsessed fans of the heroes and wanted to be like them before becoming their antagonists.