The Skeleton Crew was an organization built by the Red Skull from his operatives. The original lineup was headed by Crossbones, and consisted of Mother Night (aka Suprema), Machinesmith, the Voice, and the fourth Sleeper. The Skeleton Crew first appeared after the Acts of Vengeance storyline when they were searching for Red Skull after he was captured by Magneto and buried alive. These operatives repeatedly came into conflict with Captain America and the other Avengers. Mother Night's brother, Minister Blood, assisted the Skeleton Crew on their mission against the Avengers.
Crossbones was later expelled from the group for questioning one of the Red Skull's orders, and replaced with Cutthroat. Blackwing and Jack O' Lantern II joined soon thereafter. Ultimately, the Skeleton Crew was defeated by Captain America and Diamondback, and sent to prison.