Thursday, September 29, 2011

Inaugural Post: What If?

Doug: Here's an idea -- we'll see what sort of feedback is received. If this seems like a good idea, it may pop up again! The premise: Some day in the future you may come by the BAB and see this logo. If you are the first commenter, then you're "the man" or "the wo-man" for the day -- you set the topic of discussion. I am going to start this to show how it should work. I'll toss out the question, and hopefully the comments pile up with your ideas and feedback. If this is a crash-and-burn, then ol' Uatu may never be seen in these parts again! Here -- have at this one:

What If Captain America and Bucky had BOTH been found alive by the Avengers?


david_b said...

Doug, I was just going to comment that we should have more 'Open Forum' discussions in this new schedule.. Great minds think alike.

Both Cap and Bucky found alive..? You erase the major source of angst for Cap, similar to Spidey's Uncle Ben. Marvel would have saved countless pages of 'if-only-I-had' musings by Steve Rogers by Kirby, Steranko and Colan, freeing up a ton of space for insipid banter between Cap and Bucky, joyful to 'be alive' in this new world. And Cap most likely wouldn't have needed the Avengers.

Marvel, being Marvel, would have found a way to kill off Bucky quickly.

Doug said...

Does a revival of Bucky in 1964 mean a revival of kid sidekicks, which Marvel eschewed in their superhero revival? As DC's Silver Age had gotten rolling 7 or 8 years earlier and had brought the kids along, would Marvel have followed suit? As Karen brought up yesterday, at Marvel in the Silver Age many of their teen heroes were headliners in their own right.

It's interesting, David, that you wonder if Cap would have become the rock of the Avengers. Great question! Also, where does the Falcon fit in -- if he's created as a character, where? And does he become the same sort of personality we know now?

If Bucky and Cap are revived shortly after Namor appears in FF #4, does that hasten the return of the original Human Torch, and if so, what does that mean for the Vision? Is he ever created, and if so, how different would his origin be?

Keep 'em coming, folks!


Edo Bosnar said...

If Bucky was found alive as well, he would have become a sort of unofficial Avenger, i.e. a member of the team who actually wasn't on any official role call (like Robin in Super Friends) nor pictured in the corner box (like Wasp, initially). The Kooky Quartet would have probably still been called that, because Bucky would still get no respect.
More seriously, though, I agree that he probably would have been killed anyway, doing something very heroic, either during the Roy Thomas run on the Avengers or possibly by Steranko in Captain America. If he managed to survive into the '80s, he would have been killed then for sure, either by Red Skull or Zemo Jr. in Cap's title or by Hank Pym in the Avengers during Shooter's post-200 run. If he somehow survived into the '90s, he would have dropped the 'Bucky' appellation, picked up some firearms, and become a Punisher knock-off with a codename like 'Killshot', only to turn into a villain by the 2000s who maybe rapes one Marvel's major female characters and ultimately ends up being the one who kills Cap at the end of that whole Civil War thing...

Doug said...

Edo, a better summation of the past 25 years could not have been said better.


Steve Does Comics said...

I have no doubt Stan would've had him and the FF's Human Torch become rivals as he did with Spidey and the Torch. This would soon have been followed by them having a team-up series of their own. Would this have led to a Teen Titans type strip with Spidey, the Torch and Bucky?

I do worry about Rick Jones though.

With Bucky around there'd have been no need for Rick to hang out with Cap. With neither the Hulk nor Cap wanting him around, whatever would have become of him? Also, if he'd never become Cap's replacement for Bucky, presumably Rick would never have met up with Captain Marvel, and the whole Kree/Skrull War would've had to have a totally different ending.

Anyway, Bucky would probably have become a hopeless junkie sometime around 1969 and have been sent "away".

By the way. As a kid I always wanted there to be an issue where the Red Skull whipped of his mask to reveal he was in fact Bucky who'd survived the War and turned evil out of resentment for Cap. So, in my head at least, he did survive the War.

William said...

How about this for a What-If scenario…

Instead of the Avengers finding Steve Rogers and/or Bucky floating in an ice-berg in suspended animation, Captain America could have just suddenly shown up again and crossed paths with the Avengers, eventually joining the team. Later, it could have been revealed that this new Captain America was not Steve Rogers, but in fact Bucky grown to adulthood. After all, when this story originally happened (in Avengers #4), it had been less than 20 years since the end of WWII.

It could have been further revealed that near the end of the war, Bucky was mortally wounded in battle and given a blood transfusion from Steve Rogers in order to save his life. The super-soldier serum could have transferred to Bucky and given him the same enhanced abilities as Cap. This way, the Cap and Bucky from the 1950's could have still been the same duo from the 40's. It could turn out that a few years after the war Cap felt the world didn't have much need for him anymore, so he retired. A few years later, Bucky saw that there was a new generation of super-heroes coming along and that it might be about time for Captain America to return. Steve was now getting too old for the job, so naturally Bucky took up the shield and so forth and so on.

Since Steve Rogers hadn't been active for almost 20 years, Bucky could have been a whole new Captain America for a whole new generation. I think that story would have worked and that fans would have accepted it in the same way that they accepted a completely different person (Barry Allen) taking over as the Flash.

Dougie said...

I see Rick and Bucky having a kind of sibling rivalry but Teen Brigader Rick doesn't strike me as the type to really resent Bucky.
When Iron Man, Hank and Jan quit, Bucky and Rick go in search of the Torch and Toro, to bolster the ranks. They track down the adult Toro with the aid of Mary Mitchell, the former Sun Girl, now a mature SHIELD operative, Agent 12.

This leads to a guest-appearance from the FF as Mary and the boys try to rescue the Torch from the Mad Thinker and the Puppet Master. The New Avengers (Cap, Hawkeye, Wanda and Pietro) subsequently gain two new members, the Torch and Toro. This, of course, means there are three Torches at Marvel.

In 1966, when Galactus banishes the Surfer to Earth, the android Torch offers to become his new herald, with the proviso that he only feasts on uninhabited worlds.

In 1967, Ultron unleashes The Vision, one of the Mad Thinker's retooled androids. Toro has been around enough androids to be able to deactivate this one, however, with guidance from Hank Pym and T'Challa.

In 1969, Jim Steranko kills off Bucky, heroically saving Cap from Hydra. Sam Wilson is introduced as the New Bucky until 1971, when he adopts the identity of Power Man.

My artist of choice for this What If is George Tuska.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Bucky, a young and idealistic kid of the 1940s, heeds the call to the fight communism in southeast Asia and enlists in the Marines. Cap, still culture shocked from waking up in the 1960s, is unsure but gives Bucky his blessing and returns to fighting super-baddies with the Avengers.

Joining an elite commando unit, Bucky finds a new stern-but fair father figure in his platoon leader, Frank Castle, who adds the mental toughness Bucky needs to survive in ‘Nam.

After the war, Bucky – still out of time and with no roots or family and uncertain what to do with his life now -- seeks out Castle, now a family man in New York. Castle lets Bucky be his houseguest while he tries to find a job and one day invites the young man along on a family picnic.

When the Castle family inadvertently witnesses a mob killing, the gangsters turn their guns on them too and Bucky is unable to prevent the entire family’s massacre. Enraged by their senseless deaths, Bucky becomes the Punisher, leading a brutal, one-man crusade against the criminal underworld. It is a path that inevitably leads him into conflict with a superhero who hasn’t given up on the American justice system …

Fred W. Hill said...

Gotta admit, even as a pre-teen kid, I didn't care for kid side-kicks and if Marvel had a bunch of them in the early '70s I might've quit my comics habit much sooner. Especially when it comes to supposed little kids fighting dangerous criminals with the grown-up superheroes, it crosses the line into sheer ridiculousness for me. Sure, Johnny Storm & Peter Parker were kids themselves, but whereas Bucky and most of the other famous Golden Age kid side-kicks seemed to be perpetual 12 year olds at most, Johnny, Peter, and even Rick Jones and the original X-Men were all at least 15years old when they first appeared. More importantly (from my perspective), they all aged in near real-time within the first several years of their existence as characters, becoming young adults by the early '70s. Rick Jones even seems to have been created in that classic Hulk origin as an anti-Bucky -- not really bad, but still a bit of a delinquent who doesn't take well to authority. Of course, by the Hulk's 6th issue, by becoming the essential leader of the Teen Brigade Rick had become a sort of authority figure himself. In the early Avengers, Stan played Rick's desire to become a costumed hero against Cap's refusal to allow him to.
I suppose one way not brought up yet to have resurrected Bucky with the standard Lee-angst would have been Bucky being found alive but Cap dead, so Bucky not only has the survivor's guilt but also a complex of trying to fill Cap's boots. Whatever the scenario, however, the Avengers and Captain America stories of the '60 & '70s would have had a very different dynamic.

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