Doug: We've run a few Captain America-themed posts already this month, so why not add one more? Today's Face-Off pits Cap's Golden Age (and beyond -- the kid won't stay dead, will he?) partner, Bucky Barnes, against his Silver/Bronze Ages partner, the Falcon. And I thought -- what the heck -- let's do a "What If?" and muse on the possibilities of a run of Cap's book under the title Captain America and Hawkeye. Now that would have been extremely cool to Lil' Dougie back in grade school!
Doug: I think we can all find favorite stories involving each of today's suggested combatants alongside the Star-Spangled Avenger. First, for me when I think of Bucky is Avengers #56 (complete with a great John Buscema floating heads cover). It's a tender tale, yet packed with action. In the whole scheme of that era of Avengering the story really serves merely as a launching point to that summer's Annual. But I enjoy it nonetheless, and laid next to Avengers #277 really gives us some insight into the private world of Captain America. Over in the pages of the Invaders and Marvel Premiere, I especially enjoyed the Liberty Legion 4-parter; Bucky's leadership showed that he'd learned well the lessons Cap had taught him.
Doug: As to the Falcon, I just generally enjoyed his run with Cap in both of his costumes -- Falc was in the book when I read it off and on as a kid, and of course he was pivotal in the Henry Gyrich line-up changes in the Avengers of the late 1970's. I recall a solo Falcon tale in Marvel Premiere that was good -- more of that would have been welcome -- but he always seemed at home alongside Cap. The image below was rendered by Jazzy Johnny Romita; personally I prefer Sal Buscema on Sam Wilson.
Doug: But what of ol' Hawkeye? I think we'd all agree that in his own abrasive way he idolized Cap during the Kooky Quartet days, and if he'd ever been able to close his big mouth long enough he might have become Cap's partner in the solo book. As much as Cap bristled at Hawk's attitude, I think the two of them really meshed in that era. Who knows what might have been (hey, that's your job today!)?