Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blue Ribbon Digest - Captain America

Doug: Hi, friends  -- back again with another installment of the do-it-yourself Blue Ribbon Digest. Previously we've given you the assignment of choosing 7-8 issues of the Avengers or the X-Men to stuff inside one of these handy little trade paperbacks. Our only requirement was that the stories fall in between the years 1970 and 1985. In those two posts, some of our readers chose complete or near-complete storylines, while others did more of a scattershot approach. And even within that latter strategy, our readers went with a sampling of artists, or of villains. Today we repeat the drill, but focusing on the Sentinel of Liberty.

Doug: I was not a regular reader of Cap's mag in the Bronze Age, even though he was one of my favorite characters. I really enjoyed him in the Avengers at the time, but have had a pleasure catching up on some of his solo adventures in the past many years. I had friends who had some Captain Americas, so I was somewhat aware of the "Secret Empire" and "Nomad" arcs. A particular favorite cover of mine featured the Golden Archer getting a drop on Cap. Of course, those of you who know the issue of which I speak (if not, I decided to use it as my sample issue, below) will fondly recall the climax with one of the best rubber mask reveals of all time. I keep telling Karen that whenever we ride off into the sunset our last post is going to be a compilation of all of our favorite rubber mask scenes!

Doug: So by clicking here you can get to the Cap page on the Comic Book Database and scroll down until you find the time period that frames this exercise. From there you'll be able to get to covers, creators, and lists of villains lurking within a given issue. Have a blast -- I know we appreciate hearing everyone's suggestions.


J.A. Morris said...

I'd put the 1st appearance of the Phoenix in my collection. It's a one-and-done story that featured the introduction of Helmut Zemo, who would later become one of Cap & the Avengers greatest foes.

And I don't know if Cap 122 counts as a "Bronze Age" issue. It's cover dated Feburary 1970, which means it came out in November '69. But it features a good fight between Cap & the Scorpion. Nice art by Gene Colan. Some scans from that issue can be found here:

Edo Bosnar said...

Here's a selection of stories that have some really good action and great charcter moments, with a variety of good artists:

Captain America #246 - "Sins of the Father"; story by Peter Gillis, art by Jerry Bingham, featuring a character that last appeared in Spider-man #38;

Captain America #250 - the Cap for President story from the wonderful Stern/Byrne/Rubinstein run;

Captain America #255 - the retelling of Cap's origin, and the last issue in the aforementioned run;

Marvel Fanfare #5 - "Shall Freedom Endure"; that issue's back-up story by Roger McKenzie, art by Luke McDonnell & John Beatty;

Captain America #s 273-274 - by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck; a Hydra two-parter that features the reunion of the Howling Commandos.

david_b said...

It would be soooooo easy and obvious for me to pick Secret Empire/Nomad issues or the Red Skull/Cosmic Cube saga from 115-119 (but those were still pre-1970), but I'd go with some of these for a switch-up..:

1) The Falcon capturing Spidey storyline, 137-138 with Romita.

2) Grey Gargoyle arc 140-142 with Romita again..

3) Then a nice finish with MTU 13 with Spidey and Cap rematching against the Gargoyle, with direct flashback to ish 142, splendid Gil Kane art.

Not Bronze Buscema/Engelhart mind you, but still an often engaging, fun read.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, how about:

#148-Cap fights the Red Skull and a Sleeper near Las Vegas (with a little help from Kingpin)
#156-Cap fights the fascist Cap from the 50s
#176-Cap quits and becomes Nomad
#236-237-Cap fights Grand Director, Sharon Carter "dies"
#250-Cap for President
#261-first Jack Monroe as Nomad
#300-Cap vs. Red Skull

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

Like david_b my main collecting years were during the Secret Empire/Nomad years so I have little to add except...

...what??? No late '70s Kirby Cap??? (yeah those were pretty bad).


pfgavigan said...

For me it is Captain America 110-113. These issues have everything. Steranko on the top of his game, Lee belting it out of the ballpark, fantastic inking and some of the best coloring ever seen in the traditional style.

And a rubber mask scene, what more could you want!


david_b said...

Love Steranko, but your stories are pre-1970.

Humanbelly said...

The cover for #179, there? I'll bet my entire stash of recently-uncovered freeze-pops that Herb Trimpe's hands were on it in some fashion. . . !
(Maybe w/ some fixing/help from John Romita?)


pfgavigan said...

As regards the cover for #179 I believe the artist was Ron Wilson!

Now stand and deliver the freeze-pops!


Anonymous said...

Tis a sad day indeed when a man must loosen his hold upon his freeze-pops! I think, in the end, when we look back upon this day, we will realize we all lost a little this day....

The Prowler (remembers the day a freeze-pop froze to his tongue).

Humanbelly said...

To be so quickly and so ignominiously undone--!!!
I blame. . . I blame that thrice-blasted, Trimpe-jacking RON WILSON for this humiliating defeat. BUT-- rather than surrender my beloved freeze-pops, I've let them melt back into a syrupy liquid, snipped off the ends, and have DRuNK THEM ALL!!! AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA- *choke*

. . . th-the final...oog. . . final triumph is. . . is. . . *erk* . . . m-mine. . .

HB (presently trying to digest his own tooth enamel . . . )

pfgavigan said...

Then hand over your lupins and be quick about it for I have two pistols and . . .

oh, never mind!

Doug said...

HB --

The only Happy Herbie I'd have seen in the that pic would be in Steve Rogers face, and only if we'd turned back the clock about five years and had John Severin on the inks. But I definitely see Ron Wilson's work. At first blush the large Cap image hearkens toward the Jazzy One, but after hearing Wilson's name I can quickly move away from the idea that Romita had a hand in it.

Fun, isn't it? And what's it say, that we can look at an unsigned piece and have this "man, that just feels like..." conversation?


Comicsfan said...

Wasn't that Golden Archer story where, when Hawkeye removes his G.A. mask, he's wearing his own mask underneath it? I remember wanting to rip that page to shreds. "Someone wouldn't do that!" I wanted to shout. For one thing, there couldn't have been room under there for that pointy Hawkeye mask (maybe the darn thing is made out of unstable molecules)--also, there's absolutely no reason for it to occur to Hawkeye to mask up under another mask, especially considering he had no secret identity where Cap was concerned. I suppose the panel wouldn't have worked as a "reveal" if we'd seen just Clint Barton's face, even with a "It's you! Hawkeye!" blurb making it clear. Phooey.

By the way, G.A.--how are those plain-looking arrows nailing Steve Rogers to a brick chimney? Double phooey.

William said...

The Byrne / Stern issues are my favorite. So I'd just do a whole book reprinting those.

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