So yeah, another reading project. My Luke Cage project is nearing it's end, so I figured I'd start another.

As of right now, I'm not sure how far I'm going to go with this particular project. I'll definitely be covering Tales of Suspense #59-99. I may also cover guest appearances in other books that aren't named Avengers.

With that said, let's get this show on the road.

Tales of Suspense #59 - "Captain America!"
Cover Date: November 1964
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby

Captain America is stationed at Avengers Mansion awaiting any crisis situations. Jarvis leaves him a pot of coffee. As he  has little to do, he looks through one of his old scrapbooks.

Meanwhile, some mobsters are planning on taking on the Avengers. Their leader has two of them stretch a chain. To prove a  point, the leader--a guy named Bull--shatters the chain using karate! He explains that a chain can be broken if you find the  weakest link, and that link is Captain America, since he doesn't have any super powers.

At this point, a couple of the mobsters haul in Jarvis to ask him who's minding the store. Jarvis tells them it's no secret  that Captain America is there and that they could have found the information by using the telephone. Bull tells his men to  get their hardware as they're going to attack Captain America. They release Jarvis.

Back at the Mansion, Cap is looking through his scrapbook when he sees a photo of his former partner, Bucky. He feels pangs  of guilt. Suddenly he's attacked by the mobsters. They fight. The mobsters are well prepared, even having a man in an  armored suit. They get off a lucky shot (just a graze) while Cap is waiting for his magnetically attracted shield to return.   While he's knocked unconscious, they tie him up while they look for the Avengers safe.

They locate the safe and produce a torch to cut through the door. Cap regains consciousness at this point, and using the  heels of his boots--which are razor sharp--he cuts through his ropes. His feet are still tied, but Cap begins to fight  through the mobsters anyway until a stray flame from the torch cuts the rope around his legs free. The armored thugs grabs  Cap and boasts that he won't be able to break his grip. Cap breaks his grip and knocks him out.

At this point, the rest of the gang attacks. Cap recovers his shield, and despite all of them attacking at once holds his  own. The armored thug gets back in the fight, but can't touch Cap. Cap induces him to charge into a fireplace, knocking him  out again. Another thug plans to launch a sleep gas capsule. Cap blocks the gun barrel with his shield and forces the gas to   backfire.

Bull sends in his karate! team. However they're outmatched by Captain America. At this point, Bull charges and head-butts  Cap in the mid-section. He gets in another blow before Cap fights back, dropping Bull like a side of beef. He thanks the  thugs for livening up his evening and calls the police to pick them up.

My rating: 7/10

This is a good, if simplistic, reintroduction of the classic character in his first new solo story. Captain America has no  powers, but he's more than a match for as many criminals one can bring to an ambush. It's fun seeing Kirby allowed to draw  Cap as dynamically as possible, and the pacing is crisp and sharp.

There are some inconsistencies that are endemic to superhero stories however: why release Jarvis? If the thugs were willing  to attack Cap with guns before, why tie him up instead of shooting him? Also, why doesn't Bull ever get a last name?

All things being said, though, this is a solid effort.

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I applaud this as a new thread Mr Jackson sir,

...I'm guessing you didn't start with Tales #58 as that's not much of a Captain America appearance although it was his introduction to the title before his solo series began....?

I loved the early Cap stuff, but it gets a bit bogged down in the Wartime stuff before the Sleeper story brings it back to the 'present'....and then there's the Cosmic cube...and.......

Regarding this particular story - it was fine but already the problems with Cap solo adventures was pretty obvious - he had no life out of the costume and no supporting cast in it - that weren't already in the Avengers.

 

 

The opening of the Tales of Suspense #60 story was probably in imitation of From Russia With Love.

Older than he looks, trained for combat, and the original origin is a story the army made up to show that every kid could do his part against the Axis, or something like that.

Ron M. said:

Would falling behind that stone wall have really shielded him completely from the gamma bomb? Maybe Rick's had some faint, difficult to define super ability all these years and never noticed since he was always hanging out with more powerful people.

Haven't seen post-retconned Bucky Barnes. Is he supposed to be a mutant now? (Whoops. I mean inhuman.)

I've long postulated that there's some sort of odd gene that allows ordinary citizens of the Marvel Universe to not only survive radiation acccidents, electrical accidents and other accidents but gain super-powers through them as well.

I think Rick's power is the ability to befriend and hang out with anyone he chooses.

Nope. Plain forgot about it. We'll resolve that.

Richard Mantle said:

...I'm guessing you didn't start with Tales #58 as that's not much of a Captain America appearance although it was his introduction to the title before his solo series began....?


 

 

There's the Strange Tales #114 story too, although the real Captain America only sort-of appears in it, in the final panels. The stuff with the mop is right out of his later adventures, though.

That one I'm aware of, but I think I'm going to skip it unless there's a hue and cry to include it.

Luke Blanchard said:

There's the Strange Tales #114 story too, although the real Captain America only sort-of appears in it, in the final panels. The stuff with the mop is right out of his later adventures, though.

I always thought of and like to read Avengers #4 and #5 and FF #24 and #25 (i think) as Cap's one continuing firtsa appearence, they all link together as his introduction to Marvel and his settling in period in the Avenegrs.

Not remotely solo appearences though, but a unique view.

-Also, a question occurrs already - I understand Stan deliberatly did not bring Bucky back as he disliked youthful sidekicks - why then does he immediatly attach Rick Jones to cap as his...youthful sidekick?

...Hue . Cry .

Randy Jackson said:

That one I'm aware of, but I think I'm going to skip it unless there's a hue and cry to include it.

Luke Blanchard said:

There's the Strange Tales #114 story too, although the real Captain America only sort-of appears in it, in the final panels. The stuff with the mop is right out of his later adventures, though.

...Hue II . Cry-yi-yi .

Richard Mantle said:

I always thought of and like to read Avengers #4 and #5 and FF #24 and #25 (i think) as Cap's one continuing firtsa appearence, they all link together as his introduction to Marvel and his settling in period in the Avenegrs.

Not remotely solo appearences though, but a unique view.

-Also, a question occurrs already - I understand Stan deliberatly did not bring Bucky back as he disliked youthful sidekicks - why then does he immediatly attach Rick Jones to cap as his...youthful sidekick?

I find it more believable if you think that these "ordinary" supporting characters have some sort of low level superpowers or a higher degree of durability like the Howling Commandos or Aunt May.

Randy Jackson said:

I've long postulated that there's some sort of odd gene that allows ordinary citizens of the Marvel Universe to not only survive radiation acccidents, electrical accidents and other accidents but gain super-powers through them as well.

I think Rick's power is the ability to befriend and hang out with anyone he chooses.

Randy Jackson said:

That one I'm aware of, but I think I'm going to skip it unless there's a hue and cry to include it.

Looking at it I've been struck by just how much of the later Cap is there in the action, and in the way the false Cap can stand up to the Torch despite his greater power. And yet, something vital - his idealism - is missing. He also never throws the shield.

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