Being in a patriotic mood today, I decided to read Ess it ential Captain America Vol 1 together with Essential Avengers Vol 1 and came up with some queries about the Star-Spangled Avenger so:

  • We all know about Cap's "return" in Strange Tales #114 battling the Human Torch. I theorized that it wasn't so much a tryout but a way to refamilarize readers with the concept of Cap before actually reintroducing the character. IIRC, Johnny sees "Cap" advertised to make an appearance at a car show yet it's never "Cap is back after all these years" which unknowingly gives credence to the retcons of the THREE other Caps that appeared in the late 40s and mid 50s. "Cap" is simply out of retirement again. Yet when the real Cap returns in Avengers #4, it is heralded by the public as a near-religious resurrection. Cap was gone twenty years, believed to be dead. Yet no one was surprised by his Strange Tales comeback, not even Johnny who at the end of the story wondered where the real Cap was and if he would ever return. So taking to two stories combined with the 70s revisions, does that mean that the people of the Marvel Universe now know there was a government cover-up to deceive them that Captain America was still alive? Not once but thrice?
  • When exactly did Cap's shield become indestructible? Not just tough and durable but actually described as unbreakable? His shield was gimmicked by Iron Man with magnetic devices and was given a fliptop but it was always stated that it was his original shield. In Tales of Suspense #62, Cap says he "threw away all of Iron Man's magnetic gimmicks! They ruined (his) shield's delicate balance!" Not that he had a hi-tech shield and went back to his first one. Roy Thomas even destroyed it in one of his early Avengers stories!
  • Was Cap super-human? Marvel always claimed no but he was frozen for twenty years with no brain damage and still in peak condition! That has to count as a super-power! Combined that with his strength, speed and agility, can Cap really be regarded as a "normal" man?
  • It has been confirmed that Cap's memories were repressed after his thawing, which is why he didn't remember the Sub-Mariner (whose own memory was foggy, too!). Yet he remembered Zemo, the Red Skull, even "Der Tag". He seemed to recall a lot about the war, so when did he regain all of his memory? After The Invaders was published?
  • Did Cap ever reconnect with people from his past (family, friends, war buddies)? It was only twenty years. It's not like everyone he ever known was dead already!
  • Why and how did Cap assume responsibilty for Rick Jones? Was that even legal? Where did Rick live in New York? In Avengers Mansion? Did he really look like Bucky? Did anyone else (Nick Fury, Dum Dum Duggan, Peggy Carter) think so? And why would Iron Man nominate Rick for the Avengers in the first place?
  • About Rick, after he left in Avengers #16, he returned to the Hulk in Tales To Astonish. How did he team up with Cap again during the Steranko period? He never appeared with Cap during his run in Tales of Suspense.
  • I could probably do one of these threads about the Falcon but I'll just ask this: How old is Redwing? He's been around for over forty years! That bird must have superpowers of his own!
  • Reality question: When Jack Kirby helped revive his co-creation, Captain America, did he tell Joe Simon? He must have known that Carl Burgos and Bill Everett weren't happy that he co-opted their characters for Fantastic Four. He saw Cap once again become a success with toys, merchandise and a cartoon series (such as it was). Did he consider Joe Simon and his rights?  I'll answer that: No he didn't. And why not? Because that's not how it was done back then! No matter what we think or feel NOW, THEN Jack and Stan did nothing wrong. That's how the business was, and in many ways, still is.

Thanks in advance! Meanwhile report any suspicious people to your local super-hero! (TEN POINTS to anyone who gets THAT reference and yes, it relates to Cap!)

 

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"That story won a Mopee Award in 2001 for not letting previous pages of plot get in the way of Cap throwing his mighty shield."

Gee, now I'm wondering who should get the blame for that, Don Heck or Stan Lee?  (Well, by Jim Kirk's standards, whoever's in charge is the one responsible, even if he wasn't involved!)

I mainly remember the folly of having Don Heck INK those issues. It was nothing like his earlier work. It was AWFUL, and UGLY. And I say that as a Don Heck fan!

Mr. Silver Age said:

In Avengers #35 (Dec 66), lasers from the Living Laser burned the “protective coating” off the shield, and when Cap tried to use it to protect Hawkeye and himself, “It disintegrated!” Cap exclaimed. “Just as if it were made of papier-mâché instead of metal!"

A few pages later, after Cap was saved, he confronted the villains, and Captain America threw his mighty shield at them. So either he had lots of shields sitting around his bedroom, he went back in time and picked up the old one, or he went into another dimension and stole another Cap’s shield, or…

I'm sure Roy Thomas has a note about this in a desk drawer somewhere. It probably involves Kang.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!   : )

Actually it was Roy Thomas who wrote that Cap's shield gets destroyed only to have it magically reappear like Kenny in a two-part South Park episode!

Roy did use Doctor Doom's time machine to allow a time-traveling shield to free WW2 Cap from Zemo's missile in Avengers #56.  Maybe that shield took a few extra sidetrips through time and space before whizzing its way back to "modern day" Cap.  That could explain every shield anomaly, ever.

You're welcome.

Philip Portelli:

"Actually it was Roy Thomas who wrote that Cap's shield gets destroyed only to have it magically reappear like Kenny in a two-part South Park episode!"

It would be interesting to find out exactly how that transition went. I'm SURE Roy Thomas would have been contributing more to each issue than Stan Lee ever did, so how much of Roy's 1st issue was Roy's work, and how much was Don Heck's (considering it was the 2nd HALF of a 2-parter already in the works) would be a good question.

It's notable  that Roy's 2nd & 3rd issues (the "Ultroids" 2-parter) reads more like a Gardner Fox comic than anything Marvel had put out in the 60's up to that point.  (Roy said he was "always" a bigger DC fan than Marvel fan. He would have spent his entire career at DC... if not for Mort Weisinger.  Hey, there's a thought that never crossed my mind before... if Mort had been easier to get along with, Jim Shooter might never have wound up on LEGION-- Roy might have been doing it!)

Hmmmm....I've always wondered what the significance of the Avengers, and specifically cap's reappearance in 1945 would have on how that adventure went down.  Just how DID Cap get free originally?  Or was it ALWAYS the case that Modern Cap came back in time to set Old Cap and Bucky free?  Hmmmmm.....

Doctor Hmmm? said:

Roy did use Doctor Doom's time machine to allow a time-traveling shield to free WW2 Cap from Zemo's missile in Avengers #56.  Maybe that shield took a few extra sidetrips through time and space before whizzing its way back to "modern day" Cap.  That could explain every shield anomaly, ever.

You're welcome.

Remember, shortly after TOS 92, Cap went to Wikanda and linked up with the Black Panther (because Zemo had returned from the grave), so I suspect the Vibranium connection was probably in the back of someone's mind by then.  Also, remember that alien Medusa guy from Avengers #4? Didn't he fire his raygun at Cap and strike the shield? Couldn't that have affected, altered it?  Just another idea for you guys...

PS: Why on earth would Namor stoop to trying to dupe an alien with a stone-ray gun to do his bidding? Doesn't make any more sense than why Doom would have enlisted Namor to help him in FF #6, does it?

Philip Portelli said:

Vibranium from Wakanda was described as a meteorite but man that must have been one HUGE meteorite! Not to mention that Vibranium was found in the Savage Land as well.

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