Captain America #193 (January 1976) "The Madbomb - Screamer in the Brain!"
1)"The trial of the Falcon is over" - What was the trial of the Falcon about? Don't recall ever hearing about that one.
2)Leila - The Falcon's (I assume) girlfriend is another character I've never heard of.
3)I hacked on Roy Thomas for writing dialogue that no real person would ever say, but really, Kirby does the same thing. It's just that he carries it off better.
4)Secretary "Henny" the Cartoon German comes across as an odd mis-step.
Overall: An interesting beginning.
I'd guess the story ends so abruptly because this is Kirby's last issue and he probably left the series very suddenly, especially considering the next two issues are fillers.
What happened with the villain's costume? It's blue on the cover of #213 but the GCD shows it as both yellow and green on the cover of #214, depending on which version of the issue you got.
Captain America Annual #3 (1976) "The Thing from the Black Hole Star!"
Kirby, inked by Giacoia and Verpoorten
Cap and a farmer encounter an escaped alien prisoner, who turns out to be quite dangerous.
Overall: A pretty good story, as Cap slowly comes to understand that his new "friend" is anything but.
Captain America Annual #4 (1977) "The Great Mutant Massacre!"
Kirby, inked by Verpoorten and Tartaglione.
Cap and Magneto contend for custody of the unusual mutant Mister one, unaware of his relationship to Mister Two!
Overall: Another one that I remember buying when it first came out. I've always thought that this was a pretty good story, with an interesting central concept. The new Evil Mutants are a bit of a weak spot, not being among Kirby's most inspired creations.
On the other hand there have been much worse mutants in the X-Men titles since the 90s than these guys. Possibly Kirby isn't giving Marvel his best creations. He does leave again soon and he's probably still remembering what happened to Him. Would have been interesting to see how he would have used Adam Warlock, but by that point he was changed so much Kirby probably no longer saw Him as his creation.
These guys, especially the eyeball mutant, convince me Scott Summers would have probably really had one eye and the Beast would probably have always been furry if Kirby had been allowed to make weird freakish superheroes in the early 60s.
Just about the time this conversation moved to my favorite part of the run (#206-212), I was forced to drop off for a time due to personal reasons. The conversation is over now, but I’ll try to follow behind and play clean-up.
Lots of the full-page panels and double-page spreads in this run have been presented in The Jack Kirby Collector over the years, un-inked and nearly full size. The “Kirby Dots” (a.k.a. “Kirby Crackle”) often appear uniform, but that’s largely due to the various inkers. The way Kirby penciled them, they often looked like bubbles.
#206, p. 14: That shot of Steve Rogers unconscious made the Marvel No-Prize Book. If you trace the arc of his shield sticking out from his jacket, it becomes obvious that there’s no way the jacket could have concealed it. Maybe it was made of Gallifreyan fabric.
#207: Thus begins the Falcon’s “sub-plot to nowhere” mission.
#208: Cover blurb: “Beginning! A startling new concept!—A stunning new adventure!” That’s a little misleading. I like the way Kirby portrays the SHIELD regional office agents (here and in Eternals) as just guys in suits. They can’t all work on the helicarrier.
I love the Arnim Zola full page reveal on the last page! (That’s another one TJKC presented un-inked.) Oddly, Arnim Zola didn’t get good cover representation during this storyline.
#209, pp. 2-3: Love that double-page spread!
#210: This is the last we see of the Falcon (just as he finds the giant bird-thing) until #213. Kirby just dropped this sub-plot and wrapped it up with a bit a dialogue three issues later. That’s kind of sloppy.
#211-212: Now the story really kicks into high gear! No wonder he forgot about the Falcon. (Still no excuse, though.)
#213-214: The Night Flyer is one of a few Kirby characters that nothing much else was ever done with. Granted he died in this issue, but Bill Mantlo brought him back in Hulk a year or two later. Not one of Kirby’s more inspired creations, but Mantlo developed the concept of a cult of Night Flyer assassins.
Kligger and Veda and The Corporation: Kirby used “The Corporation” as villains in both Captain America and Machine Man, an east coast and a west coast branch. The loose ends were tied up in a Captain America/Hulk crossover. Veda was revealed (by either Don Glut or Steve Gerber) to be the granddaughter of “Agent R,” the female secret service agent disguised as an old woman during Operation: Rebirth. In the photo Veda carried of her she was horrible disfigured, but Veda was killed soon after and the angle of Agent R’s disfiguration was ever revealed. I always wondered where that story would have gone.
Donna Maria: She turned up later as a staffer on the Avengers’ Hydrobase.
Sharon Carter: I’m pretty sure this is the last time Sharon was featured prominently in a story until it was revealed she “died” on a mission. She returned, decades later (thanks to Mark Waid) as a much stronger character, and she remains an active part of the supporting cast today.
Annual #3: You know, except for a few throwaway lines of dialogue on the last page, this could well have been a Golden Age (or 1950s) story. There’s a chunk of Captain America Comics from that era that has yet to be reprinted, and I’d really like to read those stories someday.
Annual #4/Magneto: This is the first non-X-Men appearance of Magneto since he was “re-aged” (he had been “youthened” to a baby in Defenders a while back and restored to adulthood recently). He was pretty much out of character, but who’s going to say no to Jack Kirby? It was later alluded to that Magneto’s recent experience had unhinged him somewhat, but it was also what enabled him to become a good guy later.
Red Skull: I thought the end of #212 was abrupt and unsatisfying. Coincidentally, Captain America guest-starred in Marvel UK’s Captain Britain around this time, and they fought the Red Skull. I have seen at least one index place this serial before Kirby’s run, but I think it reads better after.
Sorry I had to drop out of the discussion there toward the end.
Just about the time this conversation moved to my favorite part of the run (#206-212), I was forced to drop off for a time due to personal reasons. .