I’m a big Captain America fan. I know, I know: It’s not hip to like America these days. But let me tell you why I love Cap…
First, he’s got that “fish out of water” thing going: A man from the past pulled into the future and forced, immediately, to take action on behalf of a country he thought he’d died for in the last truly righteous war ever fought–only the country he wakes up in is in the middle of an unpopular war, everyone he knew is dead, and the fruits of World War Two have led to an interrelated, difficult global geopolitical atmosphere.
I’m not starting with the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby Cap era. Yeah, the first issue had him punching Hitler in the face, but most of those comics are…Quite dated.
Nor am I starting with his return, as a back-up feature to Iron Man in Tales of Suspense. Again, those comics feel dated to me, and I really want to focus on Cap as a solo artist and title character.
After Tales of Suspense #99, Cap was deemed popular enough to carry his own title and they gave him the book, starting at #100, and just named it after him.
Stan Lee took the writing credits, but those first issues are all Kirby. I’m sure Stan added some flourishes to the dialog and probably had some story participation, but you can tell it’s Kirby by the way it unfolds. And by the fact that in his very first (100th) issue, Cap teams up with The Black Panther. It’s a great way to show this book will deal with the changed world in which Cap now lives.
I’ve never read a lot of these early issues, and there were long stretches where I didn’t read the comic before, so I really don’t know what kind of a ride I’m in for. I know what some of the “highs” will be, but not how many there will be–or how many “lows” I’ll have to plod through. So, I may decide to skip over some issue spans or skim them on other sites (not every issue of Cap is available through Marvel’s digital site, where I read most of my back issues), but the fun will be figuring it all out.
I hope you’ll stick with me and drop me comments from time to time!
And check out Cap’s first letter column masthead: