Admittedly, Captain America probably isn’t the best comic book to spotlight in the month of October amidst the ghosts and goblins running amok, but this story (and a few others) is a bit of an exception. Set in northern England, Cap returns to a place that he and his old partner Bucky fought against the Germans many years ago in WWII. This little excursion is taking place on the heels of Cap having a hair-raising experience with his old foe, Baron Blood (Roger Stern and John Byrne). Now he must face an old castle full of memories, and ghoulish threats!
This one is written by Bill Mantlo (Incredible Hulk, ROM, The Micronauts), and he has a group of fans (including me) that just adore his work. ROM and The Hulk specifically are very good works of his to read, and they can usually be found at fair prices anywhere. The artwork features the always ready to produce, Gene Colan (pencils). Overall the book is pretty even but there were three inkers on this issue (late on the deadline?), so things do get noticeably different in spots. Dave Simons, Al Milgrom, and Frank Giacoia shared the duties. Letters by Jim Novak, colors by Bob Sharen, and edited by Jim Salicrup! The best is for last, as this marvelous, excellent cover is by none other than Marie Severin!
Now that Halloween is over, Lets get back to some superhero comics! And why not start off with something from the King?!! When people talk about the return of the king, I don’t think of a Hobbit, I think of Jack “King” Kirby returning to Marvel in the mid-1970s. The man was a legend before he left Marvel for DC in 1970, so some may have written off his last works for Marvel Comics, thinking they’d be inferior to his previous works. Honestly, his Fantastic Four run is the stuff of legend, and co-creating the Avengers, X-Men, and many other characters/groups is obviously extremely important. In his return to marvel though, he was able to be in complete control of his work (writing, editing, penciling). This gave the world some iconic and trippy books that are also the stuff of legend!
In this issue, we see Steve Rogers get kidnapped by a terrorist group in Central America. The story is one that has a slight humanitarian angle to it (explained by Jack Kirby in the intro), but it’s basically a Cap issue where he shows good versus evil. Nothing to heady but definitely a good read that keeps your eyes on the paper, especially from his marvelous visuals. The inks are by “Fearless” Frank Giacoia, letters by Jim Novak, and colors by George Roussos.
All month-long I’ll be spotlighting the work of Jack Kirby, and the last post showed his awesomeness on the Fantastic Four. Honestly though, I loved his run on Captain America just as much! He made Steve look very handsome, and Sharon Carter was very sexy in her panels as well! In this specific issue, Steve and Sharon are trying to enjoy a quiet evening out on the town, but suddenly, their dance is interrupted by some of the Red Skull’s henchmen. They use knockout gas on Steve (not realizing it’s Captain America), and kidnap Sharon. The Skull wants to lure Cap to his island base, where he can destroy him for good!
Cap fights his way through the Skull’s minions (no, not the ones from Despicable Me), and he finds Sharon, chained up in a cell. He frees her, but then must face the Skull and his generals. Cap manages to escape with Sharon, but the Skull is confident that he wont get far. The Skull holds a detonator in his hands, and prepares to hit the switch! Will Cap and Sharon survive? I hope you enjoy my Kirby tribute this month, and rest assured, it’ll stay at this height for the month! See you in three days!