Tuesday, December 11, 2012
This is a very potent cover. Captain America surrounded by The Exiles, a veritable "Gashouse Gang" of the world's worst. Led by the Red Skull, the ultimate unreconstructed Nazi, the Exiles were composed of representatives of sundry enemy states. The old man Cadavas in that murderous chair, the Italian Baldini with his Mussolini cap and knotted scarf, General Ching from China gun in hand, Gruning with his whip and Hauptman with his iron hand, both like the Skull Nazis, and finally the Russian Krushki a grappler. This gang gave Cap all he wanted when our hero ended up on their isolated Sargasso Sea island.
Here's a look a the cover art in glorious black and white. Dan Adkins really inks Kirby with an energy rarely seen at the time.
Here's the cover in reprint, and sadly much muted in its effect.
And here's the art for a classic Kirby splash, a portrait if you will of some very, very evil men. Kirby really knew how to convey that thuggish decadent atmosphere. You can almost smell the deceit permeating the room.
And when I saw it, this Kid Colt cover by Kirby and Dick Ayers from 1963 seemed oddly similar to the later 1968 Cap cover. A compelling layout worthy of being used again.