Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Silver-Aged Legend!

When Captain America got his town comic again in 1968, it was a pretty big deal. He was arguably Marvel's highest profile hero from its earliest Golden Age days and now the die is firmly cast when Cap becomes a titular part of the new Marvel Universe. Likewise the Sub-Mariner got a comic at this same time. Alas while eventually Subby would fall by the wayside, Cap's mag soldiered on for a few decades to come.

Cap had to wrap up a few loose ends though as he and the Black Panther battled together against the seeming menace of Baron Zemo. That story wraps up in the debut of Cap's own title which takes over the numbering of Tales of Suspense.

Then the Red Skull returns and along with him comes yet another Sleeper, this one much different in style and nature of menace. It sure seemed the Nazis spent a lot of time plotting about what would happen when they ultimately failed in their bid for world domination in World War II.

Along with the Sleeper was another new wrinkle in the Red Skull threat, the addition of other remnants from WWII, a weird gang of quasi-Axis agents dubbled The Exiles.

After doing in the Skull's latest schemes and at long last learning the actual name of his love Sharon Carter, Cap finds that super-villains still want a piece of his hide. One of my favorite battles is when Cap has to race to save the city from a deadly bomb but is delayed by the trio of Batroc, Living Laser and Swordsman.

Then things get weird as Cap battles against foreign agents who use LMD technology to create problems.

The deadly Doctor Faustus makes his debut when he tries to gaslight the Living Legend. It's a worthy effort but it doesn't work.

Cap's battle against The Trapster is a pretty neat action bit, but not very credible. The Trapstper (Paste Pot Pete) always comes across as a small timer no matter how many gimmicks they dream up for him.

As Kirby steps away from his co-creation we get another telling of his origin, this time masterfully inked by Syd Shores. Shores did quite a few of these, teaming together two of the best Golden Age Cap artists.

But it's George Tuska who steps in to ink Jack Kirby's actual swan song on this run when "The King" is called upon to produce an album issue. He did it in record speed, but it's still a great read and shows little sign of being rushed. When Kirby would return to the Living Legend it would be many years and he'd not only be the artist but the writer as well.

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