Wednesday, 9 April 2014

This Week in Free Comics (08/04/14) - Captain America!

This week, we get a bunch of issues exploring a few sources of inspiration for The Winter Soldier: Steve's first meeting with Sharon Carter (also the first appearance of Batroc the Leaper, #75); Falcon's first appearance (#110), but also several other monumental occassions in the Captain America canon: alternative versions of the role: the second Bucky (or, following retcons, the fourth), Rick Jones (#110, an issue beautifuly drawn by Jim Steranko); Nomad, Steve's brief identity during the Nixon era (as the issue opens, "Captain America lies behind him [Steve Rogers] in the rubble that is politics, 1974..., #180); John Walker, Super-Patriot/The Captain, who takes up the role after Steve refuses to serve as Captain America on an official capacity (#332); his death in the 1990s (#445); and also his more recent death and rebirth, with Bucky taking up the mantle: #25, #600 and Rebirth #1. 

We also see some origin tales: #255, a revision of events of 1940 from Stern/Byrne's infamous run; Captain America Comics #1, the hilariously 1940s version of events; Avengers #4, which brought Steve two decades forward in time into the modern era. I've been reading some early DC stuff recently on Comixology, namely the origins of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The comics of that era were a special breed: pre-Comics Code violence, fonts used in dialogue which should adorn posters, not speech, and an art style which is strangely unrefined. Perhaps not to be read for more serious reading - but merely affectionately; a point of comparison to how books have changed from 60 page anthologies to modern epics by Brubaker and co.

Jack Kirby's lackluster 1975 return (#193); the recently resurrected limited series, Living Legend (originally supposed to be released in 2011 as Astonishing Captain America, with stunning art by Adi Granov); that time Cap ran for presidency (#250), which has become a recent sticking point in the Ultimate universe, and his first solo appearance in Tales of Suspense (the Iron Man story is also there), are included here as well as two OK relaunches: 1996's Heroes Reborn and Remender's Castaway in Dimension Z arc in the most recent volume.

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