Essential Captain America—Volume 1

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Classic Silver Age Captain America action

The older comics might be harder for younger readers to stomach because of pacing and style

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Tales of Suspense/Captain America (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Stan Lee/Roy Thomas

Artist:  Jack Kirby/George Tuska/Dick Ayers/John Romita/Gil Kane

# of Issues:  44

Release Date:  2000

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Tales of Suspense #59

Reprints Tales of Suspense #59-99 and Captain America (1) #100-102 (November 1964-June 1968).  Steve Rogers is a man reborn.  Thawed from an icy grave by the Avengers, Steve finds himself trying to adjust to a world that is not his own.  Returning to his guise of Captain America, Steve finds himself battling old villains like the Red Skull for the safety of the world and remembering his adventures during World War II with his old ally Bucky.  The United States is threatened and both it and the world need Captain America!

Written primarily by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby, Essential Captain America—Volume 1 collects Captain America’s earliest solo appearances after his reintroduction to the Marvel Universe in Avengers (1) #4 (March 1964).  The Tales of Suspense issues collected in this volume were shared with fellow Avenger Iron Man and these were collected in the Essential Iron Man volumes.  Like all Essential collections, these issues are reprinted in black-and-white on rather cheap paper.

Despite being a rather generic do-gooder, I like Captain America.  He has to walk a thin line between being a tool of the government and a voice for the people.  That being said, this is not really an issue in the issues presented in this volume, but the concept is still an underlying theme.

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Captain America (1) #100

These early issues like many early comics are a bit rocky.  Marvel was leaps and bounds ahead of DC still at this point in developing more rounded characters with longer plotlines, but the issues are still very “comic book” oriented with simple adventures that wrap up really nice and neatly.  The format of Tales of Suspense with the shared issues also lead to a compressed feeling to the comics that sometimes means a lot can happen in a page or two…something very different from today’s comics which sometimes struggle to have anything happen in an issue or two.

Much of this volume is flashbacks to Captain America’s adventures in World War II with Bucky so this almost doubles as a war book for Marvel.  The series did help restore the Red Skull as a prominent Captain America enemy but did also introduce some other characters.  Batroc the Leaper first appeared in Tales of Suspense #75 (March 1966), the Adaptoid (later Super-Adaptoid) in Tales of Suspense #82 (October 1966), and M.O.D.O.K. appeared in Tales of Suspense #93 (September 1967).  The Cosmic Cube which became a plot point for The Avengers movie first appeared in Tales of Suspense #79 (July 1966).

These early adventures helped establish Captain America with an audience.  With the character’s popularity Tales of Suspense ended with Tales of Suspense #99 in March of 1968 and Captain America’s solo comic premiered in April 1968 with Captain America (1) #100.  If you are a Cap fan, this collection is a must, but also a general Marvel fan should check it out.  Captain America’s solo comic is collected in the following volumes of Essential Captain America so this is a definite lead in to Essential Captain America—Volume 2.

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Related Links:

Essential Captain America—Volume 2

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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