Punching Nazis in the Face

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

This is the first of a series of comics Marvel is putting out to commemorate their 70th birthday. And I gotta say, I love the cover, with Cap and Bucky beating the snot out of Nazis, plus that retro “Timely Comics” banner — for those of you who aren’t as up on comics history, Timely was Marvel’s original name.

Anyway, our main story is written by James Robinson, one of my favorite comics writers, with illustrations by Marcos Martin. It tells a story of Steve Rogers before he became Captain America, when he was a skinny 4-F reject, heartbroken that he won’t be able to serve his country. But by blind luck, a murdered fed pushes a mysterious jewel into his hands, and Steve is on the run from a gang of Nazi saboteurs. He manages to elude them, even manages to kill a couple of them. He even pulls off some fancy stunts with a garbage can lid that suggest that Cap’s later shield-throwing abilities didn’t come from the super-soldier serum.

And there’s a followup story, a reprint from Captain America Comics #7 in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Far from the battlefields of WWII, it details Cap and Bucky’s battle against a villain called the Toad as he tries to ruin the Brookly Badgers baseball team by killing off the players. It’s a decent story, but I kept getting distracted by the villain, who despite being called the Toad, wears a costume that looks like this:

Siiiigh. You almost wish they’d just called him Batman. (Dig the jawline on his lowlife henchman, though)

Verdict: Thumbs up. The Simon and Kirby reprint is a great bonus, but the main story really is excellent. Steve’s dejection at being rejected by the Army is really well done, the chase through New York is excellent and thrilling, and the framing sequence — Cap and Bucky preparing for a paratrooper jump over Europe — is also very good. Gotta love the way 4-F Steve manages to take out so many Nazis, even if he gets winded and banged-up in the process. And of course, there are very few things, either in comics or in the real world, that are more awesome than beating the heil out of Nazis! This is just a plain wonderful comic from beginning to end.

Wonder Woman #30

Genocide is torturing Etta Candy, Zeus has resurrected Achilles to serve as his warmongering peacenik ambassador to the Earth, and Wonder Woman beats up on Cheetah, mashes the Secret Society’s headquarters, and gains Dr. T.O. Morrow as a new (though probably temporary) ally.

Verdict: Ehhh. It seems fairly well produced, but I’m just colossally bored with this whole storyline.

No Comments

  1. Sado Said,

    April 7, 2009 @ 7:25 am

    Zeus resurrects _Achilles_ to be an ambassador? The only person worse to choose would be Telamonian Ajax (sulker supreme!).

    Was Odysseus busy or something?

  2. Steph Said,

    April 7, 2009 @ 8:09 am

    If that’s him on the cover then he looks fabulous! haha

  3. swampy Said,

    April 7, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

    Steve Rogers was very skinny…almost skeletal-like….great art by Marco Martin