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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Great Moments in Comic Book History, Volume Three

Despite the fact that they've given a thoroughly unreasonable amount of coverage to the alleged death of Steve Rogers in Captain America #25, the media seem to have missed one crucial fact about the story. Namely: We have all been down this road before.

And I don't just mean the revolving-door afterlife of comics in general, but with Captain America himself. Specifically, I'm thinking of Jim Steranko's "The Strange Death of Captain America" in 1969's Cap #113, wherein Cap's been taken out by the surprisingly hot forces of HYDRA, who then move to ambush the rest of the Avengers at his funeral.

Of course, he's only dead for about eleven pages, at which time he crashes into the graveyard on a rocket-powered motorcycle--a recurring theme in Steranko's work--and then proceeds to beat the ever-loving hell out of everyone.

It is beautiful.

(Click for Super-Awesome Giant-Sized Version)

A man can be destroyed! A team or an army can be destroyed! But how do you destroy an ideal--a dream? How do you destroy a living symbol--or his indomitable will--his unquenchable spirit? Perhaps these are the thoughts which thunder within the murderous minds of those who have chosen the way of HYDRA--of those who face the fighting fury of freedom's most fearless champion--the gallant, red-white-and-blue-garbed figure who has been a towering source of inspiration to liberty-lovers everywhere!

How can the fearsome forces of evil ever hope to destroy the unconquerable

More Great Moments in Comic Book History:

| Volume One: Pirate Batman Throws Down On A Shark |
| Volume Two: Nick Fury Appears Like a Human Cyclone |


Anonymous Mallet said...

In other news, a man was found dead in his home today. Cause of death...

He was totally freaked out.

3/11/2007 1:06 AM

Anonymous Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

How can the fearsome forces of evil ever hope to destroy the unconquerable

Hiring Mark Millar and Paul Jenkins seems to have done the trick. :)

3/11/2007 1:19 AM

Blogger Jon Hex said...

Is that Rick Jones in the Bucky suit? Maybe he should become the new Bucky when the original becomes Captain America.

3/11/2007 1:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Richard Corben ganked Meat Loaf's BAT OUT OF HELL album cover from Steranko!?!

"Cap's gonna hit the hordes of HYDRA like a battering ram on a rocket powered bike!"

3/11/2007 1:30 AM

Blogger Bully said...

When people tell me "Cap has no super-powers," I totally sneer at them and declare "Cap has the super-power of awesome."

3/11/2007 3:19 AM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

And getting sneered at by a little stuffed bull is such total pwnage...

3/11/2007 3:32 AM

Anonymous MW said...

Not only is Madame Hydra surprisingly hot, she's also believably so, unlike one recently revamped villain who will remain unnamed but is now inexplicably a big-breasted hot babe.

(Hint: It's Ultron.)

3/11/2007 3:46 AM

Anonymous Fiendenstein said...

If you look closely,you can lip-read Cap in that pick, and he's saying

"I got your fucking Myspace right here"

3/11/2007 4:23 AM

Blogger Vincent Dacak said...

That image should be added to the panels that could have been 80s heavy metal albums

3/11/2007 4:30 AM

Anonymous Crowded House said...

The Jim Steranko theory of comics: "Everything can be made better if it features a man laeping off a motorcycle and into a gunfight."

This needs to be bronzed and hanged somewhere in Marvel's offices to show writers how you do things like this right.

3/11/2007 5:07 AM

Anonymous AJ said...

I don't care how good a writer Ed Brubaker is. Unless the eventual resurrection of Captain America culminates in that exact same image, I'm not buying it (figuratively and literally).

That image of Cap busting some Hydra ass in the graveyard while riding a motorcycle freaked me out so hard I couldn't even articulate complete thoughts a full minute after I saw it.

3/11/2007 5:26 AM

Anonymous Fortress Keeper said...

The Steranko Age of Comics - brief, but it totally blew my mind.

Unlike the Quesada Age, which just blows.

3/11/2007 8:26 AM

Blogger CapVsBats said...

1) Is it too late to open a mySpace account in Cap's name?

2) The Baroness vs Madame Hydra - Udecide.

3/11/2007 9:57 AM

Blogger Erin Palette said...

Yes, Chris, we HAVE been down this road before, but in all other times Cap died as a hero.

This time, a disgraced and arrested Cap was gunned down like a dog.

Heroic sacrifice vs. senseless execution.

3/11/2007 10:59 AM

Blogger rob! said...

Marvel really shouldve collected the Steranko Caps into a treasury edition---that wouldve ROCKED, and ROCKED HARD.

3/11/2007 11:01 AM

Blogger rob! said...

Marvel really shouldve collected the Steranko Caps into a treasury edition---that wouldve ROCKED, and ROCKED HARD.

3/11/2007 11:01 AM

Anonymous doug said...

I wonder if the the folks at Marvel responsible for Civil War have seen that image lately, and if they have I wonder if they just chuckle, roll their eyes and think how out of touch it is. Assholes.

3/11/2007 11:52 AM

Blogger Mike Haseloff said...

Give me liberty.
Why won't you give me liberty, Marvel? Why?

I could be wrong but I think before it all went down Cap was heard to mutter, "Not like this!" *Blam Blam Blam*

3/11/2007 12:37 PM

Blogger PMMJ said...

Baroness vs Madame Hydra? I pick... both?

3/11/2007 12:42 PM

Blogger Tom_B said...

1. Is it just me, or is there an extra HYDRA arm in the image, right around where Rick/Bucky's left leg should be?

2. You just know the HYDRA dude drawing down on Rick from behind Cap's right thigh is going to discover a whole new world of hurt before he gets a chance to pull the trigger. The potential for sheer mayhem and Sterankophonic carnage is just mind-boggling.

3/11/2007 1:01 PM

Blogger Siskoid said...

So I was reading Marvel Two-in-One #3 for my blog stuff, and there it is, Captain America getting shot... BY HITLER!

Steve Gerber telegraphed it all way back in 1974!

3/11/2007 1:22 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Vincent Dacak: I thought the exact same thing.

Erin Palette: I've got to disagree with you on this one. Cap takes a sniper's bullet while knocking someone out of the way, even while he's handcuffed, and even after an ungrateful crowd has literally thrown rotten tomatoes at him. He's still protecting the people even after the people have turned on him, and that's pretty much the definition of heroic sacrifice.

As unimpressed as I am by the hype, it is a good comic.

3/11/2007 5:00 PM

Anonymous Allan said...

Alas, poor Cap. So great they killed him twice. Or was that three times? Gruenwald did it as well -- only that time he also had to suffer the ignominy of having to wear a suit of bionic armour...

3/11/2007 6:05 PM

Anonymous Steve Flanagan said...

"... No matter whom he really was ..."

Oh, that Steranko. Great with the rocket-powered motocycles; not so hot with the grammer.

3/11/2007 6:48 PM

Blogger Johnny B said...

Hard of core, and bad of ass.

3/11/2007 8:25 PM

Blogger Erin Palette said...


As per my bio, I must now resort to shrieking and spitting when confronted with inconvenient facts. Thus:

< shrieking>< spitting>
"Given the character assination rampant throught Civil War, I refuse to accept your logical and substantiated argument! I reject your reality and substitute my own! What they did to Cap was criminal and unforgivable! DEATH TO QUESADA! DEATH TO MILLAR!
< /shrieking>< /spitting>

3/11/2007 8:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

are they trying to exhume Fury's body and switch it with someone else?

3/11/2007 9:28 PM

Blogger thatsthespirit said...

Didn't Cap get shot dead in a hallway while he was with Falcon just last year?

3/11/2007 10:13 PM

Blogger Carla said...

God Bless America.

3/12/2007 1:53 AM

Anonymous Josh said...


Why blame Steranko? Surely Madame Hydra's using an accusative pronoun with a copulative verb because her evil knows no bounds.

3/12/2007 5:53 AM

Blogger kelvingreen said...

Yeah, this is awesome and cool and shows how Cap is not an outdated patriotic symbol, but in fact a total badass, but I think you'll find it lacks the gritty relevance and verisimilitude that comic readers really want. They don't want heroes fighting hordes of bad guys, they want heroes fighting heroes for no apparent reason.

This is true. I heard Joey Q say it.

3/12/2007 10:07 AM

Blogger kelvingreen said...

Hang on, is the Vision supposed to be there, or is he just hanging out in a Where's Wally style?

3/12/2007 10:08 AM

Anonymous "O" the Humanatee! said...

'< shrieking>< spitting>
"Given the character assination rampant throught Civil War, I refuse to accept your logical and substantiated argument! ...
< /shrieking>< /spitting>'

The great thing about shrieking, spitting people is that they come up with new words that demand to enter the critical lexicon. If you look in future literary dictionaries, you will see "character assination" defined as "turning a formerly admirable character into an asshole for the sake of an ill-conceived story; cf. Civil War, Tony Stark, Reed Richards."

3/12/2007 12:53 PM

Blogger Jeff said...

Now I really want to see a Marvel Universe stage musical written by Jim Steinman. With Meat Loaf playing Uatu the Watcher.

Hell, they could just use Bat Out of Hell. It makes so little sense at parts ("there's a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye?") that it wouldn't really matter one way or the other.

At the very least, Marvel, we need a Marvel Comics Sternako Stunt Spectacular motorcyle tour.

3/12/2007 2:28 PM

Blogger Luis Sopelana said...

Frank Miller did an awesome (if offensive to Jews, perhaps) parody of that image in that Dark Horse HAPPY ENDINGS book from four/five years ago.

3/15/2007 8:21 PM


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