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Captain America: Forever Allies #1: Review

Aug 2010
Roger Stern, Nick Dragotta

Story Name:

Part One: Unfinished Business

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Captain America: Forever Allies #1 Review by (August 10, 2010)
Review: Intriguing look back at a forgotten era of Marvel history is well-done and quite enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the next issue. Hope we get to see more of the Young Allies, though.

Comments: The (original) Young Allies first appeared (as the Sentinels of Liberty) in CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #4 (June 1941) and were renamed and spun off into their own title YOUNG ALLIES COMICS #1 shortly afterwards. They were created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby but in their own title the writer was Stan Lee and the artist Charles Nicholas. The names have been slightly altered for this version: Knuckles was Percival Aloysius O'Toole, Wash was Whitewash Jones, Geoff was Jefferson Worthing Sandervilt and Hank, Henry “Tubby” Tinkle. Lady Lotus was not an authentic Young Allies villain but was introduced in INVADERS #37 (February 1979). Texas Jack Muldoon, also a Kirby creation, first appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA (Vol. 1) #201. Second story reprinted from TALES OF SUSPENSE #63.


Captain America: Forever Allies #1 Review by (May 9, 2011)
The present-day action of this issue overlaps slightly with that in Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special, also written by Roger Stern. That comic featured the death of Knuckles, and then skipped forward to after the death of Wash, the last of the Young Allies apart from Bucky (and the now-resurrected Toro). This issue starts with Wash's funeral. Invaders and Kid Commandos are modern Marvel inventions of Roy Thomas. But Young Allies was a Timely group in their own comic series and several others, which spanned a period of publication dates from 1941 to 1947. The retconned disappearances of Cap and Bucky near the end of the war means that later appearances of the Young Allies must have featured Bucky's replacement Fred Davis. But Forever Allies and the Special now also indicate that the 4 non-costumed boys entered the military during the war, and so some of the wartime YA stories can't have happened. The 70th Anniversary reference was to August 1944. This issue brings their service dates back to at least 1943. The idea now is that the comic stories were invented or exaggerated for propaganda purposes. Bucky remembers Hank being in the Marines and Geoff in Naval Intelligence. The 70th Anniversary story has them both in the O.S.S., at least in August 1944.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America: Forever Allies #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Bucky Barnes looks back on his wartime adventures as the partner of Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, and as a junior member, with Toro, of the Invaders. But they were senior members of the Kid Commandos and before that, of the Young Allies. The other members of this latter team were four non-powered boys: Patrick "Knuckles" O’Toole, Washington "Wash" Jones, Geoffrey Worthington "Geoff" Vandergill, and Hank Tinklebaum. Together they adventured against the Nazis and were the stars of a fictionalized comic book and eventually went on to distinguished careers in the military and good lives after the War.

Now, Bucky finds himself attending the funeral of Wash, the last surviving member of the group and there he spies a familiar face, a young attractive Asian woman who smells of lotus blossom. He tries to catch up to her but misses her as she drives away. Who is she? She resembles the hypnotic Lady Lotus, one of their enemies from the War, but much too young. A database search reveals Lady Lotus, real name Lotus Newmark, is in a federal prison in Colorado. As Captain America, he hitches a plane ride west with an old pal of Steve’s, Texas Jack Muldoon. On the way he recalls a run-in with Lady Lotus during the War: the Young Allies were appearing at a bond rally held in a Los Angeles movie theater. The young heroes were objecting to the enlarged comic book poster decorating the stage, especially the insulting racial caricature of Wash. Toro solves the problem by immolating the offending picture. Outside a group of zoot-suited Latinos start a riot; when they are quelled by a dazzling flash from Toro they have no memory of what they have done. They didn’t know it then but the men’s actions were the result of Lady Lotus’ mind control….

Cap is dropped into the wilds of Colorado and visits the prison in the guise of a news reporter who has come to interview Lotus Newmark. But the woman brought out to him is not Lotus—the villainess has used her mind-manipulating powers to switch places with an inmate set for release and hypnotized everyone into not noticing the difference….

In Hollywood, the real, youthful Lady Lotus smug in the knowledge that all her old enemies are dead, plots to regain the power they denied her years ago—the power of the gods themselves….


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> Captain America: Forever Allies: Book info and issue index


Story #2

The Origin of Captain America!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Frank Giacoia.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

During the early days of World War 2, several US general and intelligence men are gathered at a secret lab underneath an innocent curio shop to witness the test of Operation Rebirth. A 4-F volunteer named Steve Rogers is brought forward and given a chemical mixture to drink. Immediately his body grows in muscle mass and agility creating a hero before their eyes. Suddenly, a Nazi agent appears and shoots Dr. Erskine, who was the only man who knew the Rebirth formula. Steve leaps into action, taking the gun from the killer, who, in trying to escape, runs into machinery and is accidentally electrocuted. Christened Captain America and outfitted with a red, white, and blue uniform, Steve becomes the heroic defender of freedom against the Nazi menace. In his off-hours Steve adopts the persona of a bumbling GI at Fort Lehigh. When camp mascot Bucky Barnes discovers his secret identity, he becomes Cap’s partner, aiding him in capturing a gang of Nazi saboteurs. Thus a heroic team is born!

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Nick Dragotta
Patrick Piazzalunga
Chris Sotomayor
Lee Weeks (Cover Penciler)
Lee Weeks (Cover Inker)
Matt Hollingsworth (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Toro
Toro

(Thomas Raymond)

Plus: Lady Lotus, Texas Jack Muldoon, Young Allies.