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Captain America Comics #13: Review

Apr 1942
Stan Lee, Al Avison

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Story Name:

The League of the Unicorn!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America Comics #13 Review by (April 9, 2012)
Comments: “All-Out for America Issue!” In case the first twelve issues left you wondering which side Captain America was on! 3) The Looter has a backwards swastika on his cap but otherwise there is no mention of Nazis in the tale; 4) text story; 7) first appearance/origin of the Secret Stamp.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America Comics #13 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Late one evening in town, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes see a Chinese man being pursued by a gang of Asians with metal horns affixed to their foreheads. The villains impale their quarry and intend to take him back for torture. Steve and Bucky change into Captain America and Bucky and drive off the assailants. The dying man explains that they were the League of the Unicorn, an Asian crime syndicate, and they killed him because he learned they have been hired to assassinate Prince Tsai Hoon on his visit to America. The Unicorns plan to kill the Prince as he crosses a bridge that evening; the two heroes race there and battle the baddies, managing to close the bridge just in time. They board the train and tell the Prince they will guard him and his wife until they are safe. In Lee City, the visiting dignitaries are met by the Mayor and railroad president Burton J. Hargraves. The League strikes again, capturing Princess Yana and Bucky; Unicorn leader King Zong sends a note demanding that the Prince come to a deserted mansion to rescue his wife. Cap disguises himself as Tsai Hoon and goes in his place. Once inside he reveals his true identity and pursues the fleeing crooks to their headquarters cleverly hidden beneath a Chinese laundry in town. There he frees Bucky and the Princess and battles his way through a gauntlet of enemies and traps to defeat Zong and unmask him as Hargreaves.

Story #2


Writer: Fred Schwab. Penciler: Fred Schwab. Inker: Fred Schwab.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

One-page rhyming comic tale of a seagoing parrot who returns home from a long voyage and tells his family it was a boring trip. Then photos of the girls he has in each port fall from his pocket and his wife gives him the beating he deserves.

Story #3

The Lighthouse of Horror

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Al Avison. Inker: Al Avison. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Modern-day pirates use radio signals to interfere with the workings of the haunted Last Chance Lighthouse, causing shipwrecks they can loot. A report of the latest tragedy sends Captain America and Bucky to investigate, thus they are on the scene as the next ship, a steamer carrying Steve Rogers’ girlfriend Betty Ross, crashes on the rocks. After a brief battle with the scavengers, Cap is knocked out and Bucky captured. On awakening, Cap investigates the lighthouse and finds the creepy keeper Lems who barricades himself in a room. Cap then heads out and rescues Bucky and Betty from the pirates, and then the heroes take down the gang. Lems is revealed to be blind, explaining how the crooks were able to pull off their crimes without his knowledge, and the gang leader, the Looter, is unmasked as Phillips, a ship passenger who was trying to make time with Betty.

Story #4

Wild West

Writer: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Rancher Tom Saunders indulges his elderly grandfather’s tall tales of having battled outlaws in the old West. One day, an Eastern investor shows up to tour the ranch; he turns out to be gangster Blackie Dione, who wants to get his hands on a hidden gold mine on the Saunders property. When he tries to force Grandpop to sign a bill of sale at gunpoint, the old man turns on him and beats the living tar out of the crook. The ranch is saved and Grandpop now has a true tale to tell of fighting an outlaw.

Story #5

Doctor Sinn

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Chad Grothkopf. Inker: Chad Grothkopf.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Sinister scientist Doctor Sinn discovers a magic book in an old castle; he casts a spell that endows him with super-strength which he uses to rob the town bank. Jefferson Vandermeer is at the bank that day and the magical Imp emerges from his ear to fight the villain. The tiny hero knocks the baddie out but when he revives he burst his bonds and captures the Imp. Sinn takes his prisoner to the castle, intending to cast a spell that will make the Imp shrink and disappear but the hero produces a mirror which reflects the spell back at the bad guy who vanishes instead. The Imp then pops back into Jefferson’s ear until his next adventure.

Story #6

The One Man Invasion

Writer: ?. Penciler: ?. Inker: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Headline Hunter, an American correspondent in London, is invited to join a press conference to be held with Horner, a Nazi official who has defected to the Allies. However it is a ruse for the Nazi to kidnap British publisher Lord Danvers to stop him from printing patriotic material in his papers. Headline sees Horner contact his Gestapo ally and tries to warn Lord Danvers but is overpowered by the two spies. He races by motorcycle in pursuit of the villains and catches up with them at a secret landing field. He defeats them and rescues Lord Danvers.

Story #7

Origin of the Secret Stamp

Writer: ?. Penciler: Don Rico. Inker: Don Rico.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Paperboy Roddy Colt of Freetown USA sells defense stamps for the war effort. One day his pal Tom is hit by a car and the driver stops only to steal the stamps they have been selling. Passing reporter Jerry Dash rushes Tom to the hospital then purchases a new bike, complete with radio, for Roddy to go adventuring on, while alerting Jerry to any news stories he finds. Roddy dons a cape and mask to fight crime as…the Secret Stamp. Learning that banker Williams has been threatened with death unless he leaves a ransom in the cemetery, the Secret Stamp stakes out the site and spies the crooks in the act of collecting the cash. He sneezes and is captured but manages to radio Jerry to call the police. When the crooks (who were also the ones who hit Tom in the beginning) release him in order to sink him in the river, Secret Stamp fights back and overpowers his captors. He then gets the idea to leave a defense stamp on the foreheads of his vanquished enemies as his trademark.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Al Avison
Al Avison
Al Avison (Cover Penciler)
Syd Shores (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Headline Hunter, Imp, Nazis, Secret Stamp.

> Captain America Comics: Book info and issue index

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