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Captain America Comics #2: Review

Apr 1941
Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

Captain America and the Ageless Orientals Who Wouldn't Die!!

Review & Comments

Rating:
2.5 stars

Captain America Comics #2 Review by (February 15, 2010)
a) Captain America adopts the famous circular shield as of this issue. Cap faces a non-war-related enemy for the first time. b) Captain America’s first mission to Europe. First appearance of Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goring in the series and Cap’s first meeting with them. Cap’s first use of an elaborate disguise. c) Camp Lehigh named for the first time. The villains have no trouble finding Bucky; his secret identity isn’t fooling anyone.

Improved Comments: 1) Captain America adopts the famous circular shield as of this issue. Cap faces a non-war-related enemy for the first time. 2) Captain America’s first mission to Europe. First appearance of Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goring in the series and Cap’s first meeting with them. Cap’s first use of an elaborate disguise. 3) Camp Lehigh named for the first time. The villains have no trouble finding Bucky; his secret identity isn’t fooling anyone. 4) Text story with one illustration. 6) There are no Mayans in the Amazon jungle (well, not now…). Hurricane’s pseudonym is given as both Michael Gray and Michael Jupiter. The villain Kepiquoatzi vanishes completely at midpoint of the story.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America Comics #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Banker Benson controls a band of indestructible oriental giants. After ordering them to murder his reluctant partner Finley he has them kill FBI Agent Thompson, who with his dying words warns Betty Ross. The giants pursue Betty and Captain America and Bucky come to her rescue but the monsters overcome them and escape. Later a rogue giant attacks the camp where Steve is stationed and weapons do nothing against it until Bucky throws a grenade, which kills it. Benson sends his monsters on a crime rampage through the city and they capture Cap. The villain tells the captive hero how he discovered the immortal giants in a remote Tibetan village and forced them to serve him. Bucky breaks in, rescues Cap and they fight the giants, having figured out their one weakness: loud noises. Bucky fires off a cannon which kills all the monsters and destroys the room, killing Benson as well. Back at the camp, Steve finds Betty disapproves of his lazy ways but he’d rather go adventuring as Captain America!


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Story #2

Trapped in the Nazi Stronghold

Writer: Joe Simon. Penciler: Jack Kirby.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Financier Henry Baldwin is on his way to sign a treaty between Britain and some smaller democracies when he is captured by Nazi thugs in front of Captain America. Cap and Bucky disguise themselves as an old woman and a little boy (!) to pursue the baddies to Europe. They spot Baldwin on the plane and fight off a gang of spies but Baldwin again vanishes. In Germany, Hitler is informed that one of his agents is impersonating Baldwin while the real diplomat is kept hidden away; object: to sign a treaty allying the smaller democracies with Italy instead of Britain. At the signing ceremony, Cap and Bucky unmask the impostor and discover the whereabouts of the real Baldwin. The heroes assault the stronghold and rescue the diplomat, punching out Hitler and Goring in the bargain. Returning home Steve and Bucky are thrown in the guardhouse for being AWOL.


Story #3

Captain America and the Wax Statue that Struck Death

Writer: Joe Simon. Penciler: Jack Kirby.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A Nazi spy called the Wax Man kills his enemies by choking them with wax replicas of their heads. He kills a Senator, bringing Captain America and Bucky into the case. The villain has his men attack Camp Lehigh in streamlined tanks. The battle goes against the Americans until Cap manages to capture one of the tanks and use it against the others. Later Bucky is captured by the Wax Man and Cap tracks the Nazis to a wax museum (where else?) and sees a collection of real human heads. Cap is taken prisoner and shown the enemy’s rocket bomber, which he plans to use to destroy America. Cap breaks free and overcomes the spies and the Wax Man is unmasked as the mayor of the town.


Story #4

Short Circuit

Writer: ?. Penciler: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Late one night, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are wandering near the camp when they hear noises coming from a nearby mineshaft. Heading down to investigate as Captain America, Steve comes upon a Nazi agent and his henchmen loading a tunnel with dynamite to blow up the center full of soldiers directly above. Cap plows into the baddies, subduing them, and the leader sets off the explosives but a short-circuit in the wiring blows him up instead!


Story #5

The Valley of the Mist

Writer: Jack Kirby. Writer: Joe Simon. Penciler: Al Avison. Inker: Al Gabriele.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

On their quest for Atlantis, Tuk and Tanir come to the city of Crete and discover the place under the control of evil ape-men. They attack the monsters, inspiring the men to rise up against their captors and drive them off. A grateful King Amir directs them through the Valley of Mist to find Atlantis. On their way they fight off a giant bird. Shortly thereafter they are overcome by the mists and fall unconscious and are captured by the black-robed Witches of Endor. Awakening in their stone city, Tuk and Tanir go along with their captivity while they seek a means to escape. When they see a Witch planning to throw acid in the face of a beautiful girl they take action, defeat the Witches and flee the city. The girl turns out to be Princess Eve, rightful ruler of Atlantis and they promise to help her reclaim the throne from her usurping uncle.


Story #6

The Devil and the Green Plague

Writer: Jack Kirby. Writer: Joe Simon. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Jack Kirby.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hurricane, in mortal guise, joins Drs. Ruth Holden and Ralph Rand on an expedition into the Amazon jungle to aid Dr. Clay in fighting a deadly plague called the Green Death. The evil witch doctor Kepiquoatzi knows they are coming and vows to destroy them. On their perilous trek through the jungles, Hurricane uses his speed to save Ruth from a poisonous snake and zips ahead to rescue an outpost from attacking headhunters. Meanwhile, Ruth and Ralph have been captured and taken to the Mayan city where Kepiquoatzi orders them killed. Hurricane arrives, frees the two Americans, and gives them the antidote for the plague. Then, informing them that Dr. Clay has been killed (producing his shrunken head), he miraculously grants Ralph wings to fly them to safety while he calls down lightning from the heavens to destroy the wicked city. Down in hell, an irritated Pluto plots revenge against his enemy Hurricane….

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Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Adolf Hitler, Betsy Ross (FBI Agent), Hermann Goering, Hurricane, Nazis, Pluto, Tuk Caveboy.