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Captain America Comics #8: Review

Nov 1941
Stan Lee, Al Avison

Story Name:

The Strange Mystery of the Ruby of the Nile

Review & Comments

Rating:
2 stars

Captain America Comics #8 Review by (February 15, 2010)
a) The villain calls himself Ra but dresses like Horus the hawk god. Betty solves the mystery for the first time. c) Bucky solves the mystery this time.

New and Improved Comments: 1) The villain calls himself Ra but dresses like Horus the hawk god. Betty solves the mystery for the first time. 3) The contents page lists this story as “Death in the Alps,” which will appear next issue. 4) Bucky solves the mystery this time. 6) Text story, with one illustration. 7) Today’s lesson: if you’re going to imprison the hero, don’t let him keep his weapon.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America Comics #8 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
At the Camp Lehigh canteen, Steve Rogers overhears Betty Ross telling Sergeant Duffy that she’s going to dinner at her friend Marina Bates’ home. It seems Marina’s father and his partner Parker have bought the fabulous Ruby of the Nile. Steve determines to be there—as Captain America. At dinner that evening, Henry Sanders relates how he discovered the ruby in an Egyptian tomb but a curse has been following him since, so he decided to sell. Later, when Bates is alone, a pink smoke fills the room and he is attacked by Ra the Avenger, an Egyptian god. Cap and Bucky, waiting outside, drive off the villain but not before Bates is stabbed to death. That evening, when the lights go out the ruby vanishes; it turns out Capo had taken it for safekeeping, telling only Betty that he has it. Ra then returns and kills Parker. Betty contacts the FBI and receives information that enables her to deduce the villain’s identity. Ra tries to kill her but Cap appears and subdues the villain, unmasking him as Sanders.


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Story #2

Murder Stalks the Maneuvers

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A bored Bucky puts itching powder in the soldiers’ bunks and balances a pail of water over Sergeant Duffy’s door. After the pranks are sprung, Duffy jumps to the conclusion that Steve Rogers is responsible and has him put in the guardhouse. Later, French emissary Pierre Dumort arrives for a meeting with Colonel Carter. Bucky tampers with Dumort’s engine and tells them that only Steve can fix it, requiring his release from custody. The next day the soldiers are called out for maneuvers—war games pitting the White Team against the Blue. During the games, Steve discovers that someone has substituted live ammunition for the blanks, causing real casualties. Changing into Captain America, Steve captures the leader of the Blue Team so that he can return to headquarters and inform the authorities, who quickly broadcast a message to halt the games. Cap and Bucky discover that the villain is Dumort, who is actually working for the Nazis, and they take care of the bad guys.


Story #3

The Strange Riddle of the Plague of Death

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Harry Fisk. Inker: Harry Fisk.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Headline Hunter looks into a series of mysterious deaths plaguing England. After watching the latest victim collapse and die in the street, he overhears two men speaking in German. He trails them to a farmhouse where he is captured. The Nazi leader reveals that they have been poisoning crops from a small plane to destabilize the country. Headline escapes and hijacks their tractor and uses the mounted machine guns (!) to fight off the baddies. The leader takes the plane up to poison our hero from the sky but Headline uses a rake to pole-vault into the plane (!), overpowers the leader and drops poison on his henchmen, to save the day.


Story #4

The Case of the Black Witch

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America and Bucky are walking across a lonely moor when they hear a scream from a creepy old castle. Heading into the building they find a woman being attacked by thugs; after driving the punks off they find the woman is Karin Lee who must spend three nights alone in the haunted castle to gain an inheritance. The two heroes stand guard outside the rest of the night but nothing happens. They return the following night to find Karin being attacked by ghostly monsters which vanish when struck and living suits of armors which turn out to be empty. On the way back on the third night, Bucky is thrown into the river by an old witch, requiring Cap to rescue him. At the castle, Cap is overpowered and strapped to a torture device. Bucky, searching for him discovers the methods by which the ghosts were faked: they were images cast by a movie projector, and the suits of armor were remote-controlled. Bucky uses the projected monsters to drive off the villain’s henchmen and rescue Cap. Together they save Karin from attack by the witch and in a struggle the witch plunges from the castle wall. The villain is unmasked as Karin’s lawyer who was hoping to get the inheritance if Karin could be frightened out. The big secret? A nearby oil well.


Story #5

Carnival of Crime

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Charles Nicholas. Inker: Charles Nicholas.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The Hurricane and his sidekick Speedy Scriggles visit the State Fair for a day of fun. Speedy tries his hand at a game where he has to knock down bottles with a ball—but he fails even though he was on target. When he kicks up a fuss he is ejected from the midway. Hurricane takes his shot at the game and discovers by use of his super-speed that the bottles are filled with lead, so he gives them an unseen smack to topple them as his ball arrives. When they discover that the roller coaster tracks are damaged and unsafe, Hurricane and Speedy inform the manager, Silky Saunders, who tries to bribe them into silence. When they threaten to call the authorities, they are overpowered and placed in the lion’s cage. The extra-fast hero outwits the lion escapes from the cage and mops up Saunders and his henchmen, wrapping them neatly for the police.


Story #6

The Young Allies Deal a Blow for Justice

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: (Unknown artist). Inker: (Unknown artist).

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Knuckles of the Young Allies hears a cry for help coming from a deserted house. Looking in the window he sees agent Betty Ross a prisoner of a gang of toughs demanding the secret of the government’s new torpedo. Rushing off, Knuckles summons his pals Jeff, Whitewash, and Tubby, and locating Bucky Barnes, they tell him what is going on. The Allies head over to the house and take on the baddies but they are overpowered. Then Captain America (summoned earlier by Bucky) arrives, mops up the crooks and frees Betty, not forgetting to thank the youthful heroes for their help.


Story #7

Vault of Doom

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Larry (Father Time) Scott is at the bank when a gang of robbers enter, loot the place, and lock the tellers in the vault. The police are summoned but when they finally get the vault door open, it is too late, the victims have died by suffocation. Concluding that the gang will be after a gold shipment next, Father Time is on the scene when they arrive, but he is overwhelmed and locked in the vault. As the crooks are gathering up the cash, Father Time suddenly appears and dispatches the baddies. How did he escape? He used the tip of his scythe to keep the vault door from closing all the way.

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Al Avison
Al Avison
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Al Gabriele (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Betsy Ross (FBI Agent), Father Time, Headline Hunter, Hurricane, Nazis, Speedy Scriggles, Young Allies.