Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1: Review

Apr 2009
James Robinson, Marcos Martin

Story Name:

What Makes the Man?

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Includes a reprint from Captain America Comics #7 (1941)

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 Review by (April 9, 2012)
Review: A nice but all-too-familiar Cap anniversary tribute: “it’s the man inside the costume who is the hero” is a well-worn theme in comics and it seems that it has been done with Captain America more than any other adventurer. And aside from the questionable tactic of suddenly adding an unnecessary new subplot to the familiar tale, the writer wants to connect the continuity dots a little too closely for comfort: having Steve Rogers rescue the Super-Soldier formula from Herr Kruger? Really? Why not go all the way and have him also crossing paths with Johann Schmidt and Heinrich Zemo? Because that would be silly? All in the eye of the beholder. It is a decent, enjoyable tale in spite of itself.

Comments: First story has the now-obligatory references to “Simon” and “Timely.” Second story reprinted from CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #7.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In 1942 in a plane high above Europe, Captain America briefs a squad of US soldiers on their impending mission against the Nazis. As the men look at the hero in admiration, Bucky muses on the one thing that makes Cap so special….

…the story then flashes back to the day the scrawny Steve Rogers took his physical and learned he was rejected for active duty in the military. As the disappointed Steve leaves the induction center, a bystander takes his name down for future reference…. On his way home, Steve passes an alley where a dying federal agent hands him a large jeweled amulet and asks him to deliver it to "Simon at the Timely Building." As the agent dies, Steve looks up to see three Nazi operatives—a small man, a huge man, and a thin man—heading toward him. Steve runs, taking advantage of the crowded New York streets to evade capture. He heads up the stairs to an elevated platform, grabbing a trash can lid to use as a shield to deflect the Nazis’ bullets. He hurls the lid at the Huge Man’s face and the brute easily deflects it—but also sweeps the Small Man into the path of a coming train. Steve leaps on the back of that train then jumps to a passing train but the two remaining Nazis manage to board as well. Steve pushes his way to the first car, then climbs up to the roof. His foes pursue him and the desperate Steve hurls himself at the Huge Man carrying them off the tracks. Steve lands safely in the back of a poultry truck—the Huge Man is not so lucky. Steve delivers the amulet to the authorities and is told that it contains a scientific formula—one that is connected to the words "super-soldier." Outside he is approached by the bystander from the induction center….

…back in the present, Bucky ponders the irony that the one Nazi agent who escaped would later murder Professor Reinstein. And as the soldiers begin their jump, he concludes, "the thing that makes Captain America great…is Steve Rogers."

Story #2

Death Loads the Bases

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Riggley, owner of the Brooklyn Badgers baseball team, is approached by a mysterious figure with an offer to buy the team. When Riggley refuses, the stranger departs with threats. At that evening’s game first a batter, then a base runner, die mysteriously. In the stands, Steve and Bucky realize the men where shot with poisoned darts. They change into Captain America and Bucky and investigate, discovering the hooded killer, the Black Toad, hiding under the stands. The villain’s henchmen knock out Cap and Bucky and they get away. The next night’s game sees the team’s star pitcher refusing to play in fear of his life. Captain America volunteers to pitch, with Bucky as catcher, and the game goes on. Cap’s performance brings the team to an early lead but a bomb concealed in a baseball almost halts the game. Cap’s quick reflexes enable him to pitch the ball in the air where it explodes harmlessly. Cap and Bucky pursue the Black Toad and after a violent confrontation with his gang, unmask the villain as the team’s manager, intent on forcing Riggley to sell out. After his confession the baddie hurls himself from the top of the stands to his death.

Marcos Martin
Marcos Martin
Javier Rodríguez
Marcos Martin (Cover Penciler)
Marcos Martin (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Nazis.

> Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special: Book info and issue index

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