Marvel Treasury Special Featuring Captain America's Bicentennial Battles #1: Review

Jan 1976
Jack Kirby, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

(Many Stories)

Review & Comments

3 stars

Marvel Treasury Special Featuring Captain America's Bicentennial Battles #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Large format (13 x 10 inch/34 x 26 mm.) special created to tie in with the American Bicentennial in 1976. Includes pin-ups of Captain America as colonial era hero, a western adventurer, and an astronaut. Historical error: Benjamin Franklin retired from the printing trade many years before the Revolution, when this episode takes place. Trivia note: the newsboy in the 1930s episode may be intended to be Jack Kirby himself, though nothing is said.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Treasury Special Featuring Captain America's Bicentennial Battles #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Invited to the quarters of the enigmatic Mister Buda, Captain America arrives to find his host in suspended animation inside an energy pyramid. As Cap watches, Buda’s astral form returns to his body and he steps from the pyramid and greets his guest warmly. He informs Cap that he can view his country with a universal eye, his destiny and duty will it. Cap is annoyed by this mystical nonsense and storms out of the room—into a Nazi fortress during the War. He finds Bucky being interrogated under the personal supervision of Adolf Hitler and rushes to his rescue, knocking out the Red Skull and Der Fuhrer and leaping out of a window with his partner. Cap and Bucky are separated in the woods and Cap suddenly stumbles back into Mister Buda’s home. The mystic explains that the universe has many doors and Cap opened the wrong one and he tries to persuade Cap to journey among them to gain insight into himself. Cap politely declines and leaves, unaware that Buda has pressed a psycho-talisman into his palm when they shook hands.

Chapter Two: “The Lost Super-Hero!” – Leaving the building, Captain America hails a cab and notices the talisman on his glove…which suddenly hurls him through time and space to Colonial Philadelphia, where his unusual costume causes a stir. Cap meets Benjamin Franklin who invites him into his printing shop. Betsy Ross soon arrives and decides to pattern the American flag after the strange visitor’s colorful designs. Cap is shocked by the time paradox and runs into the street…where he is approached by a homeless man who steers Cap to a soup kitchen, assuming the hero to be an out-of-work actor. Cap realizes he is now in the Great Depression and strikes up a conversation with a paperboy. Moments later, a gangster in a limo buys a paper from the lad and knocks the boy down instead of paying. Angered, Cap manhandles the mobster and uses his shield to protect the boy from the ensuing hail of bullets. The police arrive and nab the hood and Cap finds himself being pulled elsewhere….

Chapter Three: “My Fellow Americans!” – Captain America is suddenly walking across the American desert, when he is jumped by a band of Apaches. Cap eludes capture but willingly meets with the native leader, Geronimo. Cap tries to persuade Geronimo to settle matters peacefully with the Cavalry. The Apache chief advises Cap to tell that to the troopers who are nearly upon them. Geronimo orders his men to head for the Mexican border, while Cap tries to stop the pursuing Army, shouting “There is another way! We're all Americans!” Cap is suddenly hurled elsewhere—to find himself trapped in a collapsed coal mine with several workers. Using his enhanced strength and shield, Cap manages to break through the blockage but when the miners follow moments later, there is no sign of their mysterious rescuer….

Chapter Four: “Stop Here for Glory!” – Captain America is in the cockpit of a World War I biplane, under attack by an enemy flier; his brilliant maneuvering enables him to lead his foe into a deadly crash but Cap’s own plane is headed straight for an observation balloon. He leaps overboard—and is drawn back to Mister Buda’s home. An angry Cap demands that the mystic remove the talisman from his glove. Buda tells him that it will vanish by itself when its work is done, which is obviously not yet. Cap suddenly materializes in a boxing ring with the great John L. Sullivan and find it takes all his strength to defeat the champ, when the match is suddenly raided by the police, since boxing was still illegal at this time. Cap then discovers that he has shifted again and finds a gun to his head. Here he is helping a runaway slave and they have just been caught by bounty hunters. Cap lectures them on human rights but the gang plots to lynch him. A sudden gunshot from a watching farm boy startles the slavers, giving Cap the opportunity to beat them with the help of the slave. As the two part, the black man is surprised when Cap call him “friend.” The farm boy tells his father what happened, and the father, John Brown, decides to act to end the evils of slavery in the nation.… Cap rides away only to be thrown from his horse in the desert…where he is found by a pair of 1940s era military men, who bring him along to witness the first atom bomb test. When the mushroom cloud fades, Cap is gone from the bunker but still engulfed in flames…he is in Chicago during the Great Fire of 1871. The hero swings into action, rescuing those in danger and guiding refugees to the river. When a man falls into the river, Cap leaps in to save him…only to be drawn down to the bottom of the ocean where he escapes a shark and is saved from drowning by divers from an undersea research lab. He fades away only to return to the presence of Mister Buda. Cap tells him he has seen the America he has always known, a nation of good and bad, with nothing more to see. Buda disagrees and transports Cap to the surface of the moon.

Chapter Five: “The Face of the Future!” – A confused Captain America discovers he is on the moon, dressed in a space suit. Suddenly, two unidentified armies pass by engaged in a firefight with high-tech weaponry. Cap realizes he is in the future and that America is at war in space. Moving along he comes to a wrecked moon vehicle and looks through a porthole to search for survivors…but the porthole is transformed into a camera lens and Cap finds himself on an old-time Hollywood movie set. Walking through the studio he is spotted by a producer who makes him the centerpiece of an overblown patriotic musical number…until Cap, disgusted with the phony display, calls out to Mister Buda to rescue him. Back in the presence of the mystic, Cap demands to know what is it that unites all Americans? Buda takes him on a little journey, first, calming him by listening to a fiddler playing folk music, then stopping by a ghetto to see a poor man studying to improve himself, and finally leaving him with a group of children before vanishing. As he is surrounded by the adoring children of all races and backgrounds, Captain America realizes that the essence of America is a confidence, a hope, and a dream of making one’s life meaningful.

Jack Kirby
Herb Trimpe
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Contemplator (Tath Ki).

> Marvel Treasury Special Featuring Captain America's Bicentennial Battles: Book info and issue index

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