Mythos: Captain America #1: Review

Aug 2008
Paul Jenkins, Paolo Rivera

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Mythos: Captain America #1 Review by (November 9, 2010)
Review: I was not at all looking forward to yet another retelling of Cap’s origin, especially after seeing that unattractive cover which makes Cap look like an angry Bob Hope. The series by Jenkins/Rivera is wildly uneven: Spider-Man and Ghost Rider offerings were especially disappointing though I liked the Fantastic Four. But what about Captain America? I thought it was the best of the series. Rivera’s painted art which can look dreary and static (see Spidey) suits the realism of the story quite well but it’s Jenkins who manages to find something new to say. He goes into Steve Rogers’ early life during the Depression, facing the loss of his parents with one dream in life: to join his father’s army regiment. Jenkins manages to convey the quiet patriotism of a man who is literally wrapped in the American flag in a solid and moving way, while underscoring Steve’s humble, selfless nature without calling attention to it. Which is how humility should work. The only quirky omission: like every other version of Cap’s origin, it doesn’t explain why he needs a secret identity, especially one as inconvenient as a buck private in a stateside army base. At least here they don’t have him constantly in the guardhouse for being AWOL. The story manages to present true patriotism, without the caricature as flag-waving jingoism or ironic mockery, a rare feat in these cynical times.

Comments: Cap actually holds the genuine rank of Captain in the United States Army. Camp Lehigh is said to be in Virginia; in the Golden Age comics it was in New York State. Avengers cameos: Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Ant-Man, Wasp, Black Panther, Hercules, Black Knight, Falcon, Beast, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Nick Fury.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Mythos: Captain America #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America Steve Rogers looks back on his life: growing up in New York, he wanted nothing more than to enlist in his father’s WWI regiment (1st Battalion, 26th Infantry a/k/a the Blue Spaders) while being picked on by the local bully Dougie Huggins. His father died of influenza in 1926; his mother struggled to support them in the Depression, eventually dying young herself, leaving Steve with the advice to never forget the people who help him where he’s going. The orphaned teen works as a delivery boy and when another war breaks out, he and Dougie try to enlist in the 26th Infantry; Dougie makes it but Steve is classed 4-F and rejected. A general overhears Steve’s determined arguments and approaches him outside, offering to arrange something. Steve is inducted into the Blue Spaders, promoted to Captain without explanation and whisked to Washington for a secret mission. There, he is admitted to a secret lab where he becomes a test subject for Dr. Erskine’s Super-Soldier Serum. The test is a success: Steve grows into the perfect human specimen instantaneously. Then tragedy strikes as Erskine is gunned down by a Nazi spy in their midst and Steve leaps into action, subduing the killer who is accidentally electrocuted by a piece of equipment. The new Captain America is given rigorous training and also promoted as a symbol of the nation’s ideals of freedom and justice. As a cover, he is stationed as a private at Camp Lehigh, where one day camp mascot Bucky Barnes discovers his secret. Bucky is recruited as Cap’s sidekick and as Steve Rogers, he serves faithfully with his regiment in the War in North Africa, through the invasion of Italy, the discovery of Hitler’s Final Solution, and into Russia. Meanwhile as Captain America he undertakes missions against Nazi villains like the Red Skull. He is proud of the service of his regiment and personally awards medals to the heroes involved including Douglas Huggins. A twist of fate occurs and Bucky is killed on a mission and Cap drops into the icy Atlantic to be frozen for decades, all the while dreaming of his parents, his comrades in arms, and his nation. Awaking to a world he doesn’t recognize, he serves with the Avengers but he does not consider himself a hero. The heroes are those he has served alongside: the men of the 26th Infantry and the modern superheroes. He does not forget those who helped him get where he is. He attends a reunion of his old regiment and there is only one other member still alive: the elderly Doug Huggins. As they sit together at dinner, Steve recalls that he is Captain Americas but first and foremost a Blue Spader, proud to have served with the real heroes, who fought for their country because it was the right thing to do. "…I miss those boys."


Paolo Rivera
Paolo Rivera
Paolo Rivera
Paolo Rivera (Cover Penciler)
Paolo Rivera (Cover Inker)
Paolo Rivera (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

> Mythos: Captain America: Book info and issue index

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