Friday, July 22, 2011

Captain America vs. the Red Skull! Skulls.


Another one of the first Captain America comics I read as a kid: Captain America #227, "This Deadly Gauntlet!" Written by Roger McKenzie, pencils by Sal Buscema, inks by Mike Esposito and John Tartag. I know this was the first issue in a three-pack sold way back in 1978, but this issue is the conclusion of at least a couple issues of storyline.

Fortunately, the previous issues don't matter much here, since Cap recaps (as it were...) things on the splash page: the Red Skull has transformed every S.H.I.E.L.D. agent on the helicarrier into a duplicate Skull, all dead set on killing Captain America. The agents are dangerous, but Cap fights his way through them, forced to fight his way to the Skull and the captive Nick Fury, chained up under a big magnifying glass set to burn him to death.
No. No. No.
Cap tricks his way past one of the last guards, by putting his shield under his shirt. (Which would. Not. Work.) Facing the main Skull, Cap throws his shield, but it's trapped in a magnetic field. As Nick fries, the Skull tries to break Cap with the guilt of falling again and Bucky's death, but Cap's already put it together.

Namely, that Nick Fury wouldn't break even if he was being set on fire, but he would sweat! The Nick Fury under the magnifier was the ever-popular S.H.I.E.L.D. Life Model Decoy, while the head Red Skull was Nick. The plan was to trick Cap into beating Nick to death, but instead he destroys the Skull's satellite. Cap also realizes the satellite must not have had the power to turn earth into an army of slaves, or the Red Skull would've done it. You'd think a ray that could turn people into Red Skull slaves would get some more use at some later date, but no.

This is a pretty simple issue, and quick, even with only seventeen pages. And the art isn't overly deep or detailed, but again, it keeps things rolling. Please excuse the blocking on today's scans: my copy of this issue is over thirty years old and has been read many a time.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I'll see your early Cap memories and you raise you my early FF ones.
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