Friday, July 3, 2015


I've always been a sucker for Captain America stories that are set in WWII. That's why CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is my favorite of all of the Marvel films produced so far. One of my all time favorite comic books series is Marvel's THE INVADERS from the 1970s which featured Timely Comics Big Three (and a few others) Captain America, the Human Torch and Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner in action against the Axis powers. I dream of the day in which Marvel Studios produces an INVADERS film for theaters. It probably won't happen but hey, who ever thought we'd be seeing movies about The Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man for crying out loud? And I can hope because there's an Easter Egg in FIRST AVENGER of the Human Torch at the World's Fair. I can dream can't I?

Which leads me to this review of the book pictured above. I got this 2010 hardcover book in a recent trade with my comic book buddy Blake Long (hi Blake!) The volume reprints three stand alone Captain America stories, all of which are set in the past (two in WWII, one in the '50s).

The first story, OPERATION: ZERO POINT finds Cap battling Nazi flying saucers (among other threats) in a story written by Daniel & Charles Knauf and illustrated by Mitch Breitweiser. Both art and story are good. 

Next, it's PRISONERS OF DUTY, a tale in which Steve Rogers is captured and imprisoned with other American soldiers in a Nazi held castle from which escape is impossible. Of course, Rogers leads a daring escape in a story written by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel and illustrated by Agustin Padilla. The story is a good one but Padilla's artwork is poor and amateurish. Better artwork would have really made this story sing.

The final story is the best of the bunch. AMERICA FIRST!, written and illustrated by the legendary Howard Chaykin (one of my favorite contemporary comic book artists) is set in the 1950s and deals with a replacement Captain America who fights Communists both at home and abroad. The usual Chaykin tropes are here: period dress and cars, slinky femme fatales, radical politics and lots of action.

I can recommend CAPTAIN AMERICA: AMERICA FIRST. The stories are all well written and the art is good on two of  the three tales. Thumbs up.


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