Friday, September 11, 2015

The Return of Captain America, 1964

I’ve loved the panel at left— which appears in The Avengers 4 (March 1964), the issue that introduced me to Captain America — for more than a half-century.
Depicting the icebound superhero’s return to New York after two decades when he was thought to be dead, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee gave the character gravitas, suggested his heroic stature and modesty and underlined it all with a note of humor. The panel also positioned the character in history for a generation that was unfamiliar with him.
A lot to do in a single panel.
There seemed to be something about fourth issues, by the way. Green Arrow joined The Justice League of America in the fourth issue (April-May 1961), and the Sub-Mariner reemerged from the sea to start terrorizing Manhattan in the fourth issue of The Fantastic Four (May 1962).
Maybe it’s simply that by the fourth issue, the creators’ original conception has been pretty well explored and they think, “Okay, what else we got?”

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