Sunday, May 1, 2016

The History of Captain America vs. Iron Man (Part 2 of 5)

We can credit Jim Shooter for developing the tense relationship which has come to characterize Captain America & Iron Man's interactions. Through the events of Shooter's "Korvac Saga" story, Captain America is nearly apoplectic about the state of Iron Man's leadership. Most of this tension came from the fact that Iron Man had not seen fit to share his secret identity as Tony Stark with any of the Avengers, Cap included. In Avengers #167 (1978), S.H.I.E.L.D. requests the Avengers' help in investigating a massive space facility (which proves to be the base of the Guardians of the Galaxy). Iron Man is late in arriving to join the team because as Tony Stark, he had been in conference with Nick Fury. Cap is boiling mad with Iron Man's tardiness: "You're sorry you're late? A hundred men might die up there and--" to which Iron Man sharply replies, "Then shut up and get into the ship!" The problem worsens when they reach the station and Cap instinctively assumes command, issuing orders to the others. Iron Man reflects, "It's no secret what Cap thinks of my leadership! I suspect his resentment is growing and getting personal!"

The very next issue, it exploded. The Avengers returned to their headquarters to find it invaded by one Henry Peter Gyrich, their new government liaison. Gyrich proceeded to read the Avengers the riot act for the many violations of government protocol they were guilty of. When Gyrich left, Cap finally unleashed what he'd been stewing upon:

"This team's been a pushover since you became leader! It's your fault... because you're treating your chairmanship like a part-time job! But that's what it is to you, isn't it? You're moonlighting as an Avenger, because you have a full-time job as Tony Stark's personal bodyguard!"

Iron Man began to respond cooly, answering that "all Avengers are guaranteed their personal privacy," to which Cap responded by punching him in his armor-plated face. "You low-life mercenary! Don't the Avengers pay enough for your services?" Now they were both angry, but before a real fight could begin the Scarlet Witch broke it off, shaming Cap by pointing out his own recent poor showings in battle. Cap sulked away.

Now that Shooter had turned up the tension, he almost immediately shut it back down. At the end of the day, Captain America and Iron Man were simply too reasonable to let this bickering continue. In Avengers #170 (1978), Iron Man confronted Cap in the Avengers gym and while Cap worked out, Iron Man confessed his own shortcomings: "I'm aware of my failings! I-I'll try harder, Cap... or, if you think I should, I'll step down! You can take over." Cap noted he'd "seen too many friends die in battle" and Iron Man was about to reveal his dual identity to Cap, but Cap cut him off: "Keep your secrets, Iron Man! You lead.. I'll follow -- that's enough!"

In Iron Man #125 (1979), Tony Stark came to Captain America for hand-to-hand combat training as he needed to go on a secret mission without his Iron Man armor. From Cap's perspective, he was simply helping the Avengers' financial backer, having no idea how much it meant to his fellow Avenger. Some time later in Avengers #216 (1982), Iron Man lost his armor while battling the Molecule Man, thus Cap and Thor both finally learned his identity. This knowledge almost immediately began changing Cap & Iron Man's relationship. In Avengers #224 (1982), Tony began dating the now-divorced Wasp. Wasp wasn't keeping a secret identity, but Tony went several dates without telling her the truth. After seeing them together in the tabloids, Cap confronted Tony, playing on his conscience. Cap noted her ex-husband Hank Pym was an old friend of his and it was unfair to do that to Hank - but likewise unfair for him date a teammate (also, Wasp was now the Avengers leaders) without her knowing it. Tony took the conversation to heart and gave up his secret identity to the Wasp; she immediately broke off the relationship.

Mere months later Tony succumbed to alcoholism and gave the Iron Man armor to James Rhodes. Cap and the Wasp tried to reason with him, but in his state that wasn't possible. He quit the Avengers, quit being Iron Man, quit running his company and soon lost his fortune. And despite all of this, Tony couldn't be reasoned with. In Iron Man #172 (1983), Cap found Tony living in a flophouse and tried to encourage him to return to his company before it was lost to Obadiah Stane, but Tony refused and ran away from both Cap and Rhodes, preferring to live in anonymity.

Eventually, Tony would reclaim his sobreity, reclaim his friends, reclaim his armor, reclaim his fortune and reclaim his company. Although Iron Man usually served on the Avengers' West Coast branch while Cap served in New York, the two remained good friends. That is, for a time.

Tomorrow! Iron Man goes to war!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The History of Captain America vs. Iron Man (Part 1 of 5)

The motion picture Captain America: Civil War will soon be upon us and will treat viewers to a cinematic tale in which Captain America and Iron Man are pit against each other. It may be known to some film fans that this story is partially based upon the series Civil War, but perhaps some might benefit from learning more about the past conflicts of Captain America and Iron Man. In this quick series, I'll lead you through the history of Iron Man & Captain America's friendship.

Captain America joined the proper Marvel Universe in the pages of Avengers #4 (1964), in which the Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man & Wasp) found him frozen in ice and revived him. By the end of the issue, Captain America had become a member of the team. At the time, the other four all appeared in titles of their own, but Captain America's home series was the Avengers for awhile. The five heroes would comprise the Avengers cast until issue #16 (1965), when Iron Man, Giant-Man, Wasp & Thor would depart, leaving Cap to lead three reformed villains (Hawkeye, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch) as the new team.

Although Iron Man was right there in the midst of Cap's revival, the two characters didn't have a dynamic at the time. In fact, the Avengers as a team didn't have a dynamic. Although they would occasionally make reference to their rotating leadership, there was no lasting conflict between the ranks (not since the Hulk left in issue #2). Even though Marvel's Fantastic Four had made great hay out of the cast having interpersonal dynamics, that element was lacking in the Avengers. It was only after #16 that the team finally became interesting as real conflict emerged (mainly because of Hawkeye's belligerence). Likewise, Captain America was no longer amongst his peers (the four who had revived him in issue #4) and so became the senior member of the Avengers and obvious team leader. Although Cap would come and go from the Avengers over the years, he became almost the "default" leader of the team.

One unusual thing about the Avengers for several years (through writers Stan Lee & Roy Thomas) is that when characters left the team, they nearly always remained gone. Giant-Man & Wasp did return as regular members, but only because their own series had ended. Thor, Iron Man and (by issue #47, 1967) Captain America left the team and mostly stayed away, returning on special occasions such as inducting a new member to the team or battling an exceptionally powerful villain. This was how Captain America, Thor & Iron Man would become known as the Avengers' "Big Three" - not because of their personal interactions, but because any time they entered a story (such as "the Kree-Skrull War") it meant the team were up against something bigger than usual. Thus, it was a long time before Iron Man and Captain America had a chance to appear side-by-side.

After losing his faith in the "American Dream," Captain America was confronted by several Avengers - including Iron Man - in Captain America #176 (1974) as they attempted to persuade him to avoid giving up on his costumed identity. However, Iron Man didn't really speak to Cap on a personal level, simply recalling their past adventures as an ally. The Avengers failed to re-inspire him and Steve Rogers gave up being Captain America for a time.

And there came a day...

It began in an unassuming way. In Avengers #164 (1977), the Avengers made a poor showing against their old foe Whirlwind. Captain America was quick to comment, "this whole team's been falling short of its rep, lately." It sounds like a small matter, but it wasn't; you see, Cap wasn't the Avengers leader at the time: Iron Man was.

Tomorrow! Who threw the first punch?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

RIP: Arthur Anderson

Yet another stalwart from the days of old-time radio has passed away; aged 93 years, he's beloved by many OTR fans for his work as a child actor on the children's program Let's Pretend. Of all his roles he's most widely-known as the voice of Lucky the Leprechaun for Lucky Charms cereal. But what I'll remember him best for is his work with Orson Welles.

As a teen, he was privileged enough to perform with Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre, both in stage and on the radio. Most notably, he appeared on the 2nd broadcast of the Mercury Theatre on the Air in the lead role of Jim Hawkins in Welles' adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, and it wasn't easy to top Welles on his own show. Treasure Island is one of the best episodes of what was one of OTR's finest shows. Anderson also performed opposite Welles in a quick adaptation of Clarence Day's Life with Father.

Check out Treasure Island and Life with Father at archive.org if you'd like to sample Anderson at his dramatic best. He was more than merely a leprechaun!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Creator Credits Roundup

I have now created a page to house my ongoing data collection of appearancecs of elements from Marvel Comics in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Everything is grouped together by creator, from the one who has contributed the most to the least. Going forward, I will be updating the MCU page every time I post a new MCU creator credits blog entry.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"But the world needs us -- we six can't think of ourselves anymore --" Showcase Presents the Great Disaster Featuring the Atomic Knights

My father owned a single issue of DC's Strange Adventures featuring the Atomic Knights. The visual of the characters - men in medieval knight armour riding upon giant dalmatians in a post-apocalyptic world - struck my fancy. DC has collected the Atomic Knights into one of their massive black & white Showcase Presents tomes, but because there weren't actually that many Atomic Knights stories, they loaded up the book with various other stories set in the same continuity. How is the book as a whole? In short: it's too much and too little. Let's examine Showcase Presents the Great Disaster Featuring the Atomic Knights!

The series is divided into six sections in the table of contents, sections which are mostly bound together by theme. Part of the problem of this book - something which becomes evident the more you read - is that these stories were not originally conceived as sharing a continuity with each other. It's something the fanboys and the editors threw together after the fact, out of a strange desire to link DC's future timelines together. We open with "Pre-Disaster Warnings" opens the book with a few time travel stories set in then-contemporary times. The first is a three-parter about a man from the post-apocalyptic future journeying to present times and telling people about the world to come. After that, the section contains a Superman story in which Superman is manipulated into creating a divergence in his timeline's future so that the Legion of Super-Heroes continuity and Great Disaster continuity exist in separate timelines. It's the kind of fanboy continuity obsession I understand all too well, given my own history with the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Someone thought it was important to explain how DC could have two very different futures - ignoring the fact that truly neither of them will ever become the DC Universe's present. The inclusion of this Superman story seems very ill-judged to me as it's deeply entwined with Jack Kirby's Kamandi #29, a story which revealed what had become of Superman's indestructible costume in that future world. Continuity mavens claim Kamandi and OMAC's futures belong to the same timeline as the other stories reprinted here, but, notably, this is not a Kamandi or OMAC collection. The book would be improved if this Superman story were eliminated and it published in a Kamandi volume instead, it's strictly for the continuity dorks (no offense, fellow dorks).

The "Day After Doomsday" section features a series of short (1-2 page) stories which appeared in odd ducks like Weird War Tales through the 70s and early 80s, but are not presented in print order because... I think some continuity nerd figured out a chronological sequence for them? Anyway, these were conceived of by Len Wein and are essentially cruel tales about the post-apocalyptic world, often riffing on abused tropes from the sub-genre. For instance, the last man on Earth is named Adam; he meets the last woman who is named... Gertrude. In another, a man finds a vending machine but he has no dimes - what a tragic twist! - but then he breaks it opens and finds - nothing but dimes! - what a doubly tragic twist! Steve Ditko drew a few of these, including one where a man is killed by radioactive hippies. I'm making that one sound more entertaining than it is. Anyway, there's also some very early Frank Miller and overall, you do get a few good dark chuckles out of this series.

The "Tales of the Atomic Knights" section is the main event, the John Broome/Murphy Anderson Atomic Knights adventures which appeared in Strange Adventures from time-to-time in 1960-1964. The series is set in 1992, following an atomic war in 1986 which has decimated humanity and destroyed most crops and animals around the world. The lead character is a former soldier, Gardner Grayle; he teams up with teacher Douglas Herald, Herald's sister Marene, twin brothers Hollis & Wayne Hobard and scientist Bryndon Smith. Discovering a set of armours which have developed tremendous resistance to radiation, the six put on the armours to defend a town of survivors from the people preying upon them, then set out to explore the worldwide devastation, battling giant monsters, mole men and Atlanteans (Atlanteans are the recurring enemies, believe it or not). Along the way they find a pair of dalmations which have been mutated to a tremendous six and they become the heroes' steeds (with a litter of pups promising more giant dogs to come). The stories are fairly typical of DC's adventure hero team books and, settting aside, are much like Challengers of the Unknown. The best thing about the series is Anderson's luscious artwork; he made the post-apocalyptic world look like a storybook.

The "Gods Return" section has a few problems. It opens with Jack Kirby's Atlas story from First Issue Special #1. I don't know who decided this was a post-apocalyptic tale, because it strikes me as a story set in the distant past as it is basically Kirby doing a Conan adventure. It never connects to the continuity of the other tales in this book and ends on a cliffhanger to boot; I love Kirby, but it doesn't really belong here. The remainder of the section is devoted to the 12-issue run of Hercules Unbound from 1975-1977. It opens with World War III causing Hercules to be set free from an island where'd been chained up for several thousand years. Hercules ventures into a world of mutants and battles Ares, who lords over the mayhem. The first six issues are by Gerry Conway and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and it's a decent enough series (though the World War III timeline in Hercules doesn't actually fit the Atomic Knights', despite what continuity nerds have established).

Conway & Garcia-Lopez left after #6 and in came David Michelinie as writer for #7-9, then Cary Bates for #10-12 with Walter Simsonson on art for the remainder. Initially, Simonson was inked by Wally Wood who seriously overpowered Simonson's pencils. It's notable particularly in Wood's ever cleavage-happy females, who don't look remotely like Simonson's women. Layton inked one issue but finally Simonson took over full art for the last two issues and they look pretty much as you'd expect; it's big, glorious Simonson art with gods at war. These latter issues are also where the continuity tie-ins come in - issue #10 guest stars the Atomic Knights (providing the cover for this Showcase collection) and picks up a dangling contintuity matter from OMAC.

The "More Tales of the Post-Apocalyptic World" section has a bunch of man-animals back-up strips from Kamandi - no idea why they're here when Kamandi is otherwise absent. There's also a stray "Day After Doomsday" tale.

Finally, the "Alternate Endings" section. This opens with a Superman/Atomic Knights team-up story from a 1983 issue of DC Comics Presents. Like the earlier Superman story, it's a bit problematic. In this, Superman meets the Gardner Grayle of his own reality, who turns out to be a soldier in a virtual reality machine. The story claims that all of the Atomic Knights stories (and Hercules Unbound) were merely delusions of Gardner's atomic war-obsessed brain. Superman enters this virtual reality and makes various cutting remarks at how unbelieveable the Atomic Knights' world is (as if believability ever stood for anything in the DC Universe; your rogue's gallery includes a giant ape with Kryptonite eyebeams, Supes!). Heck, part of Superman's case against the Atomic Knights is that their Hercules has the wrong hair colour (horrors! I hope someone was arrested over it!). The story is, ultimately, an attempted deconstruction of the Atomic Knights. In the climax, Gardner sums up what appears to be the authors' view of the Atomic Knights:

"This whole project was misguided from the start -- trying to figure out how to live in a post-holocaust world... how to keep making war in it! To believe that civilization can continue in the face of that cataclysm is a fantasy... a fantasy as monumentally false as the one you helped me to give up here today! The task before mankind isn't to survive an atomic war! It's to work in this world we're living in to make certain such a war can never begin!"

Yeah! In your face, speculative fiction authors! Hang your heads, Broome & Anderson! You have been scorched by the creators of Blue Devil! Of course, the weird thing is that Kamandi still existed in the DC Universe after this story. And OMAC. More amusingly, the true holocaust of 1986 at DC Comics would be the event Crisis on Infinite Earths, another attempt by DC continuity geeks to force the entirety of DC Comics to "make sense," but instead created problems which persist to this day. Forget about learning how to stop atomic war - DC needed to learn how to survive publishing ennui.

The book concludes with a text piece written by continuity chairman Paul Levitz for the Amazing World of DC Comics at a time when Hercules Unbound was still being published. In it, Levitz tries to make sense of the "Great Disaster" continuity, using various notes from Kirby and Conway about where their series fit in, but it includes details which never made it to the comics (Levitz claims World War III in Hercules Unbound was started by Darkseid; Cary Bates would later make it the "anti-gods").

As a whole, this is a decent enough collection; the Atomic Knights were fun and Hercules Unbound is interesting, especially when Simonson enters. "The Day After Doomsday" stories were good - but the other continuity detritus surrounding this book would've been better excised. There is ultimately something very sad about reading pre-Crisis stories which were so, so obsessed with continuity matters which Crisis would ultimately render moot. To this day, DC seems determined to seek out stories which have their own continuity or personality and stamp it out until those stories conform to the line-wide narrative.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Since when is Golgoth indecisive?" Empire: Uprising Vol.1 review

Mark Waid & Barry Kitson's Empire is back... for the third time and at its third publisher.

I wasn't present for the original release of Empire and its premature death at Image Comics after merely two issues. However, it became a series I heard about from my friends. In discussions about incomplete comic books they wished would come back, several of my friends would bring up Empire. It finally did return for six issues at DC Comics and I came aboard then, enjoying the series quite a bit. I didn't imagine there would be more Empire, yet here is the first volume of Empire: Uprising, published now by IDW.

Assuming you're unfamiliar with the set-up, Empire is set in a world where super-villains have won. An armored figure named Golgoth has killed (or otherwise incapacitated) every super hero on the planet and conquered every military power. Although various resistance forces have sprung up, none have been able to seriously challenge Golgoth. And yet, the various lieutenants who serve as Golgoth's ministers need something to keep themselves occupied and so they plot against each other - and also against Golgoth, believing that if he proves himself compromised in any way, it might be the opportunity they need to usurp his empire.

Being what it is, Empire tells a very bleak story; there is not one of the ministers who exhibits laudable behaviour. It's a world where the powerful prey upon the weak and no one can be trusted. The previous series ended with one minister going rogue and finding himself in contact with a resistance movement. If you think that means there is anything approaching hope in this tale, then I'm sorry to disappoint you: his guidance results in a resistance attack on Golgoth which - although it cleverly exploits Golgoth's affections for his deceased daughter - is ultimately futile. Further, Golgoth proves to know exactly where and what the minister is doing, leaving him alive as a game.

Indeed, if there is no hope then why wallow in this world of transgressors? Empire is at its most entertaining as the ministers vie against each other. It is easy to imagine that if Golgoth were killed the resulting civil war amongst his ministers would outstrip even the devastation seen in this series thus far.

Of particular interest to me in this story is the appearance of "New Angola," one of Golgoth's states. It is extremely rare to find mention of Angola in a super hero comic, much less to find a major superhuman character who is Angolan; one of Golgoth's enemies in this volume is a woman named Kianda who helped Golgoth conquer Angola but is now masterminding a movement against him. She remains a threat at large to be explored in the next volume of Empire; Uprising, which hopefully will be along before too much longer.

Empire: Uprising is marked for mature readers and features some noticeable gore. And yet, Barry Kitson shies away from lascivious material with regards to the female cast members. Although female characters get undressed in the course of the book, he doesn't delve into the expected curvy breasts & buttocks found in most comics. In fact, he seems unwilling to draw butt cracks. It's kind of nice to see this approach to female bodies, but at the same time it might also be another manifestation of North America's willingness to indulge in gore while being skittish about sexual situations.

Empire: Uprising is best enjoyed by people who have read the original Empire series. If that's you, then hurry out and get a copy!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Remedial Creator Credits: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

This is the first Marvel film I've looked at where Kirby contributed more than anyone else! As always, alert me to any oversights or errors.

Jack Kirby: creator of Arnim Zola, a scientist who experiments on people (Captain America #208, 1977); of Zola being a Swiss scientist who allied with Nazi Germany (Captain America #209, 1977); of Zola working with the Red Skull (Captain America #210, 1977); co-creator of Captain America, Steve Rogers, a thin and weak young man who is the chief experiment of Operation: Rebirth, injecting him with the Super-Soldier Serum which makes him a perfect specimen of humanity; of the scientist who creates the serum and is assassinated by a Nazi spy; of the US military officer who oversees Operation: Rebirth; of Operation: Rebirth hidden base beneath a shop with an old woman standing guard above; of Captain America's red, white and blue costume with 'A' on forehead and stars & stripes on his chest; of Bucky Barnes, Steve's friend and partner who joins him in battle; of Captain America's triangular red, white & blue shield; of Sgt. Duffy, Steve's drill sergeant; of Camp Lehigh, the location Steve drills at; of Captain America punching Hitler in the face; of the Red Skull, a Nazi agent who battles Captain America and Bucky (Captain America Comics #1, 1941); of the Cosmic Cube, a massively powerful artifact which the Red Skull seeks to control (Tales of Suspense #79, 1966); of the Super-Soldier Serum's creator being named Abraham Erskine (Tales of Suspense #63, 1965); of Steve Rogers lying on his application papers in hopes of joining the army; of the vita-ray treatment which helps activate the Super-Soldier Serum; of the Nazi spy's name Heinz Kruger; of officer General Phillips' name (Captain America #109, 1969); of Captain America being frozen in ice and awakened in contemporary times; of Bucky seemingly dying on mission with Captain America; of Captain America being frozen before the end of World War II (Avengers #4, 1964); of Captain America's round, red and white shield with star in its center (Captain America Comics #2, 1941); of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international intelligence agency; of Nick Fury's eyepatch; Nick Fury being director of S.H.I.E.L.D.; of a Stark-designed flying car; of Hydra, a terrorist group who raise both arms to salute, saying "Hail Hydra" (Strange Tales #135, 1965); of Nick Fury, an adventure hero; of Dum-Dum Dugan, one of the Howling Commandos who wears a derby hat; of Gabe Jones, an African-American soldier in the Howling Commandos; of the Howling Commandos, a World War II unit; of the Howlers' battle cry "wa-hoo!" (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1, 1963); of the Hydra insignia, a skull atop octopus arms (Strange Tales #151, 1966); of the Red Skull being German (Captain America Comics #7, 1941); of the Red Skull plotting a bombing assault near the end of World War II (Tales of Suspense #80, 1966); of Peggy Carter, Captain America's wartime love interest (Tales of Suspense #75, 1966); Captain America throwing his shield so that it ricochets and returns to his hand (Avengers #5, 1964); of Yggdrasill, the Asgardian World-Tree (Journey into Mystery #97, 1963); of Captain America and Bucky working alongside the Howling Commandos (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #13, 1964); Vibranium, a rare metal with unusual, unpredictable properties (Fantastic Four #53, 1966)

Stan Lee: co-creator of the Cosmic Cube, a massively powerful artifact which the Red Skull seeks to control (Tales of Suspense #79, 1966); of the Super-Soldier Serum's creator being named Abraham Erskine (Tales of Suspense #63, 1965); of Steve Rogers lying on his application papers in hopes of joining the army; of the vita-ray treatment which helps activate the Super-Soldier Serum; of the Nazi spy's name Heinz Kruger; of officer General Phillips' name (Captain America #109, 1969); of Captain America being frozen in ice and awakened in contemporary times; of Bucky seemingly dying on mission with Captain America; of Captain America being frozen before the end of World War II (Avengers #4, 1964); of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international intelligence agency; of Nick Fury's eyepatch; Nick Fury being director of S.H.I.E.L.D.; of a Stark-designed flying car; of Hydra, a terrorist group who raise both arms to salute, saying "Hail Hydra" (Strange Tales #135, 1965); of Nick Fury, an adventure hero; of Dum-Dum Dugan, one of the Howling Commandos who wears a derby hat; of Gabe Jones, an African-American soldier in the Howling Commandos; of the Howling Commandos, a World War II unit; of the Howlers' battle cry "wa-hoo!" (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1, 1963); of the Hydra insignia, a skull atop octopus arms (Strange Tales #151, 1966); of the Red Skull plotting a bombing assault near the end of World War II (Tales of Suspense #80, 1966); of Peggy Carter, Captain America's wartime love interest (Tales of Suspense #75, 1966); Captain America throwing his shield so that it ricochets and returns to his hand (Avengers #5, 1964); of Yggdrasill, the Asgardian World-Tree (Journey into Mystery #97, 1963); of Captain America and Bucky working alongside the Howling Commandos (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #13, 1964); of Jacques Dernier, a member of the French Resistance who fights alongside the Howling Commandos (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #21, 1965); Vibranium, a rare metal with unusual, unpredictable properties (Fantastic Four #53, 1966)

Joe Simon: co-creator of Captain America, Steve Rogers, a thin and weak young man who is the chief experiment of Operation: Rebirth, injecting him with the Super-Soldier Serum which makes him a perfect specimen of humanity; of the scientist who creates the serum and is assassinated by a Nazi spy; of the US military officer who oversees Operation: Rebirth; of Operation: Rebirth hidden base beneath a shop with an old woman standing guard above; of Captain America's red, white and blue costume with 'A' on forehead and stars & stripes on his chest; of Bucky Barnes, Steve's friend and partner who joins him in battle; of Captain America's triangular red, white & blue shield; of Sgt. Duffy, Steve's drill sergeant; of Camp Lehigh, the location Steve drills at; of Captain America punching Hitler in the face; of the Red Skull, a Nazi agent who battles Captain America and Bucky (Captain America Comics #1, 1941); of Captain America's mask being fastened to his costume; of Captain America's round, red and white shield with star in its center (Captain America Comics #2, 1941); of the Red Skull being German (Captain America Comics #7, 1941)

Bryan Hitch: co-creator of S.H.I.E.L.D. creating a simulation of the 1940s to help Captain America adjust to the present but being quickly found out; of Nick Fury resembling Samuel L. Jackson and having visible scars beneath his eyepatch (Ultimates #2, 2002); of Captain America wearing a pseudo-military version of his costume; of Captain America being found in present times by S.H.I.E.L.D. (Ultimates #1, 2002); of the wings on the side of Captain America's helmet being painted on (Captain America: Reborn #1, 2009)

Mark Millar: co-creator of S.H.I.E.L.D. creating a simulation of the 1940s to help Captain America adjust to the present but being quickly found out; of Nick Fury resembling Samuel L. Jackson and having visible scars beneath his eyepatch (Ultimates #2, 2002); of Captain America wearing a pseudo-military version of his costume; of Captain America being found in present times by S.H.I.E.L.D. (Ultimates #1, 2002)

Dick Ayers: co-creator of Hydra being active in World War II (Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders #2, 1968); of Jacques Dernier, a member of the French Resistance who fights alongside the Howling Commandos (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #21, 1965); of Jim Morita, a World War II Nisei soldier who fought alongside the Howling Commandos (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #38, 1967)

Roy Thomas: co-creator of Montgomery, Lord Falsworth, British soldier and wartime ally of Captain America (Invaders #7, 1976); of Jim Morita, a World War II Nisei soldier who fought alongside the Howling Commandos (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #38, 1967)

Sal Buscema: co-creator of the Red Skull funding the creation of Hydra (Captain America #148, 1972); of Steve Rogers' skill as an artist (Captain America #237, 1979); of Steve Rogers joining the army from a sense of idealism (Captain America #176, 1974)

Fabian Nicieza: co-creator of Operation: Rebirth's multiple candidates; of Gilmore Hodge, a bully who is rejected from Operation: Rebirth (Adventures of Captain America #1, 1991); of Chester Phillips' first name (Adventures of Captain America #2, 1991)

Kevin Maguire: co-creator of Operation: Rebirth's multiple candidates; of Gilmore Hodge, a bully who is rejected from Operation: Rebirth (Adventures of Captain America #1, 1991); of Chester Phillips' first name (Adventures of Captain America #2, 1991)

Ed Brubaker: co-creator of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes being nearly the same age (Captain America #5, 2005); of the wings on the side of Captain America's helmet being painted on (Captain America: Reborn #1, 2009)

Jim Steranko: creator of Hydra being a group which splintered out of Nazi Germany (Strange Tales #156, 1967); co-creator of the Hydra insignia, a skull atop octopus arms (Strange Tales #151, 1966)

Gary Friedrich: co-creator of the Red Skull funding the creation of Hydra (Captain America #148, 1972); of Hydra being active in World War II (Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders #2, 1968)

Carl Burgos: creator of Phineas Horton, scientist who created the Human Torch; of the Human Torch, an artificial man placed on display at a fair within a clear tube (Marvel Comics #1, 1939)

Paul Neary: co-creator of the Red Skull's name Johann Shmidt (Captain America #298, 1984); of Captain America's shield being made of Vibranium (Captain America #302, 1985)

Mark Gruenwald: co-creator of the skin being burned off the Red Skull's face; of the Red Skull having the Super-Soldier Serum in his veins (Captain America #350, 1989)

Kieron Dwyer: co-creator of the skin being burned off the Red Skull's face; of the Red Skull having the Super-Soldier Serum in his veins (Captain America #350, 1989)

Randall Frenz: co-creator of Howard Stark working with Captain America, Bucky and the Howling Commandos during World War II (Captain America Annual #9, 1990)

Mark Bagley: co-creator of Howard Stark working with Captain America, Bucky and the Howling Commandos during World War II (Captain America Annual #9, 1990)

Frank Robbins: co-creator of Montgomery, Lord Falsworth, British soldier and wartime ally of Captain America (Invaders #7, 1976)

Steve Englehart: co-creator of Steve Rogers joining the army from a sense of idealism (Captain America #176, 1974)

Michael Lark: co-creator of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes being nearly the same age (Captain America #5, 2005)

Brian Michael Bendis: co-creator of Nick Fury as an African-American man (Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5, 2001)

Roger Stern: co-creator of Steve Rogers' parents dying in his teenage years (Captain America #255, 1981)

Mike Carlin: co-creator of Captain America's shield being made of Vibranium (Captain America #302, 1985)

John Byrne: co-creator of Steve Rogers' parents dying in his teenage years (Captain America #255, 1981)

Mike Allred: co-creator of Nick Fury as an African-American man (Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5, 2001)

Alex Schomburg: creator of Captain America riding a motorcycle (Captain America Comics #27, 1943)

J.M. DeMatteis: co-creator of the Red Skull's name Johann Shmidt (Captain America #298, 1984)

Chris Claremont: co-creator of Steve Rogers' skill as an artist (Captain America #237, 1979)

Roger McKenzie: co-creator of Steve Rogers' skill as an artist (Captain America #237, 1979)

Archie Goodwin: co-creator of Howard Stark, Tony's father (Iron Man #28, 1970)

Don Heck: co-creator of Howard Stark, Tony's father (Iron Man #28, 1970)