Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans
Marvel/Words: Stan Lee; Art: Jack Kirby and Syd Shores
Background After enduring the process that transforms him into a peak human physical specimen, Steve Rogers, the man who would become Captain America, witnesses a Nazi assassin strike down Dr. Abraham Erskine, the inventor of the Super-Soldier Serum responsible for Rogers' change. Rogers watches Erskine die in his arms, then performs his first heroic act in his new body: He kicks the crap out of the killer.
Marvel/Words: Ed Brubaker; Art: Steve Epting
Background Being on the losing side of the super-hero civil war, Cap has been arrested and is being escorted to court. That's when he notices a sniper rifle in a nearby window and takes the bullet meant for his guard. Then he's unknowingly shot by his lover, Sharon Carter (technically, he's displaced through time and space a la Desmond from Lost or Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five).
Marvel/Words and art: Jack Kirby
Background Cap leads a two-prong attack against an organization bent on detonating a "mad bomb" that would enslave humanity in, um, madness. While a strike team disables the bomb, Cap faces the leader of the group, who just happens to be the ancestor of a colonial traitor who was slain in a duel by Cap's ancestor. What? That hasn't happened in your life?
Marvel/Words: Mark Waid; Art: Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang
Background A group of alien Kree are kidnapping and genetically experimenting on humans on Earth. Cap is called in by fellow Avenger Ms. Marvel (going by Warbird here) to help stop them. Fisticuffs ensue, and Cap loses his temper after discovering a warehouse packed to the rafters with dead bodies.
Marvel/Words: J. Michael Straczynski; Art: Ron Garney and Bill Reinhold
Background Spider-Man has switched sides in the super-hero civil war, and public opinion has turned on him like a rabid zombie dog. Now on the same side in the conflict, Cap seeks out the Web-Slinger and gives him a pep talk that put Knute Rockne and Bluto from Animal House to shame.
Marvel/Words: Roger Stern; Art: Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein
Background A group of friends discouraged with the government's treatment of the working man (FYI: this story was published in 1984) blackmail New York City through a series of arsons that turn deadly. Cap tracks down the perpetrators, but the ringleader decides to go out in a blaze of deluded glory instead of face the shame of being apprehended. Cap can't save him, but he does save the flag.
Marvel/Words: Geoff Johns; Art: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
Background A religion based on worshiping Thor creates instability in Eastern Europe, pushing countries to the brink of war. It also pushes Iron Man and Cap to confront their fellow Avenger. As tensions rise, Cap tries to convince a U.S. military detachment to go against presidential orders and stand down from the conflict.
8. Avengers-JLA #4
Marvel and DC/Words: Kurt Busiek; Art: George Perez
Background I'm going to radically simplify this cross-company team-up: The heroes from the DC Universe team up with the heroes of the Marvel Universe to defeat a Big Bad of cosmic proportions that threatens to destroy the fabric of existence. The heroes strategize before their final battle, and a leader is chosen to lead the attack.
Marvel/Words: Jim Starlin; Art: Ron Lim and Bruce N. Golotoff
Background Thanos, the mad Titan obsessed with death, comes into possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, an artifact that bestows godlike power on its wearer. And like any mad Titan obsessed with death, Thanos decides to destroy everything. A band of heroes desperately--and unsuccessfully--tries to stop him. Guess who steps up to confront Thanos?
Marvel/Words: Mark Gruenwald; Art: Tom Morgan and Bob McLeod
Background A government commission decides it wants to exert tighter control on Captain America, claiming he's a government employee. The commission gives him an ultimatum: Fall in line or quit.
- Invincible Iron Man Annual #1 This release is notable for two reasons: 1) Matt Fraction is writing one of the most entertaining runs on the character in some time; and 2) this issue is being digitally released on the iPad the same day as its print release.
- Northlanders #29 If vikings are the new pirates are the new ninjas are the new robots are the new monkeys, then Brian Wood's Vertigo series is that trend's bible.
- Unknown Soldier #21 This series has been canceled with issue #25, but that's no reason not to pick it up. It's a gripping look at the violence and politics of Uganda. Pick up the trades, then pick up this issue.
- Wonder Woman #600 People sure are talking about Wonder Woman, but they're not talking about this issue. This could be your last chance to see the classic swimsuit costume.
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