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September 08, 2008


George C

Was that J.Jonah Jameson with the camera? I didn't know he was that old...

Mark Engblom

Funny you should mention that, since the 1994 MARVELS project by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross established that Jonah was indeed a young reporter in the early 1940's.

At the time, it was somewhat plausible, but fourteen years later? Not so much.

Jon Knutson

I suppose you know the real-world reason for Cap's shield changing shape was because the MLJ (Archie) people felt it was too close to the costume of their character the Shield. Worked for the best, because I've heard Kirby preferred the round version anyway (made for more fun drawing, with Cap throwing it around).

Mark Engblom

No, I had never heard the account of the original shield running into copyright trouble. Yeah, I agree, the changes worked out for the best. The round shield is so distinctive, it's hard to imagine anything else had ever been considered. However, the round shield of the Golden Age era had a blue outermost stripe in addition to the red and white stripes...making it look a bit weird from today's perspective.

Pj Perez

Goldarnit, I had that Cap issue, but now it appears to be missing from my collection. Guess I'll need to re-acquire it. Stern + Byrne + Cap = awesome.

Mark Engblom

Yeah, scoop that one back up. As I said, it's probably the best retelling of Cap's origin I've come across, and that fantastic cover would have made a great poster. I've picked up most of the Stern/Byrne run over the past couple of years, and I highly recommend those issues as well.


The original shield (or a version thereof, I'm not sure) is now owned by Elijah Bradley aka Patriot of the Young Avengers.


I really miss Roger Stern. He was an ace Marvel writer/editor when I was a young ten-something reader in the 80s, and his Avengers run is arguably as good as that book ever got (to say nothing of his editorship of the Michelinie-Layton Iron Man, his run on Spider-Man, and the excellent Cap stories you highlight above). Even his West Coast Avengers was great! I heard a rumor they might bring him back for a run on Spider-Man, which would be wonderful. Thanks for the cool flashback!


I have that Cap issue and it remains a fave of my whole collection. Terrific script and phenom art by classic 80s John Byrne.

My favorite panel is that stop-action shot of Cap ramming his fist into that Bundist's jaw ... Cap providing facetious commentary the whole way!


Script by Stern I should have said ...

Robert Carnegie

One of the Masters of Evil scrunched up the pointy shield at Avengers Mansion in [Avengers: Under Siege], but it may have been repaired by the Beyonder or something.

According to Marvel's web page that I've linked to, "Kate Bishop gave Eli one of Captain America's original triangular shields", but it's also referred to as a replica, which probably just means Marvel are confused too.

I believe I read something recently where another comics old-timer (could it be Stan Lee himself? and Cap #600?)bdeclared that Jack Kirby was incredibly forgetful in everyday life and couldn't reproduce Captain America's costume correctly without consulting a reference picture - Cap would have a star instead of an A on his forehead, whatever - but then most comics artists can show you their character costume reference drawings, and this is at a time when each different costume isn't composed of elements of the same United States flag shuffled around, unlike the 1940s. Cap did well not to be put in Uncle Sam's top hat, at least not in print.

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