A heroic spin on a classic alien invasion story courtesy of Kirby!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

During the pre-super hero, monster-filled days of the early 60s, Jack Kirby worked with Stan Lee to create an army of aliens and other threats to help fill anthologies like TALES TO ASTONISH, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, and TALES OF SUSPENSE. The protagonists of those stories tended to be regular people stumbling into weird situations and, hopefully, coming out on top thanks to good old-fashioned grit and determination.

When the folks in flashy costumes took over, they also began taking on very similar threats in the pages of their own books. However, with 1976’s CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #3, Kirby brought the two worlds together in a story called “Doom is the Black Star!” The issue kicked off with a farmer named Jim Hendricks blasting a huge purple alien monster away from the Sentinel of Liberty with a sci-fi ray gun.

Once the creature vanished before their eyes, Cap and Jim remembered how the latter contacted the former after he appeared on a local talk show. It took some convincing, but eventually the hero agreed to investigate the strange beings and U.F.O. that landed on Hendricks’ farm.

More surprises came when Hendricks took Cap back to his house where the masked pilot of the ship—dubbed “The Captive”—temporarily resided. After unmasking, The Captive explained that, even though it took him a million years, he found a way to escape from a black hole! Upon doing so, though, agents of the Galactic Empire came to put him back.

Meanwhile, up in space, the ship that sent the initial monster deployed a Combatron to regain their quarry. Fighting like a furious storm, the being unleashed its fury on the two men. Cap attempted to buy time by facing off against the Combatron while Jim searched for alien weapons. Having gained the upper hand, our hero had to leap out of the way of lasers blasting from the ship to erase all evidence of the Combatron and its pod.

Captain America Annual (1971) #3

Captain America Annual (1971) #3

  • Published: January 03, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

With an army of Magnoids descending towards Earth, the Sentinel of Liberty remained behind to size them up while Jim and Captive returned to the alien’s ship. Once there, Captive’s true colors started showing through as he rambled about being feared and returning to his full power levels.

Back outside, Cap did his best fighting off a legion of mechanical men. He held his own and even made off with one of their weapons, but quickly ran back to the ship where Captive truly revealed himself. Instead of finding Jim arming himself to take on the invaders, Captain America saw his new comrade almost completely drained of life!

The Captive then revealed his origins as part of an invasive, energy vampire race that had been mostly felled by use of synthetic, non-organic life forms like the Magnoids. Cap withstood Captive’s attempts at draining him of his own life force, which gave the Magnoids enough time to get inside the ship. As the villain began powering-up, the Captain summoned the last of his strength, slung his mighty shield, and knocked Captive unconscious!

The robots then wrapped Captive up in an inorganic material, which kept him still during the super-fast trip to a star called Epsilon Four. Once there, the space cops shot the villain into the sun, which went nova moments later, presumably killing the energy vampire in the process.

The issue closed with Captain America telling his story at an official military hearing, but the complete lack of evidence—aside from Jim’s corpse—led to them sweeping the whole thing under the rug. In the end, even in the face of the government’s stance that full, public knowledge of extra terrestrials would fill the average person with terror, Cap saw hope in a future that would be more open to visits from other worlds.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Nick Spencer wraps up an epic event with SECRET EMPIRE OMEGA.

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Nick Spencer kickstarted an epic tale starting with CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 last year and this week, he wrapped it all up with SECRET EMPIRE: OMEGA #1 along with artists Andrea Sorrentino and Joe Bennett. 

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before getting to the main event, let’s look at a few of the side stories that found their completion in this issue. First, as Clint Barton wept over Black Widow’s casket, Bucky Barnes found himself in Madripoor looking into the upcoming assassination of a general who aligned himself with Hydra. When the guy gets shot, Barnes thinks that the killer had to be Black Widow.

At the same time, Emma Frost and Hank McCoy talked about the dissolution of the mutant nation New Tian. While McCoy said that the efforts to put forth a solid mutant society would mean a lot to younger generations, Frost regretted that they would never know who their actual queen was.

Meanwhile, we also caught up with one of the more surprising members of HydraCap’s crew: The Punisher. Feeling betrayed and used, Frank Castle decided to make it his mission to burn Hydra to the ground. As Punisher continued his crusade, Nick Fury looked on and said to Control, “He’s ready.”

With those mysterious set-ups out of the way, it’s time to talk about the main confrontation in this issue which came between Steve Rogers and his Cosmic Cube-created copy with the octopus tattoo across his chest. To do so, Cap broke into a jail holding just the one captive.

Inside, he faced the man with his face. HydraCap, still convinced that the reality he understood thanks to Red Skull’s essential brainwashing of Kobik, was the correct one and one still worth fighting for. He also brought to Steve’s attention how quickly people seemed to turn on one another and reach for the power he offered them.

Rogers, while concerned with the damage HydraCap did to his image and reputation, still saw some good in the whole situation, hoping that this whole nasty endeavor would stop some people from blindly following anyone, even himself.

Ultimately, though, the true Captain America believes in the goodness of people and the resilience of his homeland. We’ll see him trying to make up for the mistakes a man with his face made over in MARVEL LEGACY #1 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695.

The Empire Strikes Back

Upon leaving HydraCap’s cell, Steve Rogers warned his double not to leave his cell, letting him know that he’d be able to spot him no matter the face he wore. As the guards rushed in at the very end, though, one of them whispered something in his ear: “Hail Hydra.” So, while the threat of HydraCap seems low at this point, don’t be surprised if we see him again!

Read More

Get ready to meet Cap aboard the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down the weeks to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

Over the next several weeks, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

First up, Captain America…

Patriotic solider Steve Rogers took the super soldier serum to become the living symbol of freedom and liberty, Captain America. He is extremely intelligent and has superior agility, strength, speed and endurance. The patriotic hero with an indestructible shield embodies honor, integrity, courage and trustworthiness.

You may see Captain America patrolling the ship or visiting Disney’s Oceaneer Club, teaching kids the true qualities of being a hero like honor, courage and teamwork. The star-spangled man with a plan also has a big role in the Marvel Day at Sea nighttime deck show, which will be the largest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains ever assembled at sea.

Stay tuned to meet more Super Heroes assembling for Marvel Day at Sea, which premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

Read More

Program includes animated shorts, chapter books and expanded line of merchandise debuting this Fall!

Little True Belivers, this one’s for you! Starting this Fall, we’re gearing up for the brand new school year with “Marvel Super Hero Adventures” – a multi-platform content program targeting Marvel’s youngest fans through animation and publishing. Through stories that touch upon aspirational themes of friendship, helping others, and heroism, preschool kids and young readers will have a gateway into the Marvel Universe. This new program will be supported by new offerings across comic books, graphic novels and merchandise including toys, lifestyle and apparel.

Marvel Animation will launch a season of 10 short-form episodes for the pre-school audience. The 3.5 minute animated episodes will feature Spidey in an epic team-up with other inspiring and brave Marvel heroes like Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Wasp, Ms. Marvel and more. Platforms and launch date for this short-form series will be announced at a later date.

Debuting in September will be a series of early-reader chapter books joining the existing line of popular Marvel Super Hero Adventures activity books and storybooks from Marvel Press. The first chapter book, “Deck the Malls!,” written by MacKenzie Cadenhead and Sean Ryan, illustrated by Derek Laufman, features Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen in a fully illustrated adventured with a bonus one-page comic. Three more chapter books and an expanding publishing program will continue through 2018 and beyond.

The Super Hero Adventures merchandise is led by a toy collaboration with Hasbro, featuring new character tie-ins and play experiences inspired by Marvel Animation. They’re a perfect way for preschoolers to celebrate their young passion for Marvel in their daily lives. Further merchandise rollouts include wide offerings across toys and apparel with supportive collaborations from Mad Engine, Jay Fanco, GBG, Jakks Pacific and others–all representative of the major categories for Marvel preschoolers. Additional Marvel Super Hero Adventures products will debut throughout October during Marvel Mania, Marvel’s celebratory campaign spanning marquee retailers including Walmart, Target, Toys R Us and more.

Parents and fans around the world can share the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure program with young fans as it expands even more in Spring 2018.

Read More

A trio of takes on the Sentinel of Liberty from his co-creator!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

During Jack Kirby’s decades-long career he certainly created a number of memorable characters, but none can match Captain America when it comes to longevity. Along with his partner Joe Simon and the talented artists who worked for them, Kirby delivered CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 to Timely Comics in 1941 and continued working on the series through issue #10. During that time, Kirby not only drew Steve Rogers’ origin as the Army reject who wound up becoming the symbol of all things American when given the Super Soldier Serum, he additionally introduced the likes of Bucky and The Red Skull.

As later established in AVENGERS #4, Bucky died thanks to a plot by Baron Zemo that also left Cap floating through the ocean in a block of ice. He remained there until 1965 when Kirby teamed up with Stan Lee—who also contributed to CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS—to reintroduce the Sentinel of Liberty to a new generation of readers! The thawed out Super Soldier quickly became a stalwart member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

After bringing Steve Rogers back, Lee and Kirby decided to tell even more Cap stories, this time in the pages of TALES OF SUSPENSE, starting with #58. While some of these adventures took place in the present, others drew on some of that raw material from the first run of Cap comics and retold them for a new audience, complete with new art that showed off how Kirby’s work had evolved in that time.

TALES OF SUSPENSE gave way to CAPTAIN AMERICA #100 in 1968. Between the two books, Kirby helped introduce characters like Batroc, Doctor Faustus, Sharon Carter, The Falcon, Peggy Carter, M.O.D.O.K., and more. Kirby drew the series through issue #109, and then returned for #112, which he reportedly drew in 24 hours.

In the mid-70s, “The King” returned to the castle he helped build and did one more stint with his bravest of knights: Captain America. Kirby took over as writer-artist-editor of the title with 1976’s #193. Without missing a beat, he launched the Avenger and his partner Falcon directly into classic adventures like “Madbomb,” which dealt with the dangers of weaponized hate.

During this time, Kirby created one of Erik Larsen’s favorite moments during “The Swine,” not to mention the still-relevant Arnim Zola. Ultimately, the King’s reign on CAPTAIN AMERICA would come to a close with 1977’s issue #214, leaving behind not one or two, but three legendary runs on the character!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

A Look at the heroes (and a few villains) to take up the mantle beyond Steve Rogers.

While most people associate Captain America with one person—and certainly no more than three—the name and costume has been donned by many. Some stood for good, some used the symbol for evil, some wandered in between those two extremes.

As Sam Wilson seemingly travels through time and space in GENERATIONS: SAM WILSON CAPTAIN AMERICA & STEVE ROGERS CAPTAIN AMERICA, we take stock of the many men and women who have worn the red, white, and blue.

Steve Rogers– The original and the standard bearer, the Cap all others will be measured against. While recent events have tarnished the man’s sterling reputation some, it seems impossible to believe that it will not be long before he proves that the “real” him remains every bit the hero we always saw him as.

Sam Wilson– As The Falcon, Wilson proved himself a strong partner and costumed solo hero. As a social worker, he proved he did not need the costume to be a hero. As Captain America, he proved that while Rogers might be the one we all think of, others can prove worthy of the honor of donning the flag and carrying the shield.

Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America (2017) #1

Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America (2017) #1

James “Bucky” Barnes– The first Captain America partner/sidekick, Barnes did a lot of the dirty work in World War II, while allowing Cap to remain a “clean” symbol for all that we identify as good, strong, and admirable about the United States. Years under Soviet mind control as the Winter Soldier gave Barnes a—to utilize understatement—checkered past. Nonetheless, when his mind became his own once more and America needed someone to step into the mantel when it seemed Rogers had died, Barnes did so with strength, courage, and conviction. It revealed that while Soviet mind control may have made him a killer, Barnes remained a hero at his core.

Isaiah Bradley– While America has always been a country of great ideals, we nonetheless have often failed to meet those ideals. Isaiah Bradley, a hero to the Marvel Universe’s black American community but largely unknown in the larger MU unfortunately illustrates this point. A secretive flipside to Steve Rogers’ creation, Bradley became a Super Soldier while the rest of his compatriots died in the experimental phase. He acted heroically to derail Nazi attempts to build a super soldier of their own, ended up captured and tortured in the name of science by the Axis, and, once freed, did not get a hero’s welcome by the Allies but rather went to prison for supposed desertion. During his time in prison, he endured further study and testing. When he released, he did become a living legend amongst many black Americans as noted above, but he also never received the recognition he deserved and, due to the years of torture and experimentation, ended up suffering from brain trauma in his later years.

Truth: Red, White & Black (2003) #1

Truth: Red, White & Black (2003) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

John Walker– The former Super Patriot and current USAgent became Captain America when Rogers walked away from the role—or, rather, became forced out—and the government decided to find a more politically conservative easier to control candidate to bear the mantel. Unfortunately, Walker might be a lot of things, but easy to control never makes the list. After his identity became exposed and his parents paid with their lives, Walker became brutal and murderous until a fight with Rogers enabled him to regain his senses and abandon the classic Stars and Stripes for a new identity—both alter ego and costumed hero wise—and a new costume. He remains taciturn and a bit more nationalistic than most Caps, but he has matured and grown in the years since his time as Captain America.

“Anti-Cap”– Given, via spinal implant, a constant feed of a similar drug to the one that the government exposed Luke Cage to during his time in prison, Anti-Cap—his real identity unknown—became a modern super soldier under the banner of the US Navy. While professes to admire Captain America, Anti proved not to truly have absorbed much of Roger’s ideals. Cynical, violent, and cruel, Anti-Cap acted largely as a puppet of the government until his apparent death let him run wild on his own. However, he remained volatile and amoral as he enacted his version of the War on Terror and Roger, with Wilson as Falcon, felt compelled to stop his doppleganger. In the end, Anti chose death by suicide over capture and this demise seems to have stuck.

William Burnside– College professor Burnside became the Captain America of the 1950’s, battling the communist version of the Red Skull and taking Jack Monroe—the man who would be Nomad—under his wing as the new Bucky. Unfortunately, exposure to an imperfect version of the Super Soldier process left both heroes mentally ill and they had to be replaced in suspended animation. Later, Doctor Faustus further twisted the vulnerable Burnside until he became the white supremacist leader known as the Grand Director. A confrontation with Rogers reminds Burnside of how he had been and he ends his own life by self-immolation. Except he didn’t. Instead, he survives and is conditioned by Red Skull and Faustus to kill Bucky Barnes, then the acting Cap. Although he eventually shakes them as masters, he cannot cope with modern life and joins the reactionary domestic terrorist group known as the Watchdogs. Eventually, Barnes shoots and seemingly kills Burnside. In reality, he is recovered by the government who is now working to undo years of psychological manipulation with the hope of someday returning Burnside to society and a normal day-to-day existence.

Danielle Cage– A possible future version of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter, Danielle grew up to be mentored by Black Widow and to wear the flag as a hero. She now lives in the current Marvel Universe and fights alongside the U.S.Avengers.

Jeffrey Mace– The so-called third Captain America, Mace fought as the Patriot during World War II before assuming the mantel in 1946. He served three years in that capacity, married his partner Golden Girl, and lived out the rest of his life in a fairly average manner.

What If? (1977) #4

What If? (1977) #4

  • Published: August 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 24, 2008
  • Penciller: Ross Andru
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Roberta Mendez– The Captain America of the year 2099, Mendez has a forced kind of split personality state in which she lives most of her life as “average citizen,” a family woman with a job as a receptionist at Alchemax. However, when she hears her trigger, she becomes Captain America both physically and in personality, acting as part of the 2099 Avengers until the trigger returns her back to her usual life.

Kiyoshi Morales– Another possible future Cap, Morales—who goes be Commander A in costume—is a kind of future ideal of a US citizen: multi-racial, idealistic, and oriented to service. Although readers have seen little of Morales to date, he remains an intriguing character brimming with potential.

William Naslund– The second Captain America officially recognized by the government—as they refused to give Bradley the same honors—Naslund transitioned from the costumed identity of the Spirt of ’76 to Cap after Rogers’ seeming death. Ultimately, Naslund was killed in action after less than a year of service after warning fellow heroes of a plot to capture of kill then Congressman John F. Kennedy.

Dave Rickford– In an attempt to destroy Bucky Barnes during his time as Captain America, his history as the Winter Soldier ended up leaked to the press. With Rogers still refusing to take back up the title, Rickford nominated himself for the role. After being kidnapped and getting a talking to from Rogers, however, the would-be hero quickly stepped down.

Bob Russo– After Rogers becomes too disillusioned with the federal government to continue to be Captain America, he steps away from the role. In the void, Russo became the first citizen to try and step up. He injures his arm during his first attempt at being Cap and never tries again.

Roscoe Simons– Another fill-in Cap during Rogers’ Nomad phase, Simons actually received the blessing and shield from Steve and worked with Falcon. Unfortunately, he only lasts briefly in the role before the Red Skull kills him.

“Scar” Turpin– The second fill-in after Russo, Turpin ends up on the bad side of a gang beating and realizes the error of his ways.

American Dream (2008) #1

American Dream (2008) #1

  • Published: May 07, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 30, 2008
  • Rating: Rated a
  • Writer: Tom DeFalco
  • Cover Artist: Ron Frenz
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Shannon Carter– In another alternate future, Sharon Carter’s cousin Shannon grows up idolizing Cap and training her body and mind to be as strong, resilient and flexible as humanly possible. When the Avengers reform, she accepts their invitation, crafts her own version of Steve Rogers’ classic costume, and becomes American Dream. When her team must save a team of Avengers from an alternate timeline, she proves her skill as a leader and tactician and the Steve Rogers Cap of that universe honors her with his own shield, a de facto endorsement of her worthiness to wear the flag.

Josiah X– As noted above, Bradley continued to be a lab test subject for the government while imprisoned at Leavenworth and Josiah X resulted from that work. Essentially a biological son of Bradley and his wife but raised by a surrogate mom, he lived his early life entirely unaware of his parentage or potential powers. In time he would learn of them, meet his parents, and ship out to Vietnam for several tours. After returning from ‘Nam, he struggled to find direction until visiting Africa, feeling called by Islam to become a Muslim and minister of the faith, and returning to the US. He only briefly wore a version of the familiar flag costume to clear his name alongside members of The Crew and to ensure his neighborhood not be decimated by super powered strife.

Read More

Two of the Fantastic Four tie the knot, Hulk fights Thor, plus more!

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on and witness the work that made him comic book royalty.

Even a casual Marvel reader in 1965 might’ve believed that Jack Kirby worked on every single issue of every single title the House of Ideas published that year. The truth of it stands as something less than that, but Marvel editor and writer Stan Lee knew a good thing and ensured Jack’s presence across the line in varied ways, and with a concentration where the Kirby touch would bring comic book gold.

First and foremost, Lee and Kirby’s flagship book remained Jack’s true focus at the midpoint of the 1960s. In FANTASTIC FOUR #32, after a battle with the strange android Dragon Man, Reed Richards received the answer he’d hoped for from his marriage proposal to Sue Storm, setting up one of the true monumental moments in comic history: the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 that summer.

Not to rest on their laurels, Stan and Jack also introduced the Frightful Four in FANTASTIC FOUR #36, brought Daredevil in for a guest-spot in FANTASTIC FOUR #39, and following Gorgon’s introduction in FANTASTIC FOUR #44, unveiled their next big idea, the incredible Inhumans, in FANTASTIC FOUR #45 to round out the year.

Over in Thor’s universe, Jack illustrated one of the greatest clashes of comics, the Thor-Hulk match fans clamored for, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, as well as designing a villain for the ages, Absorbing Man, for JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114. In addition, Jack’s images of the robotic Destroyer impressed fans in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118, but perhaps the real stand-out moment of the year in Thor’s world came in the introduction of Greek demi-god Hercules into the ongoing drama in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1.

Jack’s penciling duties for 1965 also extended into Captain America’s solo series in TALES OF SUSPENSE. For the first part of the year he produced covers and simple layouts for others to follow, but for his and Stan’s powerful team-up between Cap and Nick Fury in TALES OF SUSPENSE #78, he provided full interior art. From there, the duo planted dynamite under Cap’s world with the return of The Red Skull in TALES OF SUSPENSE #79, and the amazing Cosmic Cube saga beginning in TALES OF SUSPENSE #80.

Speaking of Nick Fury, Jack’s visions of technological wonders expanded exponentially when he and Stan promoted the sergeant into their newest concept, S.H.I.E.L.D., in the landmark STRANGE TALES #135. For the next several issues of the mag, Jack would do layouts and covers, helping guide his former World War II star into the Swingin’ Sixties.

Jack relinquished penciling chores on AVENGERS in 1965, but also helped out with layouts and covers, same as with SGT. FURY and TALES TO ASTONISH. Over in UNCANNY X-MEN he worked to illustrate the memorable meeting of the young mutants and the Avengers to fruition in X-MEN #9, and introduce the savage Ka-Zar in X-MEN #10.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Erik Larsen illuminates Jack Kirby's ability to wrench hearts with a Captain America classic!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

“Picking a favorite issue is pretty much impossible. Jack did everything so well, it’s hard to pick a favorite.”

Erik Larsen sums up how many feel about the King’s work. Between his early days on CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS to his Silver Age co-construction of the Marvel Universe as we know it, Jack Kirby had a hand in releasing some of the most popular characters in all of pop culture. In other words, it’s no small task to pick just one story to talk about.

“If I was to pick a favorite scene by Jack as a writer at Marvel—it’d have to be the sequence in CAPTAIN AMERICA [#206] where The Swine fed a starving prisoner at his table,” Larsen explains. “Absolutely devastating. Powerful stuff, both story and art.”

This particular tale came from Kirby’s last stint on the character, during a time when he wrote and illustrated each issue. At the time, Steve Rogers shared the title with Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon—another Kirby co-creation. Issue #206 saw the creator shifting locations to a Central American jungle nation called Rio de Muerte, where a ruthless commander named Hector Santiago—dubbed “The Swine”—used prisoners for slave labor.

“The scenes with The Swine were just powerful and impactful,” Larsen recalls. “You felt the pain. You felt the prisoners’ plight. Yeah, the fights were explosive and the characters were great—there’s so much there—but Jack was able to tear out your heart. I think fans tend to overlook what a terrific writer Jack could be.”

Captain America (1968) #206

Captain America (1968) #206

  • Published: February 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Thanks to a botched kidnapping and ensuing plane crash, Steve Rogers wound up in close proximity to Rio de Muerte. After the Swine’s stooges found and attacked him, Santiago tried to shoot Cap, but ultimately stood no match for Steve’s ingenuity—and shield.

Intending to escape and get out of the jungle, The Sentinel of Liberty had a realization when he saw Santiago’s captives. Alongside Cap, readers witnessed the gruesome torture that The Swine put his prisoners through in attempts to make them divulge military secrets.

In issue #208, Steve fought off a Man-Fish monster before being trapped by the Swine’s goons. Intending to torture Cap with a flamethrower, Santiago soon found himself betrayed by his own cousin Donna Maria. Tossing her into the torture chamber with Rogers, Hector looked to set them both on fire, when the creature returned and made short work of the villain. In short, one of the worst bad guys around got what he deserved in classic Kirby fashion.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

With Miles Morales held by Hydra, check out these other heroes who have spent time behind bars.

Not every hero in the Marvel Universe stays on the right side of the law. Sometimes they go one step too far—and other times, the law works actively against them. Take Miles Morales for instance: the SPIDER-MAN star fought against the vision Ulysses gave him back in CIVIL WAR II and surrendered himself to Hydra instead of killing Captain America.

Surely the former denizen of the Ultimate Universe will find his way out of the clink—but until then, he can take solace in the fact that a few of his fellow heroes have had their own stints under lock and key.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Look at that, even the honorable Steve Rogers spent time in the pen! More than once, too! Most notably, Cap was locked up between his surrender in the last issue of CIVIL WAR and his apparent death in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25.

LUKE CAGE

Carl Lucas might have become a hero without heading to jail, but he probably wouldn’t be super strong and possess his signature impervious skin. Wrongfully accused in a drug bust and sentenced to the big house, the future Avenger agreed to participate in an experiment that gave him super abilities. After his transformation, he escaped from captivity and resumed life under the name we all know him by today.

PUNISHER

Over the years, many people have wanted to lock Frank Castle up—but no one seems capable of actually keeping him imprisoned. During the mid-‘90s, the authorities tried to send him to the electric chair—and failed. And during the most recent PUNISHER WAR ZONE, he sat in an underwater prison, but of course no walls—not even ones surrounded by water—could stop The Punisher.

DAREDEVIL

At the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ epic run on DAREDEVIL, he left ol’ Matt Murdock in quite a pickle—inside a jail cell where new series writer Ed Brubaker kept the blind lawyer incarcerated for a while. Murdock eventually got out when none other than master escape artist Frank Castle was purposefully captured as part of a jailbreak plan.

SONGBIRD

Since their inception, the Thunderbolts revolved around characters who served time in one way or another. The original squad, including Songbird, was assembled by Baron Zemo and consisted of villains masquerading as heroes. After her stint in jail, the former Screaming Mimi took to the lawful side of things—and even served as a warden on the maximum security prison known as the Raft!

IRON FIST

During CIVIL WAR, nearly every hero who sided against Tony Stark’s Superhuman Registration Act wound up incarcerated—including Iron Fist. While posing as Daredevil in an attempt to keep Hell’s Kitchen safe, Danny Rand was captured as a means to help Captain America and the other anti-registration heroes to the Negative Zone prison for a jailbreak!

WOLVERINE

Not at all unfamiliar with jail cells, Wolverine found himself imprisoned in the pages of LOGAN. Captured by the Japanese during World War II, the mutant was kept in Nagasaki before he escaped and fell in love with a local woman named Atsuko. When Atsuko was murdered, Logan followed her killer to Hiroshima, where they were caught in the atomic bombing of the city. Wolverine survived the blast, but was left scarred by the loss of his former love.

BUCKY BARNES

Even though he stepped up and filled in for Steve Rogers after the original Cap died, Bucky Barnes still stood trial for his crimes as his previous identity, the Winter Soldier. Declared innocent in the United States, Russia judged him differently—and locked him up on heightened charges. Thanks to help from someone familiar with Russian prisons—Black Widow—Bucky escaped and headed back to the U.S., where he then decided that his days holding the mantle of Captain America were over.

PETER PARKER

Miles Morales doesn’t lay claim as the only Spider-Man to wind up incarcerated—back in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #219, Peter Parker attempted to sneak into a jail as part of an exposé, but instead got caught and tossed in a cell! After Matt Murdock helped him get out of the predicament, Pete managed to publish his exposé—and apprehend a few escaped inmates in the process.

Go behind bars with SPIDER-MAN #20, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Oscar Bazaldua, available September 6!

 

Read More

It’s Sam Wilson versus Steve Rogers, who will be the last Captain America standing!?

Two Captain Americas enter the ring, but only one will leave with the title and shield. On August 9, CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 written by Nick Spencer with art by Jesus Saiz, brings Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers face to face, but who will end up down for the count?

You can’t deny that both Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers are some bad mama jamas, but which of them is the badest of all? A harder question than you might think. Right off the bat you’d probably say Steve Rogers, after all the man is a science experiment gone horribly right, but that might be jumping the gun. Sam just might have some tricks up his sleeve.

In a straight up brawl, sure, the edge goes to the original Cap, a genetically engineered super solider with enhanced human capabilities like speed, strength, agility, durability, healing and even mental processing. That will be hard for Sam to compete with in an unarmed match, even if he can evade Steve he will eventually wear out. However, if Sam has use of his equipment it might be a different story.

Both highly trained fighters, Sam’s lack of notable superpowers might actually be what give him an edge. Since his first appearance in CAPTAIN AMERICA #117 Sam has learned to fight at the same caliber as Steve Rogers and other big time superheroes without any powers of his own aside from his telepathic link with birds. This means that like Black Widow and Hawkeye, Sam has had to use his intelligence to learn to use every part of a situation, every piece of equipment and every part of an environment to his advantage. So where Steve has raw power, Sam has ingenuity and battle strategy.

Not to mention that Sam spent quite a while working alongside Steve as Falcon. That means he’s even more tuned into Steve’s fighting style and tactics, making it easier for him to anticipate his moves and prepare a counter strike. Now yes, Steve was there too, but whether or not her truly paid attention to Sam’s fighting tactics will be what helps or hurts him. And while both of them have spent time as an Avengers team leader making them capable of taking in another’s strengths and getting them to fight together in the most effective way possible, Sam’s need to keep up with his fellow heroes when starting out at a disadvantage is what makes him such an effective strategist.

At the end of the day it will likely come down to whether or not Sam can outsmart Steve before he gets worn out, a monumental task considering we know Steve is no strategy slouch himself. But who knows if this fight will truly be a one on one showdown, with Steve repping those Hydra colors heroes everywhere may ban together to take down the man they once called not just a leader, but a friend.

Find out who will walk away the true protector of the red, white and blue in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 written by Nick Spencer with art by Jesus Siaz, on August 9.

Read More