Every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
This time around, we look at Captain America’s extremely short-lived death from 2001…
In December 2001, Marvel ended their then-current volume of Captain America with one of the strangest issues you ever will see.
The extra-sized issue had a whole bunch of stories, led by a Dan Jurgens written and drawn dialogue-less story that was part of Marvel’s “Nuff’ Said” month where all of their comics went sans dialogue. The story was also a Christmas tale.
There then was a story by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen (before she was officially “Kathryn Immonen”) and another story by Dan Jurgens that wrapped up his Captain America run.
Then the weirdness truly began!
“Relics,” by Brian David-Marshall and Igor Kordey, has Cap drawn to an abandoned town in New Jersey where he discovers a splinter cell of Red Skull worshipers have gotten their hands on a nuclear bomb!
Now if that’s the end, then okay, you figure – weird ending, but not necessarily anything intended to be the actual death of Captain America. No body, after all.
But then it is followed by “A Moment of Silence” by Jen Van Meter, Brian Hurtt and Jim Mahfood about how Captain America’s death leads to difficulties for a young immigrant boy…
Who, of course, as we see at the end of the story, is the biggest Captain America fan that there is.
Touching story. Depressing as all heck, but touching!
But okay, again, that story doesn’t say Cap is dead, just that these kids THINK he is dead.
But then Evan Dorkin and Kevin Maguire have a whole story, “Stars and Stripes Forever,” where people reflect on Cap’s death!
And they have a FUNERAL for Cap, with the Falcon giving this awesome speech. A FUNERAL, people!!!
However, in the issue itself it even has a freakin’ NEXT ISSUE BOX!
The next issue is a three-issue mini-series by Darko Macan and Danijel Zezelj called Captain America: Dead Men Running about Cap getting caught up in a dicey situation in South America where some soldiers and some refuges are on the run, but the soldiers are not exactly innocents themselves.
Then, of course, four months later we saw the debut of John Ney Reiber and John Cassaday’s awful (but gorgeous) Captain America run…
Cap, meanwhile, NEVER stopped appearing in the Avengers during all of this (this would be at the end of Kurt Busiek’s run and the beginning of Geoff Johns’ run).
Therefore, the story was clearly abandoned, as Cap didn’t actually die, so his story, in effect, never went anywhere past this one single issue of Captain America. I imagine that it was a matter of Cap just showing up one day after the funeral and saying, “Oh, you thought I was dead? No, I’m alive. I just went hiking for a little bit and didn’t tell anyone.” “Oh, oh cool.” But we never actually got to see that. The three stories from Captain America #50 just were never referenced again. Some crazy crap right there.
If YOU have a suggestion for an abandoned storyline that you’d like to see featured here, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.