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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So Did Captain America Make It Out of World War II Or What?

by  in Comic News Comment

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we take a look at one of the most famous retcons in comic book history and one I probably should have gotten to before now, Captain America and Bucky making it out of World War II in one piece (until they didn’t)…

Okay, obviously, Captain America (Steve Rogers) and his partner, Bucky Barnes, were introduced before the United States got directly involved in World War II but when the U.S. went to war, so did Cap and Bucky…


And so it was the case for the rest of the war. They fought in Europe and in the Pacific. But when the war ended, Cap and Bucky went back to the States, as shown in Captain America #59…



They then had a number of adventures in the United States but then Cap’s book was canceled.

A few years later, Marvel brought it back for a short-lived run in 1954 from #76-78, with Cap and Bucky now fighting Communists (that return was, itself, an example for Abandoned Love – I’ll explain why in a future edition of Abandoned Love, so ixnay in the comments section on plot developments in Cap’s title between #59 and #76).


A decade later, Cap returned for good in 1964’s Avengers #4. The only thing is now that his entire post-World War II career had been retconned out of existence!!








However, while you easily could have just ended it here and just say that all of the Cap stories post Captain America Comics #50 or so just never happened, Marvel decided to NOT leave it there.

In 1972, Steve Englehart introduced the Cap from the 1950s and explained who that “Steve Rogers” and “Bucky” we saw in the 1950s were…







Five years later, in What If…? #4, Roy Thomas revealed who filled in for Cap during the end of the war and the beginning of the peacetime years…



As well as who filled in for Cap for a few more peacetime years before the 1950s Cap took over (Karl Kesel wrote an EXCELLENT mini-series with amazing artwork from the Breitweisers a few years back about the Patriot’s time as Captain America)…


So when people complain about modern retcons, do note that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were doing major retcons soon after the beginning of the “Marvel Age” of comics.

Speaking of retcons, if you have a suggestion for a future edition of Abandoned an’ Forsaked, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!