In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Captain America this month, we’re doing a countdown of your favorite Captain America stories of all-time.
You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 75 Greatest Captain America Stories!
75. “Celluloid Heroes” Captain America #261-263
As I noted years ago in an installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed, J.M. DeMatteis’ debut on Captain America came about due to unusual circumstances. His story was originally intended for a Treasury Edition to tie in with the Captain America TV movie coming out at the time. That never came to fruition, so that extra-sized story was adapted into a three-part story where Captain America gets caught up in a scheme involving the filming of a Captain America movie and the return of two old Captain America characters, Nomad (who was Captain America’s short-lived identity when he quit being Captain America – DeMatteis and Zeck would later give Jack Monroe the Nomad identity) and Ameridroid (a giant android who looks like Captain America but has the mind of a Nazi scientist), all under the evil direction of the Red Skull!
This was DeMatteis and artist Mike Zeck’s first crack at Captain America and they quickly showed why Marvel would be smart to keep them on the book full-time, which is exactly what happened.
74. “When Free Men Shall Stand” Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #6-7
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty was an intriguing series that was basically Legends of the Dark Knight, only for Captain America. You know, stories set at all different times in Captain America’s career. Originally intended to be a reunion of Mark Waid and Andy Kubert (from their Ka-Zar days), Marvel instead decided to put Kubert on the main Captain America title and move Ron Garney to this new series. This two-parter was done by Roger Stern, Ron Frenz and Roger Langridge and it tells the story of an ancestor of Captain America, Captain Steve Rogers who becomes a sort of Captain America prototype during the American Revolution (he got the costume from a British costume party, where they had some idiot dressed up as a symbol of the dumb Yankee opposition)…
The story is told in a conversation between OUR Steve Rogers and the General in charge of the Super Soldier Project about Steve’s ancestor. We later learn that Steve’s sketches of what his ancestor might have looked like, which he gave to the general, inspired the design of Captain America’s costume.
73. “Super-Patriot is Here” Captain America #323
This issue (which sported the Marvel 25th Anniversary cover that I featured in the banner above) introduced us to Johnny Walker, the Super-Patriot. Something that Mark Gruenwald (who wrote the issue, which was drawn by Paul Neary and John Beatty) liked to do a lot was to create characters who would serve as contrasts with Captain America. Here, Gruenwald uses the Super-Patriot as a symbol for the sort of mid-80s Reaganite idea of patriotism.
Super-Patriot is able to control the media narrative because SHIELD has asked Captain America to keep a low profile after he was forced to kill a terrorist in a previous story. In the end, though, Captain America gives a press conference where he addresses the killing he had to do. He also purposefully ignores the Super-Patriot, thereby squelching their beef in the media and enraging the Super-Patriot. This becomes important as the Super-Patriot ultimately is chosen by the U.S. government to become the new Captain America later in Gruenwald’s run.
Go to the next page for #75-73…
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