When Spring arrives, I try and regularly scour local listings for garage sales in the hopes that some day I will have to run across someone selling old RPGs and Comics. I have come close several times, and far more often find offers advertising comic books. Too often, the books are overpriced, or remnants of the speculative-heavy 1990s. But I always love flipping through the possibilities.
Today is Free Comic Book Day. Go out to your FLCBS and pick up some free comics. Some companies do special issues just for FCBD, others do reprints, and others are companies and comics you might never have known existed: “There is a Keyser Soze comic?!?”
Marvel usually puts out a special zero issue tying into their next big event. It’s savvy. This year, of course, they are promoting Secret Empire, the Cap-Hydra story.
Spoilers were released ahead of FCBD, find those, or pick up your free copy and revel in the stunning reveal.
Secret Empire continues to draw lots of attention, most of it bad. This is not the book our current political clime needs is my reaction. Captain America has been many things, and worn many mantles, he rejected the government and donned a black costume, he was a wolf, he was a Nomad.
He has never had a mullet though.
When i find comics at garage sales, I often give in and buy some based solely on the cover, because this is what used to make comics awesome.
I recently picked up Captain America 267, because without even reading, I knew, this was the Captain America we needed.
Or maybe he has been Hydra all this time, after-all, he is taking on Everyman.
Would my $2 be a worthwhile investment? The comic came boarded and bagged, so I had to wait until I was home safely to see what was between the covers.
The year was 1982 for the story titled “The Man Who Made A Difference.”
First impression: Mike Zeck is a woefully under-rated artist. Look at the cap, almost cartoonish, but larger-than-life.
But look closer, there is a real charm to these pencils:
The text and dialogue is by DeMatteis, it is classic Marvel- bordering on silly, grand and sparse at the same time.
Onto the story:
A student protestor spits on Cap, upset about Cap’s version of the American Dream. Tigra and Cap make a cameo. Cap is spit-on again by a different angry young man.
The villain, Everyman, represents “America’s most silent majority,” those living in poverty, and challenges Captain America to a duel at the Statue of Liberty. However, in this Marvelous tale, which hits many ideals from a 70s comic, there is more, or rather less, to the villain than meets the eye, and sure enough, Cap, who worried for the safety of those protesting against him, saves the day, and after that, makes a speech as timely today as it was 35 years ago.
Not only is today’s Cap an agent of Hydra, where is his tumbling, and his motorcycle, and pirate boots, and the teenagers obsessed with dating him?
Do not take my tone to be ironic or sarcastic, truly, this was not a comic worthy or inclusion into any “all-time greatest single issues” list, but it was solid storytelling, and a reminder of what Captain America, and more importantly what comics can be.
Plus, Daredevil takes on Baby Face Johnny in a Hostess ad and there is an awesome D&D on the back cover!
And, I think Everyman really misunderstood the American people if he believed that his bizarre costume and electrified rapier would make him a hero of the people.