Captain America, Master of Disguise

Captain America, Master of Disguise

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Captain America, Master of Disguise

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, we look at an awesome, if all over the place, debut storyline for Gil Kane on Captain America’s feature in Tales of Suspense!

It’s funny how certain things really only come fully into view after you learn more and more stuff about how things worked. For instance, this is a weird storyline, but if I read it, say, 10 years ago, I would probably say, “Oh, that was a weird storyline, but not that different from any other story.” However, now I look at it and I totally see why this story was particularly weird. Stan Lee has spoken about how Marvel’s multiple issue format partially came about due to him being unwilling (or unable due to time constraints or whatever) to come up with multiple story ideas, so he would more and more come up with general plots and tell the artist to make it last a few issues. Obviously, guys like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were doing this on their own without Lee’s input, but other artists did not like to work that way. Gil Kane, one of DC’s top artists, came over to Marvel in late 1966 and he was someone who was used to working from a script. Therefore, I believe it is likely that Lee spent more time on the plot for the Captain America feature when Kane took it over in Tales of Suspense #87 than Lee would with an artist who had been working at Marvel already. And I think that that is the reason why this plot line is so odd, as I believe Lee was coming up with each issue individually with Kane and as a result, this story is basically a four-part story where each part is sort of like its own distinct story and so it is all kind of a rambling story.

It opens with Tales of Suspense #88, where Cap receives a message from…Bucky Barnes?!?

On the way, he is captured by a giant plastic bubble. The same thing happened to…Power Man and Swordsman?! Yes, this really makes no sense…

So whoever captures them makes Cap fight against the two villains…

Cap defeats the bad guys (which is impressive, considering that Power Man was able to take on the entire Avengers team at one point) but he is shocked to see who it was that captured them!

Hint: It was Red Skull, who survived his fight with Cap about ten issues earlier where Red Skull got a hold of the Cosmic Cube.

Then, Bucky Barnes attacks!!

Cap realizes that it isn’t the real Bucky. It turns out that it was a robot, because Red Skull is a jerk…

In the next issue, Red Skull reveals his plan. To use his new plastic bubble making machine (yes, this was his real thing) surrounds New York City and prepares to destroy it…

You have to love that they even threw in a disclaimer (“Yeah, it doesn’t make sense”).

Cap has to fight some of Red Skull’s machines to get at him to stop him from crushing New York City, even if he has to take drastic measures…

So you would think that the next issue would all be about Cap as a traitor for 24 hours, right? NOPE!

Page 2:

Cap…traitor?!

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