With the July 4 weekend upon us, here are some patriotic comic-books to check out and celebrate the United States of America.
Captain America Comics 1 (1941)
This Joe Simon/Jack Kirby creation shows a ton of energy and excitement, as the origin of Captain America is revealed for the first time. This issue also has the first appearance of the Red Skull, who in this issue is a traitorous American industrialist.
American Dream 1-5 (2008 Marvel)
American Dream is a young woman who takes on an adapted costume of Captain America in the “MC2″ universe, the Marvel Universe of a few years in the future. This 5-issue miniseries by Tom DeFalco and Todd Nauck is reminiscent of Silver Age Marvel Comics, as Shannon Carter deals with balancing her personal and superheroic lives. The five-issue miniseries was collected in the “American Dream: Beyond Courage” trade paperback.
Fighting American 1-7 (Prize); Harvey series 1-2
The new collection from Titan collects all the “Fighting American” stories by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, including the previously unpublished second Harvey issue. “The Mad Inker” is published here for the first time, missing the splash page that has been lost to time.
The Fighting American started as a Communist-bashing All-American hero in 1954, but as the series went on, he became more of a precursor to Adam West’s Batman, with lots of goofy gags and camp elements. But the series as a whole, despite the shift in tone, is worth seeking out, especially with Titan’s new collection.
Onslaught Reborn 1-5 (2006)
Jeph Loeb and Rob Liefeld celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Onslaught” in the Marvel Universe with “Onslaught Reborn,” a jam-packed action movie of a comic-book series. Revived by the events of “House of M,” Onslaught seeks to destroy the earth’s heroes. Trying to destroy Franklin Richards, he’s again cast into the Heroes Reborn world, where those heroes come face-to-face with the monster. It’s intended as rock-em, sock-em comics action, and it succeeds at that, despite a lot of detractors at the time. It heavily features the Avengers — including Thor, Iron Man and Captain America — and the Fantastic Four, among others.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Nos. 71-80 (Marvel, 1988)
Civil War comes to Cobra Island, as Serpentor and someone claiming to be Cobra Commander each vie for control of the organization. Destro waits in the wings to make his move, as well. Serpentor, through Doctor Mindbender, manages to get the Joes ordered to help his cause. Written by Larry Hama, with artists including Ron Wagner and Marshall Rogers. IDW has collected these issues as Classic G.I. Joe vol 8.
- Matt Price
Comics read in 2011: 911 Still to go: 1100