Captain America #114-119
Issue(s): Captain America #114, Captain America #115, Captain America #116, Captain America #117, Captain America #118, Captain America #119
He heads to SHIELD and once more Sharon has been sent away on a mission and is in trouble. But not too much trouble.
After Cap and Rick Jones rescue her, he asks her to quit SHIELD so he can stop worrying about her. Good for her: she refuses, and he skulks out. Then, after trying to get a hotel room without documentation, he settles in at a flop house, and the Red Skull shows up.
He's retrieved his Cosmic Cube and he has a good time by switching bodies with Cap.
While Cap runs around trying to get people to believe he's not the Red Skull...
...the Skull enjoys Cap's fame and ruins his partnership with Rick Jones. Then the Skull transports Cap to the island of Exiles, where the Skull's former allies try to kill him for treating them like dirt when he had the Cube.
They almost succeed except for the interference of a falcon. The bird was being directed by a New Yorker who's always had a bond with birds, and especially with his falcon Redwing.
Per Marvel: The Untold Story, Gene Colan based the Falcon on O.J. Simpson, then a college football star. The Falcon was Marvel's first African-American super-hero and is generally acknowledged to be the first African-American super-hero in mainstream comics.
Captain America has finally figured out that he can remove the Red Skull's mask.
Cap meets the Falcon...
...and trains him to be a super hero in order to lead the island's inhabitants against the Exiles.
Meanwhile, MODOK is directing AIM in the disabling of the Cosmic Cube.
After defeating the Exiles, Cap and the Falcon are transported to the Red Skull's castle. The Skull also restores Captain America to his real body, so the Falcon sees who has been training him.
As Cap and the Falcon fight the Red Skull, AIM disables the cube, just as Red Skull is teleporting, leaving him in limbo.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Avengers consist of Yellowjacket, Wasp, Black Panther, Vision, and Goliath (Hawkeye).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Captain America vol. 2
Inbound References (11): show
The Red Skull took off his mask a few times in the Golden Age stories; he looked sorta like Vincent Price.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 7, 2011 12:39 AM
This is the last really good Captain America story until Steve Englehart shows up. Stan clearly loses interest in writing it, Gene's art doesn't help that much, and Stan's immediate successors nearly kill the book with continuity-wrecking stories and a Green Lantern thematic rip-off.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 7, 2011 12:42 AM
Buscema intially drew Hawkeye into #115, not knowing he'd became Goliath. John Romita redrew the Hawkeye figures into Yellowjacket and his dialogue was changed.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 30, 2012 7:37 PM
This Cosmic Cube storyline has a lot of mythology about it, so I was ready to be impressed when I finally read it in the Essentials. I was very disappointed. The Skull does very little with the Cube; the Exiles are a big joke; and worse of all the story just ends as MODOK appears out of nowhere for a deus ex machina ending of the threat. Just awful.
Posted by: Chris | December 30, 2012 10:23 PM
I honestly cannot keep track on whether that is the Skull's face or a mask.
Posted by: David Banes | November 15, 2013 3:22 AM
The Skull wore a mask over a normal human face until he was killed around CAPTAIN AMERICA #400. After that his brain was put in a cloned body of Captain America and looked just like Steve Rogers and never bothered to wear a mask. Then he got gassed with his own "Dust of Death" and instead of dying had his face warped into an actual red skull. As far as I know he had Captain America's body with a deformed skull-head from that point forward. About ten or fifteen years ago he started gtting killed and resurrected again so I don't know what the status of his body is now, but I assume Marvel has stuck with the "that's actually his face" idea since then.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | November 16, 2013 5:28 AM
CA # 300, not 400. And he was revealed to have a copy of Cap's body in #350.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | November 16, 2013 5:30 AM
It's really darn late but thanks a bunch Jay for clearing that up. I think I like that being the Skull's face more. I mean I can't imagine the scene of Smidt tearing his red mask off to reveal a normal face underneath and since it wasn't a big character twist it wouldn't work.
Though to credit Hugo Weaving I think he would have made it look as good as it could have been.
Love that scene from the First Avenger.
Posted by: David Banes | February 18, 2014 10:34 PM
That first panel is rather strange. Why would Goliath just sit there at 10 feet tall in that room? Too often the large characters are drawn as being large at times when there would be no reason for it, as if they are afraid to draw them at normal height.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 28, 2015 8:42 AM
Absolutely loving the art in these issues, Buscema, Romita and Colan may not have been the idea men like Kirby was, but they sure kept Marvel in business with their renditions of all those ideas.
Posted by: PeterA | July 19, 2015 2:50 AM
This script actually goes to some trouble to tell us we're not seeing the Skull's true face; we only get a clear look at after dialogue stating that Cap has deliberately disguised himself with some clay or something.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 9, 2015 3:13 PM
If The Falcon is considered the first African-American superhero, then what does that make The Black Panther, who is already well established at this point..??
Posted by: Wis | November 22, 2016 2:36 AM
African. T'Challa's not from America.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 22, 2016 3:07 AM
Arrghhh you are correct my friend! I stand ashamed for not considering that relatively crucial aspect. this is what I get for visiting the chronological corner after work at 3AM
Posted by: Wis | November 22, 2016 3:32 AM
No biggie, I've made some embarrassing comments myself. :)
As for the Falcon, it's too bad he didn't debut in a better story. I definitely prefer the first Cosmic Cube storyline in Tales of Suspense over this one.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 22, 2016 3:56 AM
Great shot of Sam Wilson there. Funny to see him cracking on someone in a red jump suit since he later wore a red and white costume himself. I think I like his old green costume a lot more. Props to the Lee and Colan team for creating the Falcon character. Breaks the stereotype of heroes always wearing primary colors.
Posted by: James Holt | September 29, 2017 1:13 PM
Just noticed that the original Falcon costume's glove looks exactly like Mysterio's
Posted by: bigvis497 | November 15, 2017 11:00 AM
Not really. Mysterio's gloves, besides being only one color, have those curved barbs on them. But Falcon's glove, and the fact that he has only one of them, make perfect sense for a guy whose main power at the time was control of a falcon. Falcons have big nasty sharp talons, and a falconer needs a glove that is pliable enough for the falcon to hold onto, but also thick enough that the talons won't tear through it. Ever since he got his wings, Falcon's costumes have all had gloves that look like Redwing would tear right through, or armor that he wouldn't be able to get a grip on. And don't say "unstable molecules," do some research, people!
Posted by: Andrew | November 16, 2017 5:11 AM
I don't remember if you track this kind of stuff, fnord, but Cap removing the Red Skull's mask seems like a scanworthy scene imo. As far as I remember, it was the first time we got a peek at the Skull's true face. (in the Silver Age, at least.) There was dramatic shadow to hide it until Steve finished disguising himself, but it was clear he had dark hair. Considering we get to see the full face around Cap #297, (again, assuming I haven't forgotten another earlier issue) it might be fun to see the progression of this stuff.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | November 16, 2017 11:07 AM
Added some scans.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 20, 2017 12:54 PM
There seems to be some confusion in #114 regarding what Clint Barton should be wearing (it was in the Avengers issue of that month that we finally discover Hawkeye's real name). On page one, he is dressed as Hawkeye; on page 3 he is dressed as Goliath; but on page 4 his Goliath costume is red, but he wouldn't adopt that colour scheme until two months later in Avengers #66.
Posted by: Mike Teague | January 29, 2018 4:39 PM
Still with #114, having spent several issues, including this one, pondering that everyone knew he was Steve Rogers, Cap then seems to show no hesitation at referring to Rick, in his Bucky outfit, as "Rick" at just about every opportunity, no matter who may be listening !
Posted by: Mike Teague | January 30, 2018 9:32 AM
@Mike Teague--the #114 colorist also miscolored/reversed the colors of the costume Jan usually wore at that time. Her bodysuit should be yellow (not red); and her tights and the long-leeved shirt she wears should be red (not yellow). But we all know Jan likes to vary her costumes so I guess we can chalk it up to that :)
Posted by: Shar | February 8, 2018 11:10 PM
MODOK is missing from the characters appearing list.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 31, 2018 11:55 PM
Added MODOK. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 2, 2018 3:08 PM
Comments are now closed.
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