Captain America annual #6
Issue(s): Captain America annual #6
Buda has appeared once before, in a Bicentennial Treasury issue drawn by Jack Kirby. In this issue we learn that he's one of the Elders of the Universe, and would prefer to go by the name Contemplator.
That panel above had me scrambling through my back-issues. To my knowledge, it's the first time the membership of the Elders of the Universe was laid out so clearly.
The impetus for the Contemplator's actions is the desires of the third Captain America (formerly the Patriot).
This does answer a question for me. I wondered what caused the Patriot-Cap to retire so that the Grand Director-Cap would be able to take over in Young Men Comics #24. As we see here, it was the changing time and his own disillusionment that caused him to retire.
He's been diagnosed with cancer and is full of regret that he didn't have as significant career as Cap, so the Contemplator creates (or maybe locates) an alternate dimension for him to play hero in, with the other Caps sent along for company.
The rest of the Cap Corps consists of Steve Rogers, pulled out of the present during a battle with the Scarecrow...
...Cap's first replacement, formerly the Spirit of '76 (who basically has no personality, at least as far as this story goes) ...
...and the crazy 1950s anti-communist Cap, who is plucked out of time while literally beating up random black people.
There's no subtlety in the way his racism is depicted.
So basically you have four guys running around in identical Captain America costumes...
...fighting robots in an alternate dimension.
The bad guy of the piece is Adam II, a robotic dictator.
This is an alternate universe version of the Adam II that appeared in What If? #4, the story that introduced the fact that there were multiple Captain America replacements after Steve Rogers. In that story, Adam II was stopped; in this alternate dimension the Invaders (sic) failed to stop him and he's nearly achieved his vision of replacing all of Earth's humanity with androids.
I know it's not this issue's fault, but i find the idea that four different people were Captain America silly and unnecessary. In order to keep the post-WWII Golden Age stories in continuity, there had to be two, but i don't know why we couldn't have kept it at that number, with the 1950s Cap starting off an ok guy and gradually getting crazier and more paranoid and racist as the effects of his super-serum worsened. As for the Spirit and the Patriot, as far as i know they don't even have any powers. This issue doesn't really add or subtract anything from the idea.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Captain America #274-275.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showCaptain America, Captain America (Grand Director), Contemplator, Patriot, Scarecrow, Spirit of '76
The elders shown above are (left to right) the Gardener, the Possessor, the Collector, the Champion, the Grandmaster, and of course the Contemplator. Missing are the Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick Maker ...
Posted by: Gary Himes | March 30, 2012 5:26 PM
And they've all appeared before* but i think this is the first time they've been collectively put in the same category and called the Elders.
*The Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick Maker don't appear until the Fear Itself: Rub-a-dub-DOOM oneshot, many years later.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 30, 2012 5:46 PM
Someone once pointe dout that we ended up with three substitute Caps because Roy Thomas insisted that publication dates of Golden Age comics were the real dates of those stories. As a result, in order to use the Patriot, Roy had to invent someone else to fill in long enough for the Patriot's last 1940s story to be published, and so we ended up with the Spirit of '76 being plugged into the role as a placeholder.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 10:31 PM
Thanks for posting this, SMM, I have been after Annual #6 for some while!
Posted by: John Pitt | March 12, 2017 8:18 AM
If you listen to some Jethro Tull albums, you can find other potential Elders: The Poet, the Painter, the Doer, and the Thinker("Thick as a Brick"), the Minstrel ("Minstrel in the Gallery), the Whistler and of course the Gardener's more debaucherous cousin, the Jack-in-the-Green ("Songs From The Wood").
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 31, 2017 9:56 PM
Yes, yes, I know there's already a "Mad" Thinker, but this other one is cosmic in scope and makes no allowance for the other.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 31, 2017 11:46 PM
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