Characters Appearing: Bucky, Captain America, Golden Girl (Betsy Ross), Red Skull (George Maxon), Sgt. Mike Duffy
Tales Of Suspense #64-65 (Captain America)
Issue(s): Tales Of Suspense #64, Tales Of Suspense #65 (Captain America stories only)
And #65 retells the first appearance of the Red Skull.
I guess at a time where the concept of trade paperbacks didn't exist and even being able to reprint these old issues might not have been a possibility, this was a way of re-"publishing" these stories. But there's no indication that these stories are in fact reruns, other than a blurb at the beginning of #65 saying:
We tried an experiment in this tale! Since it features a menace from the past, we wrote it in the style of the 1940s, because so many of you have wondered how these stories were written years ago!
As for updates and clarifications, the first thing to note is that due to the Comics Code Authority, no one dies in these stories. Even the Red Skull's "look of death" poison turns out to be merely a gas that takes away peoples' memories for months.
The stories also add comic hijinx between Pvt. Steve Rogers and Sgt. Mike Duffy...
...which i'd rather were left out. Captain America having a civilian identity during the war makes little sense and having Rogers constantly running into conflict with the sergeant but never getting seriously punished for it just exacerbates the problem.
For the Omar and Sando story, the Betty Ross character is identified only as "Agent Thirteen".
And we learn that she's working for the FBI.
Since Sharon Carter will also use that title in her early appearances, i wondered if there was some connection (like maybe this was really Peggy Carter), but it seems that Stan Lee just liked the name and re-used it. I'm still assuming that this is Betty Ross, later Golden Girl, and not just a random FBI agent.
We also learn that the dwarf Omar is in fact an innocent pawn, hired from a freak show. Not a mutant or even a Nazi agent.
In the Red Skull story, we learn that this Red Skull is not actually George Maxon, the arms dealer that he was (we now learn) impersonating.
The fake Maxon also escapes instead of dying at the end of the issue.
From my perspective, it's nice to see the growth of Kirby's art from Cap #1 to this issue.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Like Suspense #63, these stories are retellings of stories from Captain America Comics #1 and so i've placed them directly after.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Captain America vol. 1
Roger Stern's FOOM#8 article made clear that this Agent 13 and Peggy Carter in #77 were different people.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 10, 2013 7:12 PM
"The Betty Ross character is identified only as "Agent Thirteen"."
Posted by: Baby | September 6, 2017 7:34 PM
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