Characters Appearing: Captain America, Contessa Valentina Allegro De La Fontaine, Falcon, Leila Taylor, Nick Fury, Redwing, Secret Empire Agent Number One, Sharon Carter
Captain America #144
Issue(s): Captain America #144
The first story has normal looking art, said to be entirely by Romita, and features Cap participating in a demonstration of SHIELD's capabilities for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. They are demoing their jetpacks...
...and, hee hee! Femme-Force!
I shouldn't giggle. The issue of women serving in the military is still a hot topic at the time i'm writing this. And like i said about the previous arc and race issues, at least Marvel is trying to move things forward here. But really? Femme-Force?!
Nixon explains the limits of presidential powers...
...but it seems that the recommendation is to approve Femme-Force but not an expansion of the LMD program. Which i think is about putting the LMD genie back in the bottle; rampant LMDs clearly have the potential for lazy and confusing storytelling.
After that, Cap and Sharon decide to go on vacation. Well, Sharon decides. Cap doesn't look too thrilled.
Kind of a strange story for the Captain America book; more of an intro than anything.
The second story is much weirder. Art by Gray Morrow, and it does have a kind of late-50s look to it. It's a dream, beginning with Cap still outside the Falcon's window, as we saw at the end of the previous arc.
But now he's actually peeking in on Sam and Leila's smooching session (yeah, you feel like an eavesdropper because you are one, Cap).
When Leila storms out in her usual huff, Cap comes in through the window, and the Falcon reveals that he's breaking up the partnership, and he's designed a new costume to make it official.
The basic design of the new costume (no wings yet) is a classic, of course, but the open chest is ridiculous, and this begins a dubious and bizarre tradition at Marvel of black men in suits with bird feet.
Whatever i think of it, the new costume clearly gets him some street cred. But then Cap wakes up from his dream.
"Maybe i'm only dreaming, but I know it all really happened"? Odd phrasing, like Cap isn't really sure what really happened and what's part of the dream.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP pushes this after the Kree-Skrull War and Cap's appearance in Iron Man #44. I guess we can assume that the second story occurred directly after the end of the previous arc? I'm still listing Falcon, Leila, and Redwing as Characters Appearing.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
and Cap's book takes a downer from here till Englehart takes over.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | February 20, 2013 5:20 PM
Gray Morrow did some stories for Warren's b&w horror magazines and a few other places, but for most of the 1960s he was doing movie posters and SF pulp covers/illos. His art here is still very illustration-y. I don't know if he actually designed the new Falcon costume or not.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 23, 2013 7:06 PM
A response in the lettercol of issue #148 says John Romita designed the costume.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 4, 2013 2:14 AM
I'm guessing that story#2 was supposed to be in-continuity, but Stan Lee vetoed that and had the "dream" panel(which appears to be drawn by John Romita) tacked on to negate it.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 28, 2013 1:02 PM
Weirdly, you have Falcon and Leila appearing in this issue, but not Cap.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 13, 2015 3:19 AM
Didn't notice you mention your inclusion of Falcon and Leila in the Chronological Considerations, but missing Cap is still odd.
My interpretation of the "maybe I'm only dreaming, but I know it all really happened" line, especially given what follows it, is that it did actually happen and Cap simply keeps reliving it in his dreams. But the "dream" panel is clearly tacked on (in addition to the art, note the different lettering), and I don't know why you would tack it on if not to at least potentially negate it from continuity. Maybe it relates to the thing you bring up with the MCP, a clumsy attempt to allow the dream sequence and the first story to take place significantly later, and instead of just letting the second story take place earlier they inserted the "dream" panel to make it fit?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 13, 2015 3:42 AM
Added Cap. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 13, 2015 10:02 AM
Cap stalking Sam and Leila is just too weird, and then how he emotes over their relationship like a spurned lover would do seems way out of character. Maybe I should just wait for the story's eventual resolution before reacting to this?
Romita's take on Nixon is uninteresting compared to the recent Herb Trimpe/ John Severin take on him and Agnew in Hulk #145-147.
The "hip" dialog seems very forced and artificial, as it usually does in most if not all of the comics I've seen from this time period. About 5 years out of date, as seems common for comic book writers trying to be "modern."
Posted by: James Holt | November 10, 2016 4:23 PM
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