icon_uk: (Robin Joker Another day....)
[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I wanted a classic Captain America/Bucky situation to include in this, given that the following are a mere sample of the covers that they include in their history (Warning - racist imagery and pre Comics Code violence on the covers)

This is the sort of Golden Age imagery that would eventually





Have to say, I do like that last one, even thought it is a classic example of over-engineering your hero-executing machine.

But I digress, this 30 page story comes from King-Sized Captain America #1 from 1970, and features a lot of input from Stan and Jack (Who did the layouts), with a few art assists from other fairly legendary names...

We open with the following, instant dudes in distress....





"....and that Billy, is how they make action figures!" :)

Oh, okay, no it's not. Nice fake-out though, even if your average bad-guy Nazi wouldn't have left Caps arm free just so he could hold his shield dramatically...

Note though, we're not in Nazi Germany, we're in distinctly NOT Nazi Britain (in fact we became something of a by-word for being not-Nazi at the time). So Dr Cedric Rawlins is clearly (DUM-DUM-DUM!) a traitor!



Okay, so that backstory for Cedric and Celia, and an attempt at justification for his neo-Naziness.

Since the focus of this week is "Dudes in distress" I'll skip over the unrelated parts, such as finding that Steve Rogers and his platoon (including "Rollicking regimental mascot" (Steve's exact words, honest!) Bucky "Why would anyone think I was a superhero?" Barnes) are in Britain too, preparing for a big push. Steve and the soldiers depart for France, leaving Bucky behind which Steve says will give Bucky a chance to prove what he can do without Captain America getting in his way... Hmmm... I wonder how that will work out.

That night, at the now undermanned army camp, a bomb goes off, and Bucky quickly sets out after the saboteurs... But these sneaky saboteurs are actually waiting for Captain America and Bucky to show up....



Give Dr Rawlings his due, he's getting into that whole Universal Studios mad scientist schtick... Gloomy Castle? Check. Full moon? Check? Weirdly shaped servant who will call him "Master" on cue? Check.Brooding cloak of broodingness? Check

Steve is fighting in the front lines in France, when a "chance" Nazi radio dispatch he finds in a radio room they've just liberated, has the Red Skull being notified that Bucky has been captured and is being held at Greymoor Castle. So off Steve sets, going AWOL as Private Rogers and stealing a Nazi plane in order to get back to England as fast as possible to rescue his sidekick...



Can I hear a "Mwaa-ha-ha-ha!"? Awww yeah....

And here we have deathtrap number two. Most villains would think that the "Incredible shrinking radiation exposure" would be enough for most situations, but here Dr Rawlings starts something else, his "Z-ray" treatment (Now it MIGHT be something to do with the shrinking process, but it doesn't appear to be....)

Cap manages to fly a German ME-109 and fly it safely to Britain, avoid the air patrols and land without being shot down... I'll bet the Nazi's wish they'd thought of THAT plan... and heads off to the castle...

Love the insane architecture on the castle, and it's so tiny!



Okay, not the shrinking, so one wonders what the Z-Rays actually DO? Or were supposed to do to him.

Still, leaving him alive means he can be live bait. (I also have to mention the sheer NUMBER of Nazi troopers casually wandering around an English castle in the early 1940's... IN FULL UNIFORM.... you'd think a bit of mufti might have been advisable)



Gosh, has it really been a whole chapter since Celia and Cedric said pretty much the exact same thing? Oh well plot exposition is always fun.

And it gives Cap time to break into the castle...



It'd have been funny if it was Robin there, and Cap found he'd broken into the wrong deathtrap wouldn't it? Oh, okay, maybe just me then....



Ah Nazi's... always good for a villain you can REALLY boo and hiss with a clear conscience.



Well, that went well didn't it Cap? On the plus side for our theme now we have TWO dudes in distress (and a dame too, so bonus for anyone who enjoys that sort of thing)

Meanwhile Cap's troop are facing trouble in France because of a message (about German reinforcements arriving on the scene) that Steve overlooked because he got all antsy about Bucky, hence the start of the next panel



And now we get ANOTHER change of plan....



And this next chapter opens with the sort of rookie mistake that derails many a villainous plan... You have your heroes tied up an unconscious... and then...



...YOU UNTIE THEM FOR NO WORTHWHILE REASON!

Sigh....



You can probably imagine how this all turns out (including, probably, the tragic fate of Celia whose sacrifice inspires her brother to redeem himself and steer the V2 so it strikes the Nazi reinforcements in Northern France rescuing Steve's troops)

But I mean honestly, UNTYING Captain America and Bucky just to load them into a rocket? You might as well just SHOOT yourself there and then.

So what lessons have we learned here?

1) Prepare a deathtrap plan and STICK to it, no matter how cool the other toys are. Vacillation is nobodies friend.
2) Once you have your heroes tied up, DON'T untie them unless there is a bloody good reason to.
 

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