web stats

CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 160

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today, we look at the finale of what is likely the most notable story Steve Englehart wrote for Captain America.

Enjoy!

Captain America #175, by Steve Englehart and Sal Buscema, is the final part of a long-running storyline about the Secret Empire, a secret group that is trying to take control of the United States. One way they’re doing this is to start a smear campaign against Captain America, accusing him of the death of a minor super villain. They don’t want America to trust Cap or the other heroes because their plan involves them creating their OWN superhero, Moonstone, who would “lose” to the Secret Empire in their attack on the White House, thereby telling the rest of the country that they should just give up and let the Empire take over.

Eventually, with the help of the Falcon and some of the X-Men, Captain America exposes the charade, in this great confrontation with Moonstone…

That leads to the stunning scene where #1 (the Secret Empire referred to each other only by their rank) tries to escape and his identity is revealed in a shocking moment!

Seeing the President shoot himself in front of him forced Captain America to quit as Cap for awhile.

Very effective piece of writing by Englehart, and boy, he and Buscema sure did fit in a lot of story into these pages!!

26 Comments

It really helps if you imagine the captions as being read by Morgan Freeman.

Boy, Englehart sure had it in for Nixon. I guess this makes the original Moonstone the MU equivalent of John Dean. Interesting how it all lead into the creation of Nomad, and three decades later, Kurt Busiek’s classic series Avengers Forever.

Moony and his costume do suck, though. I like Dr. Karla Sofen a whole lot better.

I do not read No.1 as the President, but someone senior in the adminstration. I know Engleheart was running of Watergate and the felling of distrust, but dispite the implication if it not stated in this or the following issue where he gives up the sheild after talking the avengers and Falcon who he saw.

I would have expected more public impact and impact from the avengers if the Pres ahd been shot. and more effect across the comics, the line we still pretty tight in those days and he was writing the avengers.

My view is that is head of the Joint cheifs, who in turn may be someone he servered with in WWII the embodiment to him of the US army what it and the country stand for. HE would then be betrayed, by his country, this family (army) and a friend.

Definitely a classic moment. Englehart, for all the flak he may have received over his handling of events during his FF run, for example, sure wrote some great Cap stories.

I agree that it wasn’t the President because even the entry on The Secret Empire in the OHOTMU states that it was a high level government official. The fact that it is left ambiguous is intentional in that Cap knows but we the reader don’t know exactly who it is and can fill it in themselves.

I like it better as ambiguous than speicifically being the President, even if that’s what Enlehart intended deep down.

I thought Englehart wanted to use Nixon, but editorial nixed it, no?

Interesting observation: I’ve never read the original story, but I’ve been aware of it. Having read Avengers Forever, my first thought is that Cap went off to the Destiny War between panels 5 and 6 of the last page. So he’s double-demoralized in those last panels, having given up the chance to have changed history as well.

I thought Englehart wanted to use Nixon, but editorial nixed it, no?

You can read my book, Was Superman a Spy?, for the answer to that question! :)

You can read my book, Was Superman a Spy?, for the answer to that question!

Is it spam if it’s your own column? ;)

comicbookreader

June 10, 2009 at 7:03 am

“The sound of chin meeting dirt is a sound so sweet as to defy description!”

FANtastic!

a true classic moment and showed captain america taking his role to its core. not to mention that ccap winds up feeling bad in the end when the head of the empire kills himself. shacking cap to his core. not to mention the lendegary busemas art was cool.

“It really helps if you imagine the captions as being read by Morgan Freeman.”

That really does improve on a great story. LOL.

It’s kind of disorienting seeing Marvel Girl there, just because that’s such a Silver Age costume and this story is so very Bronze Age.

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen original Moonstone.
Number 1 is totally Nixon.

According to Englehart himself, it was Nixon. Marvel did not want it to be Nixon, and Englehart reassured them all along that it wasn’t. As soon as this issue was on the stands, he admitted that it was.

Think about it. If it wasn’t Nixon, why would it have been so stunning to Cap that he would quit?

Cap can’t defeat Moonstone with words, so he beats him up? Hmm.

Was Cap charged with aggravated assault in the followup story? Or were there some mitigating factors?

I think the reason he doesn’t defeat him with words is because it’s a COMIC BOOK.

And comic book makers understood back then that visual stuff works better in the medium.

Englehart’s intent is obvious in making #1 Nixon. Regardless of what impact this would have in the Marvel reality, Englehart was more intent on making a political/social point than thinking through if this would affect the rest of a shared universe.
And yes, he did have it in for Nixon, as most people did, even after Nixon died [in our real universe, not the Marvel universe ;-] ]
DFTBA

Comic-book makers understand that mindless violence is better than intelligent characterization? Wow. Despite reading comics for 40-plus years, I did not know that. Thanks for the news flash.

Next you’ll be telling me that creators use shameless sexism to sell their comics, too. Please, say it ain’t so!

I guess Mark Millar didn’t understand Captain America or comics when he had Cap surrender to the pro-registration forces in CIVIL WAR #7. If Steve Englehart had been writing the comic, Cap could’ve kept smashing people a la the Hulk until he won the registration debate.

Bah. Number 1 is clearly the vice-president.

With the shooting in the face stuff and everything.

“The Last Lie!” is also a cool moment.

I agree…that line was cool, and the splash page is nice! Steve and Sal, what a great team.

[…] a story line in which a secret organization was plotting the overthrow of the U.S. government. In issue #175, which went on sale exactly four months before Nixon resigned, the leader of the Secret Empire is […]

[…] ran a story line about a secret organization plotting the overthrow of the U.S. government. In issue #175, which went on sale exactly four months before Nixon resigned, the leader of the Secret Empire is […]

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives