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CSBG Archive

Silver Age September – Captain America in “The Gladiator, the Girl and the Glory”

After a month of spotlighting the strange (if endearingly strange) history of comic books (and especially the Silver Age), I think it is worthwhile to show the comic books of the Silver Age that are simply great stories period. Here is an archive of all the Silver Age comics features so far!

You all have been enjoying the Captain America Silver Age spotlights so much that I figured I’d feature one last Captain America Silver Age story before the month ends. So today we look at a great two-parter by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers and John Romita from Tales of Suspense #75-76 starring Captain America. This is the tale that introduced both Batroc the Leaper AND Sharon Carter!!

Enjoy!

First off, in part one (Jack Kirby layouts and Dick Ayers finishes), check out this brilliantly ominous start with the mysterious bad guys…

Pretty sweet opener, huh?

After some stuff to wrap up the plot from the previous issue, we see Cap on the street and he encounters a strangely familiar woman…

You gotta love that Stan Lee pathos!!!

Of course, now we get to see the intro of…BATROC!!!

Oh baby, Batroc is awesome. And, of course, some more pathos (the deal is that Sharon’s older sister dated Cap during World War II).

And then…MORE BATROC!!!

How freakin’ awesome is Batroc?!?! What a great creation!! Besides the nonchalant way that he fights Cap (already making him a lot different than most villains), he then TEAMS UP WITH CAP! How cool of a character is that?!?! That’s fairly novel NOW, but in 1966, that was practically unheard of!!

So that sets up part two wonderfully, which has John Romita artwork…

I’ll leave you here. There are a lot more twists and turns to come, but I don’t want to spoil them.

Still, two great intros in ONE story! While having great artwork and a fun plot! Plus an Iron Man story in the same issue with Gene Colan artwork! Lucky Tales of Suspense readers!!

You can get this story in Essential Captain America Volume 1.

12 Comments

Batroc Ze Lepair, master of acrobatics and savate, is my favorite Captain America villain. This story was really great. One thing I found amusing is how Cap and Agent 13 (Sharon Carter) date each other for a while before they even learn each others’ names.

Did they eventually retcon it to Cap dating Sharon’s aunt during WWII, instead of her older sister? Am I remembering that correctly?

Yep.

And then more recently (like just a couple of months ago in Captain America #1 when Peggy passed away) they retconned Peggy into being Sharon’s GRAND-aunt.

The story ties in with what was going on in Strange Tales (the whole mysterious Them thing). I love how mercenary Batroc is. What a fantastically flippant Frenchman!

Oh, why does September have to end? WHY???

But you don’t know what October will bring, Zombie X! Maybe the two monthly themes in October will be even COOLER!

Oh Batroc, truly the greatest of savate-themed characters. (Sorry, Le Peregrine.)

Sandwich eater echoes my sentiments exactly.

Batroc! My second favorite Cap villain next to Sleeper Robots.

That’s a great issue. I’ve always loved Batroc. I love the fact that he remains a largely light-hearted character, even though he’s a mercenary. When writers have tried to “darken” him up they’ve totally missed the point of the character.

And, oh, how far has Sharon Carter evolved from that 60’s “Invisible Woman” prototype.

The amazing thing about Sharon is that the character evolved away from helplessness *during* the Silver Age and under the direction of her original creators!

I’m behind on my reading of the NY Times, but catching up, I saw in the Sunday Review from June 26 a piece about the Kirby family’s recent legal battle, and in the picture of Jack, he’s drawing the cover of “The Gladiator, the Girl and the Glory”. Way cool!

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