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Abandoned Love: Mental Trauma Has Reverted Captain America to His 4-F Body!

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today (based on a suggestion by reader Justice–!) we look at how quickly Marvel dropped one of Steve Gerber’s plots from his short Captain America run.

Steve Gerber’s run on Captain America turned out to be very short-lived, just #221-225, and that’s with #224 being an inventory story that was plugged in as a fill-in!

However, in these few short issues, Gerber did some notable stuff, including completely changing Captain America’s origin. Gerber’s changes were subsequently abandoned and forsaked during Roger Stern and John Byrne’s run (you can read about that here).

It is interesting to note that Gerber had ANOTHER bit that was dropped even sooner.

In #225, the issue where we learn Cap’s new origin, Cap is strapped to a special mental device to access his hidden memories (that reveal his secret origin, including the fact that he had a brother who died during the attack at Pearl Harbor)…

At the end of the issue, though, the mental trauma from re-living these painful memories was too much…

Seems like Gerber had something planned for this cliffhanger, right?

Well, he was off the book with #225, so writer Roger McKenzie joined the title with the next issue and he was not interested in continuing Gerber’s plot, so he quickly addresses it with Cap just, you know, getting better…

And then never bringing it up again (besides a real quick mention in #227 where Cap just mentions “Now that I’m back at full strength”).

9 Comments

“Abandoned Love” is another great idea for a feature, and this post is a trip down memory lane. I think I came across these issues in the 25 cent bin back in the 80s, probably around the time of the Stern/Byrne run on Cap (BTW the link to the Abandoned and Forsaked page is not active). At the time, Gerber’s work seemed to suffer in comparison, but I’d be interested in going back and giving them a second look.

The second issue was my very first intro to Cap, and it is really powerful. After many years i found the Gerber first part and was surprised at how disjointed the story seemed.

Looking back now, it makes sense but at the time, not so much.

Loving this feature!

Sorry, Jack, the link is fixed now.

These were some of the first comics I ever bought, from the bargain bin in a used bookstore. The covers were what pulled me in. I remember it taking a while to track down issue #224, and when I did paying way more for it than for the other issues, only to be sorely disappointed to find out the story had nothing to do with the issues before or after. My first experience with an inventory story.

….was Brubaker aware of this story? Because his second arc on the last volume of Captain America had the same thing happen to Steve, albeit triggered by his feelings of impotence in the modern political climate.

Presumably. Brubaker knows his Captain America history well.

As I recall Brubaker’s arc, Cap thought that it was psychosomatic, but it was later confirmed to be Machinesmith repeating his nanotech trick from Brubaker’s Steve Rogers: Super Soldier miniseries.

I remember it taking a while to track down issue #224, and when I did paying way more for it than for the other issues, only to be sorely disappointed to find out the story had nothing to do with the issues before or after. My first experience with an inventory story.

Jazzbo — #224 was the one of the first comics I bought, too, when I was 5 or 6. It’s difficult to pin down the first as comics hung around on UK newsstands for some time… months on end was pretty common.
I also never realised it was inventory – I wouldn’t be aware of the concept’ til years later.

You are *THE MAN* for posting this. I just came across it tonight!!! Thanks so much for featuring it. Given that next issue “The saga of Captain America…begins” I have always wondered what the plans actually were. Much like the conclusion to Omega the Unknown, we’ll never really know. =)

Sigh…

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