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Month of Cool Avengers/X-Men Comic Book Moments – Captain America and Baron Zemo…to the Death!

All month long we will feature brand-new Cool Avengers and X-Men Comic Book Moments in celebration of their fiftieth anniversaries this month. Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far over the years.

Today we look at Captain America avenging the death of Bucky in battle against Baron Zemo…

Captain America was brought back in Avengers #4. Only two issues later we met Baron Zemo, the villain who we found out was responsible for the death of Captain America’s sidekick, Bucky (and for Cap being stuck in suspended animation). Zemo formed the Masters of Evil and they clashed with Cap and the Avengers a number of times in just a few issues. With Avengers #15, though (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck and Georgr Roussos), Lee was getting ready to redo the title, so he decided to wrap the Cap/Zemo plot up once and for all. The issue opens with Zemo kidnapping Cap’s new friend (who he sort of sees as a new Bucky) Rick Jones. While the rest of the Avengers tackle the Masters of Evil, Cap uses a borrowed special jet plane to track Zemo down to gain his vengeance…

You have to love how CALM Cap is with the whole thing! So badass.

15 Comments

Oh, how the other Avengers laughed at how Cap would wax his shield up nice and shiny. LAUGH! Oh, they’ll stop laughing now.

They’ll stop laughing now, if they know what’s good for them. And not stand underneath any large boulders.

Wasn’t the beginning of the next issue about Cap lecturing the rocks on superhero morality? Anyway, the Avengers for me didn’t really pick up until Roy Thomas took over but I’ll be damned if the Lee issues didn’t have their moments.

Given the fact that Bucky got better, I’m surprised that the first Zemo didn’t pull a Norman Osborn. I mean, if you can survive being impaled against a wall, what’s a few dozen boulders crushing you to death? No biggie.

“how Cap would wax his shield up nice and shiny.”

Is that what the kids are calling it nowadays…?

Love this story.

Anyway, the Avengers for me didn’t really pick up until Roy Thomas took over but I’ll be damned if the Lee issues didn’t have their moments.

I’m of a different, admittedly minority, opinion. Roy Thomas is when Avengers jumped the shark for me, his issues are excruciating for me to read, but those pre-Roy Stan issues were pure gold for me. I always wonder what the Avengers would have been like if Stan and Jack remained at the helm.

I always read these old school Baron Zemo appearances in the voice of X, The Eliminator from Harvey Birdman. I find it takes away from some of the tension though.

Crest on Captain America’s helmet!

I imagine with Zemo’s kid filing the gig, nobody feels a need to bring the original back. And he doesn’t have the same cachet Norman Osborne’s goblin does (and at that, I know people who much prefer Harry).
It’s a good issue. Though Rick was such a teen sidekick, I’m amazed Stan used to talk about “I hate teen sidekicks” with a straight face.

I am a Don Heck fan, but he’s terrible at making the shield look kinetic and powerful. It looks like it’s just gliding along at a leisurely pace, like one of those flying saucers suspended by a wire in those old B-movies.

T., not everybody’s Kirby. I love Heck, too, but it’s a hard act to follow. Anyway, I just can’t get over how Cap’s shield looked like a dinner plate. Even Kirby drew it that way for a while.

I like how this is literally the only time Cap’s shield was portrayed as being shiny enough to reflect light off it to blind someone. Hm…makes me think that that’s just the story Cap told everyone later on ;)

I like how this is literally the only time Cap’s shield was portrayed as being shiny enough to reflect light off it to blind someone. Hm…makes me think that that’s just the story Cap told everyone later on ;)

You mean he left out the part where he just showed up with a machine gun and just slaughtered Zemo and his men and then claimed a rockslide happened later? Very possible.

This seemed cool to me when I was younger, but now it just seems funny how Stan Lee would over think how to end the situation. Rather than have the light reflected in Zemo’s eyes cause him to point his weapon straight up to the boulders directly over his head (must be some kind of rock bridge or something?), couldn’t he just have the stray shot from Zemo’s gun bounce off of Cap’s Shield (he is aiming right at it in the panel) and hit the boulder clouds (still trying to explain the rocks over Zemo’s head with no shadowing) causing the them to rain down on him?

Yeah, but they totally bought the rockslide accident story because Cap wasn’t moping around about killing someone like usual.

No, wait, he didn’t do that….

(Bringing back a running joke from last year, folks!)

Ah, Ed, but that’s because Cap knows Zemo’s disintergrator pistol could destroy his shield.

Wait, wut…?

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