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STRANGE TALES (1951-76) #114
VG/F: 5.0
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PUBLISHER: Marvel
COMMENTS: 1st Captain America since Golden Age (spoiler: it's the Acrobat in disguise); 3rd Dr. Strange
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1st Captain America since Golden Age (spoiler: it's the Acrobat in disguise); 3rd Dr. Strange
In a clever bait-and-switch tactic used to gauge interest in the return of World War II's personification of American might, Stan Lee called on Jack Kirby to cagily revive Captain America, without actually committing to the return of the hero, in case audiences rejected the potentially lucrative character. Placing the modern Torch's nemesis the Acrobat into the familiar red-white-and-blue costume, Lee and Kirby could have their cake and eat it too, teasing Golden Age fans with a cover image that could have been used for a late-period Marvel Mystery issue, while still providing younger readers their young new hero and a twist that assured them that maybe the old guard wouldn't have to come back after all. Lee needn't have worried -- readers went nuts for the fake Cap, making the return of the real Cap virtually assured, and paving the way for the legendary Avengers #4. Also of note is the idea that Captain America would be reduced to making appearances at car shows -- shades of the "celebrity zoos" that now anchor nearly every comic convention!


Artists Information

Jack Kirby is called 'The King of Comics' for a reason, during his career that spanned six decades he gave us many of most iconic characters the medium would ever see. From his introduction of Captain America at the height of World War II it was clear he wasn't your ordinary comics artist. But it was his creative explosion at Marvel Comics in the 1960's that cemented his legacy, over a short period of time Kirby would give us The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Hulk, The X-Men, Thor, Ant-Man and Nick Fury just to name a few. Kirby would then go to DC and create his Fourth World, introducing Darkseid, Mister Miracle, The New Gods and a host of cosmic supporting players. Long live The King.

Richard "Dick" Ayers was an American comic book artist and cartoonist best known for his work as one of the main inkers during the late-1950's and 1960's Silver Age of Comics, including some of the earliest issues of Marvel Comics' including Jack Kirby's The Fantastic Four. He is the signature penciler of Marvel's World War II comic Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, drawing it for a 10-year run, and he co-created Magazine Enterprises' 1950s Western-horror character the Ghost Rider, a version of which he would draw for Marvel in the 1960s. His career would span 7 decades until his death in 2014.


 

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