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Friday, April 4, 2014

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Captain America #250


So, a movie about some American soldier on magical human-enhanced drugs is coming out this weekend. I probably won’t be seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier till next weekend because I’m an adult who has bills to pay. Boo hoo. Still, it looks like it will be a fun watch and I can’t wait to see it. I don’t have too many comics featuring the star-spangled hero. I have some of Ed Brubaker’s run, some random comics from the late 80’s (during Steve’s “Cap no More… Again!” phase), and the tpb called War and Remembrance. I’ve decided to look at single issue from that trade that features the work of Stern and Byrne… Ooo, that rhymes.

Captain America #250 was released in 1980. Roger Stern provides the story. John Byrne (one of my favorite classic artists), provides the pencils. Joe Rubinstein provided the inks.  It’s interesting to know that these guys eventually work on a Superman book though not together. I just had to throw that in. So, let’s see what happens when someone tries to strong-arm Steve Rogers into running for President. Yes, this actually happens. Yes, comics are weird.

Captain America #250
Writer: Roger Stern
Pencils: John Byrne
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Jim Novak
Editor: Jim Salicrup

We start out in New York City with a standoff between the police and terrorist group who is terrorizing an election campaign. Suddenly, Captain America busts in and makes short work of the group. Seriously, he takes them out in 3.7 seconds. Anyway, he gets congratulated by everybody including Samuel Underwood, spokesperson for the New Populist Party (NPP). Underwood takes Cap to other members of the NPP. Underwood then gets a weird idea in having Cap run for President for their party. Cap immediately scoffs at it, but Underwood and the other members try to goad him on into accepting. ‘Cap says he’ll think about it and leaves. After he leaves, Underwood calls the media and tells them that Captain America is going to run for President.
If my photoshop skills were any good, I'd do something with this.

Later, Steve is at his apartment just chilling with some of his neighbors. By they way, his neighbors don’t know that he’s Captain America. How did that work out anyway? Did SHIELD make everyone forget that Steve Rogers was Captain America or something? Anyway, another neighbor joins the fray and shows them a newspaper of Captain America’s candidacy. Steve is naturally shocked about it. His friends are kind of excited that Captain America is running because he’s one of the most honest guys they know of. Steve leaves the crazy people and heads to Avengers Mansion as Captain America.

After he gets hounded by the media, he heads into the mansion and gets his teammates’ reactions. Beast is ecstatic about it. Iron Man is wondering what the heck Steve’s been drinking. The Wasp (in a horrible costume) thinks it’s a cool idea and the Vision says Cap isn’t qualified. Cap tells them that he didn’t even agree to this. The man even gets a call from the President and the major opposing parties about this. I’d hate to be Steve at this moment.
Ha! JJJ is a hoot. 

Throughout the day, we get the reactions of other people and heroes about Cap’s candidacy. I think J. Jonah Jameson’s reaction is my favorite. Steve is out figuring out what to do when he runs across an old relic: the grade school he used to go to back in the 1930’s. There, he remembers the old words of his teacher and makes a decision. A few hours later, he heads to a NPP rally to give his decision. In a pretty inspirational speech, he tells the people that he isn’t running for the White House. The issue ends with him leaving and us getting a speech from John F. Kennedy.

………………………………………………………

So, that was weird. One thing I can say about the issue is that it is light on action. In a way, that’s a good thing because the story itself is a little interesting even if it’s so far-fetched. I mean, it’s not that far-fetched since we actually had an actor in the White House. We’ve also had a certain Austrian as governor of California for a few years. I think this idea does get picked up on again in the Ultimate Universe. I like how it all gets treated seriously instead of being a farce like it could have turned out. The writing itself is quite good though Cap sometimes seems a little too speechy with his dialogue.

The artwork is good. It’s John Byrne in his prime, so you know it’s going to be quite cool. The inks and colors complement the pencils well. I also like that we get to see a few more Marvel characters get the Byrne touch.  The only bad thing I can say about the art is Wasp’s costume. Seriously, what in the heck was up with that thing? Overall, it’s a good issue. It’s probably the one of the more memorable issues from the War and Remembrance trade.

Well, that’s all I have for today, so Peace, God Bless, and don’t pick me to be your next President.  I know some folk would say “Oh man, not another one!”

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