Captain America and the Falcon #137 (1971)

Hooray, another collection is complete! I’ve collected the first 125 issues of Captain America, from the first issue, #100, through issue #225. (the comic started at #100 because it continued the numbering from another series, and at the time it was thought that people hated first issues – times have changed, huh?) This was a longtime collecting goal for me, because the run is about ten year’s worth, and because it bridges a few very nice runs:
Issues 100-109: primo Jack Kirby art. His stuff is so pure and primal, and it’s much better in the original pulpy paper than it is in fancy reprints
Issues 110, 111, 113: The famous three issues illustrated by the great Jim Steranko. (a funny riff on the cover of 110 is attached to this message). These are truly legendary comics.
Issues 115 through roughly 139: Some very patchy writing but some amazing artwork by the great Gene Colan. I wrote about Colan a few days ago, and the guy is just astonishing. In issue 137, he’s inked by another great, Bill Everett, and the combination is just amazing.
Issues 140 through 152: A year of slack issues, many written by the very awful Gerry Conway. There’s some decent art by Sal Buscema, though, so it’s a total loss.
Issues 153 through 185: The glorious era of writer Steve Englehart. It begins with the revelation of the true 1950s Captain America – an anti-Communist asshole, continues through some solid issues to the suicide of President Nixon and Cap’s adventures as the Nomad. This is some of the best straigh super-heroes of the ’70s.
Issues 186 through 192: The pieces are wrapped up for…
Issues 193 through 214: The bizarre and ill-fated return of Jack Kirby to Cap as writer/artist, this time. At the time we all called him "Jack the Hack," but history has shown that Kirby’s run was much better than my friends and I thought at the time.
Issues 215 through 220; Bottom of the barrel continuity implants from Roy Thomas, who specialized in that sort of stuff.
Issues 221, 222, 223, 225: Cap by the great Steve Gerber. Gerber wasn’t the right writer for the book at all, which only made his run even better. See Cap as a wimpy schoolkid artist. See him attacked by a giant testicle and by the statue of Abraham Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial. It’s true. This is crazy-ass stuff.
After issue 225, Cap settled into two issues of rotating creators – nobody seemed to want the comic – till Roger Stern and John Byrne took over with issue 247.
And there’s your pocket history of Captain America, testicles definitely included. The Englehart and Gerber issues are primo, the early Kirby and Colan issues have brilliant art, and the later Kirby issues are just wacko. And the Steranko issues are just legendary, some of the best of the Silver Age.

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