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Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Captain America Comics 1 [Hardcover]

Joe Simon , Jack Kirby


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Enterprises (March 23 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785116192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785116196
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 18.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Stories of a Truly Classic Comic Book Character Aug. 20 2006
By Ian Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Europe and Asia are at war, and although the United States hasn't entered yet, we are already targeted by Nazi saboteurs. America needs a defender, a super soldier. And so, a physical weakling, young Steve Rogers, undergoes an experiment, transforming his puny frame into the peak of physical perfection. When a Nazi spy kills the formula's inventor, Rogers is left as one a kind. He becomes Captain America, sentinel of liberty. As Steve Rogers, Cap hides his identity as a clumsy army private. Whenever Axis forces threaten the safety of the United States, Rogers and his young sidekick, Bucky, are there to defeat the threat.

So begins the earliest adventures of Marvel Comics oldest A-list character, reprinted in a very nice "Marvel Masterworks" hardcover edition. I own plenty of DC's Archive editions, but this is my first sampling of the corresponding Masterworks. Claims of poor reprint quality in golden age material are exaggerated. "Captain America" looks great. The artwork, much of it done by the great Jack Kirby, has been reproduced almost flawlessly.

The format of each issue was four self-contained Cap stories, a single prose Cap story, and two back-up features, unrelated to Cap: "Tuk, Caveboy", featuring the ongoing adventures of an orphaned caveboy in some mythical prehistoric period of human history, and; "Hurricane", the super-fast son of Thor, who constantly battles his evil cousin, Pluto. (The inclusion of back-up features is something DC hasn't done in their archives, not that there were many back-up features in Superman.)

For the Cap stories themselves, the quality is consistently high, with Kirby's art, starting out somewhat hurried when he did everything in the first issue, improving dramatically over the course of the remaining three issues., after Kirby started sharing the art chores. Likewise, Joe Simon (no slouch in art department himself) produced many very strong and entertaining scripts, pitting Cap and Bucky against both fairly conventional and memorably unconventional enemies. Chief among these was the Red Skull, the masked Nazi agent who spread terror in the United States and the world. They also battled counterfeiters and racketeers, evil scientists, and deformed murderers. Indeed, Simon and Kirby made the most of relatively new status of super-heroes, telling pulpy horror/mystery stories, high adventure and espionage tales, and two-fisted crime stories. While there is a certain absurdity to this mix-and-match approach, each Cap story is a solid entertainment. Some are creepy, some are stirring, all are classic.

The back-up stories are interesting. The Tuk feature was a continuing series of tales, unusual for this period in comic books. It was a hybrid feature, reminiscent of Tarzan, and incorporating elements of science fiction and fantasy not unlike the writings of Robert E. Howard. Hurricane was more straightforward, as the speedster hero usually thwarted the machinations of his cousin Pluto (depicted as the devil). Usually these plans included Pluto making use of racketeers and the like. While Hurricane has been retconned into the character Makkari from Kirby's own Eternals, neither of these strips are important in comic book history. Indeed, while artifacts like these should always be enjoyed, I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps simply leaving these out and squeezing in a couple of more issues of Cap stories would have been a better plan.

Cap vanished with most super-heroes by the end of the 1940s, briefly surfaced in the early 1950s, and vanished again until the classic "Avengers"#4. From then on, Captain American remained a pivotal figure in the Marvel Universe. Read here those formative stories which made Captain America one of the true classic comic book characters.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not a fan of golden age but Aug. 30 2009
By culture lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I never cared for Golden Age comics. The few I saw seemed crude and simplistic compared to the Silver and Bronze age stuff I grew up with. I picked up this volume not expecting very much and was pleasantly surprised.

There is a surprising amount of macabre to Simon & Kirby's villains, not just the classic Red Skull, but "Chess-board of Death," "the Hunchback of Hollywood" and "the Wax Statue that struck Death."

For once, the backup features weren't just filling up pages. I was genuinely interested in the caveboy Tuk and Hurricane. I hope they continued those features when I purchase volume 2.

Even the text pages were better than usual (not that that's saying much!).

If you're at all interested in the character or in golden age comics, you will probably enjoy this book.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SHODDY BINDING July 3 2008
By The Great Oz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have to agree with the other reviewers that content-wise, this book is wonderful! Great art, fun stories from the Golden Age and a great hero. But...I have to say I am disappointed in the production quality of the book and Marvel's lack of response when I brought the complaint to their attention. I had read the book maybe three times and store it upright in a bookshelf with other archive editions, both DC and Marvel. I take very good care of my books and do not overextend the spine, etc. But after only a few months, the covers separated from the pages. It appears the glue used to bind the pages to the covers simply let go. I wrote to Marvel and never received so much as an acknowledgement of my concern. I doubt I am the only one who has experienced this problem, so be advised. Great book-shame on Marvel!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Now I know why I didn't buy Marvel Comics as a kid Sept. 17 2010
By Richard S. Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I lived through the Golden Age of comics and I bought mostly DC comics but did not remember why I didn't buy Marvel Comics very often. Now I know thanks to purchasing this volume.

The art work is not very good and the characters just scared the life out of me with their distorted features and very frightening looks. The story lines were not very good and tended to repeat themselves from story to story, month to month, and year to year and character to character. DC characters were much more believable and the story line much better written - at least that is how I felt as kid. These are just thoughts from a senior citizen and in no way do I intended to be critical of those who bought (buy) and enjoy Marvel comics.

Glad I bought this issue just to refresh my memories but I will not buy another.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!! June 12 2005
By Jon Clypto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
extremely entertaining stories. this is for any comics

fan. Amazing art by mr. Jack Kirby, Captain america has

adventures that anyone who can read can love.

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