Monday, January 9, 2017

Captain America #109

The story goes back that in 1969 when artist/writer Jim Steranko was penciling and writing his now famous run on Marvel Comics’ Captain America that he was behind on schedule.

Jim Steranko was and is the consummate artist and refuses to rush his work or compromise its quality.

So, it was not unusual for him to be behind on Captain America.

When Stan Lee hired Jim Steranko he knew the risks of Jim’s tendency to drag his feet.  Still, deadlines are deadlines and something had to be done so that Captain America #109 would be printed and delivered on time.

Stan called on the one person he knew could make the deadline-Marvel’s mainstay artist: Jack Kirby.

Together Stan and Jack, with able assist by inker Syd Shores, turned out what is now considered the definitive origin of Captain America.

Over the decades since Cap’s introduction his origin had been tweaked and modified at the whim of various artists and writers.

Stan and Jack successfully combined all the elements of his origin into a cohesive whole that includes Cap’s induction into a secret government program, the introduction of key figures in his legend and much more.

Years later artist John Byrne and writer Roger Stern would build upon the story Stan and Jack created to bring Cap’s origin even more up to date.

But to me Stan and Jack’s version is the template for all that followed in Cap’s illustrious star-spangled crime-fighting career.

I my opinion Captain America #109 is a ‘key issue’ that every person who names himself or herself a comic book collector needs to add to their collection.