Celebrating 80 Years of Captain America with All-Star Comic Creators
Since Denver Pop Culture Con 2020 is being held on Fourth of July weekend, we made this year’s event all about honoring our country’s and community’s heroes – including the characters and creators of the original star-spangled superhero, Captain America.
Captain America holds a special place in our national story — and this iconic character will have a special place at this year’s event.
Created in by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Cap first appeared on the pages of Captain America Comics #1 in 1941. In the decades since, he’s battled World War II fascists, explored the roads — and meaning — or America as Nomad, and even saved the universe a few times alongside his allies in the Avengers.
Captain America at Denver Pop Culture Con
You can meet some of Cap’s most prolific artists and writers, attend panels to hear their tales of working for Marvel Comics in the 70s through the 2000s, and buy prints and commission original art at their guest tables in Artist Valley.
Not familiar with all their Cap stories or want a refresher? Or just want to use your “social distancing” time wisely by catching up on some of the best Captain America stories of all time? We’ve done the work for you!
Presenting, for your reading enjoyment, some of the very best Cap stories in the character’s 80-year history brought to the page by Denver Pop Culture Con 2020’s Cap-tastic slate of guest creators…
Captain America Creators
Allen had been an honored guest since the first year of Denver Comic Con (2012), and we will miss him greatly. However, his legacy lives on, with his Cap stories in Captain America (vol. 1), issues #32, 43-47, 50, 54, and 55. Unfortunately, these issues are impossible to find reprinted – even in a Marvel Omnibus or Essential book, but we are reproducing a page from Captain America #43, “Shadows of Death”, where Allen (as “Al Bellman”) inked over artist Vince Alascia’s pencils.
Steve Englehart wrote every issue of Cap from #153-186 (1972-1975) and there are a variety of collected editions you can buy on Amazon or ebay:
- Essential Captain America Vol. 3
- Marvel Masterworks Captain America vol. 7
- Captain America Epic Collection-Hero or Hoax?
- Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Vol. 8
- Captain America and the Falcon:Secret Empire
- Essential Captain America Vol. 4
- Marvel Masterworks Captain America HC Vol 09
From Captain America 169 through 186, “Steve Rogers lays down uniform and shield, disillusioned by government corruption. But it’s not as easy to set aside half a lifetime of heroics, so a new legend is born: Nomad, the man without a country.
But who will take up the forsaken red-white-and-blue, and what will it cost him to hold onto it? Boss Morgan, the Viper, and the Red Skull are on hand with enough villainy for any hero, old or new!”
Writer J.M. DeMatteis came onto Captain America in 1981, coincidentally introducing another iteration on the character Nomad (Edward Ferbel) starting in Issue #261. DeMatteis continued writing the title until #300 (Dec. 1984), and revisited the star-spangled superhero for a couple of stories in Marvel Fanfare #31-32. (1987)
Artist and fellow DPCC guest John Beatty shared the artistic duties with Mike Zeck, from issues #265-289. Beatty picked up the inking again with Issue #321-327 (and Annual #8). DeMatteis’ and Beatty’s issues are collected in:
- Captain America Epic Collection, Vol. 9, No. 1: Dawn’s Early Light
- Captain America: Death of the Red Skull
- Captain America vs. The Red Skull
Beatty’s 1986 return is collected in:
Guest Mark McKenna picked up the inking on the third version of Nomad (Jack Monroe) in the short-lived series, Nomad (#1-13, Nov. 90-May 93). Never collected, but should be a fun bargain box dive!
Guest Mark Waid wrote the character of Captain America on four separate occasions, and there’s plenty of collected editions to keep you busy before con!
- Captain America Epic Collection-Man Without a Country collects Captain America #444-454, and more;
- Captain America by Mark Waid, Ron Garney & Andy Kubert Omnibus
- Captain America: Operation Rebirth
Captain America: Red, White & Blue was published in the wake of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s “Death of Captain America” (2007) storyline, and in addition to some new stories contains reprints by Waid, Englehart, and many others.
Waid also revisited Cap’s origin story for a teen/young adult audience, in Marvel Age Captain America: Man Out of Time. The story is the perfect primer to get new and previous fans up to speed with the character of Captain America, as he deals with the unique challenges of the 21st Century, after having been in suspended animation for 60 years.
With one of his favorite artists, Chris Samnee, Waid returned to the character for Captain America (vol. 8) #695-704, a run that has is considered some of his best work. It’s collected in several trade paperbacks, including:
Special DPCC2020 guest, Christopher Priest took a swing at the character in the 14-issue series, Captain America & the Falcon (May 2004-June 2005) collected in:
- Captain America & The Falcon by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection
- Captain America & The Falcon Vol. 1: Two Americas
- Captain America and The Falcon Vol. 2: Brothers and Keepers
Special Guest Howard Chaykin contributed the story “Opaque Shadows” to the 70th Anniversary issue #616 of the regular Cap series, as well as two separate original comics that can be found on eBay, Amazon, Comixology, or any of a dozen different online sources:
- Captain America/Nick Fury: Blood Truce
- Captain America Theater of War: America First contains a great original story about Cap in the 50s, dealing with the problems of a recalcitrant government and the communist menace. The issue also contains a reprint from Young Men Comics #24 (1954), in a story entitled “Back From The Dead”, where Captain America and the Red Skull both returned to comics after a long absence following WWII.
Finally, if you’re interested in a modern take on Captain America, but prefer the story solely in the written word, special guest Larry Hama wrote a prose adaptation of the Brubaker storyline “The Death Of Captain America”. He also adapted the foreign-language “Daredevil & Captain America: Dead on Arrival” to English.
Enjoy Reading These Captain America Stories
We hope you enjoy catching up with the character of Captain America, by reading some of the hundreds of stories from DPCC2020 guests.
Although we’ve provided Amazon links, you can also find these books – new and used – on many websites, bookstores and comic shops. Buy local if at all possible, and suggest to your local library they carry some of these volumes, in celebration of DPCC guests and the Fourth of July! Then bring your books for (free!) signatures by these great guests – at their Artist Valley tables or at the special “Captain America Creators” panel on Saturday, July 4, 2020!
Love Captain America? Tell us why…
Share your favorite Captain America stories and creators on Denver Pop Culture Con’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profiles. Use hashtag #CapRules to make sure we see it — and we just may share your comments with our followers on social media!