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Sometimes, it's nice to have virtually all the reasons comics kind of sometimes are crap all on one page, starting with a hey-kids-I'm-hip pop song reference at the top of panel one and physically impossible dialogue [unless it's the car that's making the nihilist snappy comeback] at the bottom of the last panel. Although I had to try really hard to accept that the Eagles were ever hip, ever.
Panel One: So, whenever Captain America and the Falcon have to get somewhere, Cap runs and Falc flies? Didn't we all learn as kids that when you're going anywhere with a friend and only one of you has a bike, that person is going to spend a lot of time circling around the walker or stopping on every block and waiting for the walker to catch up? Considering how fast tempers boiled over with that arrangement, I'm amazed that Cap and the Falcon stayed partners for so long. Also, they're in Washington D.C. -- even during the darkest hours of Gerald Ford's Presidency, are we really supposed to believe that a D.C. Cabbie wouldn't give CAPTAIN AMERICA a ride, even if he had to actually stop for a black guy at the same time? This comic book is unrealistic.
Panel Two: I like this one -- you don't see many moments where an undramatic moment is presented without drama.
Panel Three: This panel is odd in a way that I don't think was ever paid off in later stories, at least not as far as I've read. It would have been awesome if Hugh had said that he was one of the Jones Boys, but I can't have anything nice anyway. [Post-BP's destruction of the oceans, I trust that Roxxon will be a major heavy in Marvel's comics a few years from now, in the same bold, torn-from-four-years-ago's-headlines method that brought us Civil War.]
Panel Four: Easily my favorite -- is Cap making that terrible face as a visual shorthand/graphic-design conceit to make the reader follow his eye to the flashback of him punching out the Serpent guy and thinking about how he was dressed as Nomad at the time? Or is Captain America really making that ugly a face after Jones implies that he knows that Cap was secretly Nomad, and perhaps much more about him? It's somewhat endearing to imagine that Cap is so forthright and honest that he has the worst poker face this side of Red Skelton on his second bottle of Hennessy.
Panels Five & Six: Again, it would be nice if there was some payoff to this -- oil-company executives don't even accept free blowjobs unless there's something extra in it for them, so why is Mr. Jones telling Cap where the Red Skull's hideout is -- well, aside from the plot needing Cap to get his ass over there for the big cliffhanger at the end of this particular issue. Nick Fury couldn't have sent a field guy over [with a car] once his agents Gabe Jones and Peggy Carter went missing? I don't think this was a very good solution to the plotting problem.
Panel Seven: Sometimes, a Band-Aid not only doesn't help, it just draws attention to the injury. Never mind how it doesn't make a lick of sense for Cap and Jones [unless, again, it's actually the car talking back to Cap] to be able to exchange these parting comments at all, "What Does It Matter?" just underlines how the hero of this story was just totally sidelined from moving his own plot forward and then had his nose [and ours, if we're at all invested in the story at this point] rubbed in lazy-writer horseshit.
When I was a working screenwriter, my partner and I would write ourselves into a story we were breaking [usually with a lot of asterisks so it was easy to see the problematic parts on the first readthrough once we had a full draft on paper] when we couldn't think of a way to get a character from one scene or set piece or idea to the one we wanted to do next:
"And then *******MILO GEORGE ******* teleports in front of Our Heroine. Milo drives her to ******* the cafe where Mr. X is having lunch, ******* and pushes her out of the car. She tumbles and rolls all the way to X's table, where she tells him ... *******"I'm a little jealous that any writer get away with this sort of thing, especially with the blow-off at the end:
Anyway, more awesome Frank Robbins pieces:
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#2 in the ongoing series, "Ideas for my first tattoo, which I will never ever get anyway." Even the hypothetical tattoo-getting me would be too classy to have this one done in the most logical spot; the front, right-hand side of my lower torso, just above my mane of clown-red pubic hair.
It's a shame they lost this powerful character motivation for Cap -- after all, a lot of politically minded people were forged or seriously changed by the trauma of Watergate and continue to operate with that trauma within easy reach for reference to this day.
If I remember correctly, Marvel's version of the end of Nixon's Presidency implied that he was the leader of the even more nefarious Secret Empire, and then he committed suicide. I think, if I were Cap, shit that crazy would probably stay pretty close to the front of my mind for a while. Then again, if Spider-Man can shrug off Norman Osborne murdering his "brother" Ben and his & Mary-Jane's unborn child in one issue and be over it in the next issue, then I suppose Cap would look like a pussy if it took him too long to get over the leader of the free world being the mastermind behind the shadowy organization dedicated to destroying/dominating the free world. Or something. These comics really do crumble if you think about them too much.
Women! Viper is supposed to be a nihilist, not a Commie, right? Solidarity, indeed.
And I don't know how this obviously Sal Buscema-drawn panel got into my folder, but I like how Pop Arty it is:
Looking at how he drew mouths I must say that, while Frank Thorne's and Ernie Colon's smut is nice, I wish Sal had drawn [or would draw?] a porn comic or two. No need to thank me for that thought.