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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Zut alors!

Remember about a month ago I purchased my very first Captain America and was pleasantly surprised by the Kirby signature ? Well I enjoyed that book so much I decided to start collecting the series as well....yeah I know yet another Marvel series to complete

Anyway I've decided to go for #100 (first issue in series) through to #300...nice chunk of books. I'm already setting up deals to buy the later issues in larger quantities to save on shipping and am seeking out nice mid-grade copies of the first 50 or so issues.I was lucky to find these early Silver Age ones in decent shape and at a good price

Now #107 is clearly the pick of the bunch and one of the best Cap books ever IMHO.
Jack and Stan collaborated on a mere 10 issues of the Captain America series (issues 100 through 112, with the exception of Jim Steranko's work on issues 110 and 111), but those 10 issues are pure dynamite. #107 is a brilliant story, with a twist worthy of a Christopher Nolan or a M. Night. Shama-lama-ding-dong (whatever) movie.
Kirby's raw pencil-driven artistic powers were never better and keep perfect pace with Lee's intense and driven narrative.
The issue's focus is on Steve Rogers, who, having been frozen in suspended animation for 20 years, is still trying to cope emotionally with the death of his World War II fighting partner, Bucky Barnes. Cap's turmoil is ripe with realism, from the sorrow over his friend's loss to the personal guilt that weighs on his shoulders for having been able to save so many during the war but not his own partner.
And for once the cover perfectly alludes to the story inside and entices you to enter and read.

But I actually started off wanting to write about issue #105...
Ok #105 isn't the masterpiece #107 is, the art is still classic Kirby and the story is decent and action packed, and the cover, action packed as it is, is nothing really special...but it has Batroc ! Yes I admit I'm a closet Batroc fan...

I'm also ready to admit he's more of a comedic character than anything else, that stupid Dali-moustache, no special powers (ok, he knows French-boxing and can leap a bit), his use of Franglais/Frenglish (butchering both languages in one fell swoop)...
But he makes my day when I see him fighting a hero (and most of the time running away when he's about to get beaten) while keeping his own outlandish style.

I can't imagine what Cap must think, in between fighting The Red Skull, The Kree and the Skrulls, he has to put up with this pesky clown..Georges Batroc

Whoever created him (Stan ?)really went all the way this time. The name Batroc the Leaper ("Batroc ze Leapair"),itself is a joke, "Batrock" is the animal order to which frogs belong to...And Americans like to call Frenchmen...Frogs

But Georges wouldn't really be upset by this...in his own words :"Alas, you are too sensitive, mon cher! But, c'est la vie!"


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