Ok, so you’ve just come out of seeing Captain America: The First Avenger (released in the U.S. today  – though not for another week in the U.K.) and you want to delve deeper into the back story of a character you have either just been introduced to for the first time or you’ve known about for a while but only now are really starting to get what the fuss is all about! Or maybe you are just curious after all the great Captain America articles we have run recently. Maybe you want to read more but you just don’t know where to start?

It’s always tough to know what specific stories to pick up when delving into long-standing comic books. And let’s be honest, they don’t usually get much more long-standing than Captain America. First published back in March, 1941, Cap’s back-catalogue is immense!

But fear not! We’ve selected our five favourite Cap stories to get you acquainted with the star-spangled superhero!

 

1- Captain America: Winter Solider

Writer: Ed Brubaker

We couldn’t mention the Cap’s top stories without mentioning the phenomenal work of writer extraordinaire, Ed Brubaker. You can always rely on Brubaker to craft an exciting storyline, but he has truly raised the bar with his take on Captain America.

Visually, the comic is remarkable. Steve Epting’s artwork is highly evocative and ultra-realistic. When combined with Brubaker’s majestic storytelling and powerful prose, it’s not an overstatement to call this a comic a modern comic book masterpiece.

Featuring many of Cap’s allies and enemies, this is essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in comics!

 

2- Captain America Comics #1

Writer(s): Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

Witness the birth of Marvel’s most enduring hero. Need we say anymore? Ok, then, how does this sound: The cover features Cap obliterating Adolf Hitler with a sweet right-hook?

First published in 1941, unsurprisingly, it hasn’t aged well. It’s artwork comes across as bland and it’s dialogue can be cringe-inducing at times. It’s groan factor is perfectly exemplified by the professor who creates the super-serum which Steve Rogers is injected with. His name is ‘Reinstein’ (if you don’t get it, try saying it out loud).

There’s no denying its charm however; it’s captivating to see the Cap’s original origin tale in all its retro glory!

 

 

 

 

3- The Ultimates, Volume 1

Writer: Mark Millar

You may recognize the name Mark Millar; he’s the writer of Kick Ass and Wanted. And if you are familiar with his work, you’ll know exactly what you’re in store for! Excuse the lame pun, but this is without doubt, the ‘ultimate’ Captain America tale. Everything here is turned up to 11!

Full marks to Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie for the artwork; the opening pages of the first issue are mind-blowing. The pages leap out at you, with carnage recalling the most epic Hollywood blockbuster. It also contains quite possibly the best Cap quote ever with, ‘What are you waiting for ladies? Christmas?!’

We simply can’t recommend this series enough! Seriously, why haven’t you read it yet?!

 

 

 

 

4- Captain America and the Punisher: Blood and Glory

Writer(s): DG Chichester & Margaret Clark.

Lost in the sands of time, this is definitely an underrated Cap story. Featuring an insidious conspiracy, coupled with a cross-over of Marvel’s most honourable hero along with its most notorious anti-hero , well, it was always going to be a bit special.

When you throw in some set-pieces that would make Michael Bay blush (think explosions, BIG explosions!), some stark artwork from the pencil of Klaus Janson and more 80’s movie references than you can shake a stick at, you have all the ingredients for a fantastic comic!

 

 

 

5- Marvel Civil War

Writer: Mark Millar

Mark Millar is often dismissed as a writer who eschews silly things such as storylines and character development in favour of stylized violence, pithy dialogue and action-packed set-pieces. And to an extent this is true. However, with Marvel Civil War he’s crafted a powerfully poignant tale, where the honourable Cap and his principals are tested to the max.

Steve McNiven’s artwork is brilliantly cinematic, and it’s perfectly complimented by Hollowell’s rich colouring. We have no doubt that you’ll be hooked from the get go. And just in case you were wondering, yes, it also contains oodles of violence, pithy dialogue and action-packed set-pieces.

 

 

 

MORE READING

The Many Faces of Captain America

History of the Captain America Film Franchise

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Captain America

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This article was first posted on July 22, 2011