Stern & Byrne's famous 9-issue Cap run had great potential that was cut short due to internal politics at the time.
Highlights here for me...
*Issue 250- Cap for president. If you've ever wondered why nobody has Cap run for office, it's probably because the story was already done here. Cap & politics are dealt with in a relatively satisfying way. Still, I think more could have been done with this idea.
*Issues 251 & 252- Batroc the Leaper & Mr. Hyde! This 2-part story is currently my favorite in the volume. I didn't think *anybody* could get me interested in Batroc the Leaper- kudos to Stern & Byrne for actually pulling it off.
*Issue 255- 40th anniversary issue. Cap's origin cleaned up & reestablished. Byrne's pencils are reproduced with no inks- just color. It's an indication to me that as good as inkers were at the time, they just didn't quite do Byrne's pencils full justice. Solid origin story!
*Bonus art- The first 6 pages of what would've been issue 256; pencils & colors with no inks. Great pencils! Maybe my favorite in this collection.
Throughout the entire paperback, Stern & Byrne reestablish who Cap is and what he's all about. It has to be remembered that before their 9-issue run, Cap's origin had been played with & messed up by other creators a bit too much. This paperback sets things right. Supporting characters are given attention too, although Sharon Carter was supposedly already killed at that time.
It's almost unheard of these days for professional comic book pencilers to do 2 titles per month, every month. It's hard enough for most artists to meet a monthly schedule with just one book! Yet Byrne, a rising star at Marvel in the early eighties, did exactly that & more: he did Captain America and X-Men at the same time, and he managed to make both runs memorable & exciting. I don't consider this Byrne's best work, but it's worth looking into if you're a Captain America fan. Moderately recommended.