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Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Vol. 6 [Hardcover]

Stan Lee , Gene Colan

RRP: 45.00
Price: 36.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sermons delivered in the Mighty Marvel Manner! 21 April 2012
By Jim Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like most masterworks volumes released since Cory Sedlmeier became the collection editor, this book is well up to standard. It has 12 issues excellently reproduced, an interesting 4 page introduction by John Romita, and a number of nice extras like a reprint annual cover, some house ads, and a full color cover "rough" by Romita.

Sedlmeier couldn't do much about the content, though. The early 1970s were rough patches for a lot of Marvel titles but usually there was one or two features that carried the book forward. That wasn't the case here.

The art is the strongest feature of the book but the inconsistent look because of Romita's many other duties pulling him away from the book begins to take its toll. Guest pencillers and inkers begin to come and go and there are indications of rush jobs on the issues from the middle of the book on.

The writing is completely uninspired as well. Plots are either downright absurd or suffer from being made up on the fly and resolved by pulling rabbits out of hats. Stan Lee had hit the wall at this point in his career and although Gary Friedrich takes over about halfway through this book very little in the way of improvement results.

Some books survived this kind of chaos by falling back on interactions between interesting supporting cast members. Captain America had little help here. The primary relationship between him and his partner at this time was racial tension. This is handled very crudely with all the subtlety of a grand piano dropped on the reader's head. Black characters are depicted as almost universally angry and ready to explode into violence at a moments notice. The sermonizing is fairly heavy handed.

Cap's other supporting cast is the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization which had been shoehorned into Cap's book after losing its own title. The book could have been accurately titled "Captain America, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." at this point. The presence of S.H.I.E.L.D. overshadows Cap and the Falcon and it works no better here than in their own book.

Cap's love life is ill served here as Sharon Carter is tied to S.H.I.E.L.D. as is Val, the long time agent Friedrich sets up to compete for Cap's attentions. The Falcon's romantic interest is more interesting - when she isn't calling him an Uncle Tom.

All in all, this book can only be recommended to those to whom it is no doubt intended - Marvel fans from way back, comfortable with the material's shortcomings. One gets the impression that the Captain America title would have been cancelled if not for its iconic lead.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Captain America 13 Jan 2013
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on Amazon.com
"Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Volume 6"
Written by Stan Lee & Gary Friedrich
Illustrated by John Romita, Sal Buscema & Gray Morrow
(Marvel Comics, 2012)
I'm afraid I have to take exception to a previous reviewer's characterization of this run of "Captain America" as being a low-point for the title... Quite the contrary, I always found John Romita's early-1970's run on the book to be a high point, sandwiched between periods of true tedium... I think the artwork and plotting are far superior to Gene Colan's kinetic/sloppy style, and most of the Stan Lee scripts leading up to this period were really pretty weak.

This book, which spans Captain America #137-148 (May, 1971-April, 1972) comes before the real decline in quality that people identify with '70s Marvel and DC Bronze Age books: Sal Buscema's long tenure as the penciller was pretty iffy, and the abysmal, garish, insultingly slapdash dreck that Frank Robbins produced was the true nadir of Cap's career. (Then of course Kirby came back for a while, which some people love, other people don't. That's all a few years down the road... we can get back to that another time...)

Anyway, I think these were some of the best Cap issues of the still-classic Marvel years -- I loved Romita and Morrow's artwork and the stories had some heft. As a kid I loved the Grey Gargoyle epic, with the SHIELD helicarrier getting trashed and everybody getting turned to stone... I read that one a bazillion times. Cap becoming a cop was a nice idea, but like many themes -- Nomad, etc. -- it wasn't explored as fully as it could have been. All in all, these are stories that hold up well and represent the era better than issues of similar vintage. If you're looking for old, classic Captain America to check out, these hippie-era adventures have some resonance despite their simplistic themes. Face forward, True Believer... Excelsior!! (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain children's book reviews)
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