Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Kill Me Once, Shame On You..."

Sometimes all it takes is eleven years to recycle a good whodunit--in this case, two separate stories featuring the death of Nick Fury, before the shocked eyes of Captain America!

But the real question is: does the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. really cash his chips, or do our eyes deceive us?

The short answer is: BOTH. But let's get to the bottom of this.

In the first story from 1967, our assassin is dropped off near the barbershop which SHIELD uses as a decoy for access to their underground base. (Some decoy.) And while the approaching Captain America closes in as quickly as possible, he isn't in time to prevent the killer from carrying out his deadly task.

But while Cap has failed to prevent the death of his friend, he rises to his feet to make sure that Fury's killer pays for his crime.

Cap has a tough time with this super-strong, super-tough foe, but he has the drive and the motivation to make sure this bruiser answers for Fury's death. It's only after he finally lands the haymaker that puts the brute down when he finds out who has sent this assassin--and guess who's up and around to relay that information?

I guess you could say that Fury had... wait for it... A CLOSE SHAVE. (Though our poor Life Model Decoy wasn't so lucky.) By the way--did you catch the goof that got through editing in the fight scene above? If you're right, you get a free comic book! (Not really!)

Now let's jump ahead to 1978, where the Red Skull has taken over the SHIELD helicarrier and turned its agents into murderous Red Skull facsimiles, which is definitely going to take a bite out of agent morale. Cap is aboard and has battled his way past the agents sent to kill him, and now confronts the real McCoy--but the Skull has a final surprise for his arch-foe.

As we can see, the Skull doesn't waste time with boasting, but immediately enacts his revenge on Cap by forcing him to remain motionless while Fury is put to death. It's a gruesome spectacle, made all the more horrific by the Skull reminding Cap of similar circumstances of helplessness as he watched the death of his young partner. It's a little disturbing to find that Cap can be so distracted in such a moment of crisis, to the point where he's frozen just because a foe has brought up the subject of Bucky. No wonder Fury is so shocked at Cap's inaction. "Yo, Avenger--person dying over here!"

Cap's counterattack would seem to be too little, too late--it even looks like the Skull has one last trick up his sleeve. But what he doesn't have any longer is the master control of his orbiting satellite, which Cap confiscates and uses to put an end to the Skull's plan for the world--and the act triggers the true story behind the Skull's last deception.

Good grief! Those Life Model Decoys have it rough, don't they? Talk about cannon fodder. We don't know where the Skull really is--but with this facsimile of him reverting to Fury with the satellite's destruction, we can assume that the other agents on board are back to normal, as well. And with one heck of a craving for bratwurst and sauerkraut.


George Chambers said...

"Only one of us is going to walk out of here - under his own steam - AND IT WON'T BE ME!"

Unintentionally hilarious!

Comicsfan said...

Quite, George! Thank goodness Kirby didn't end up having Cap knock himself out, eh?

Anonymous said...

I read this years ago and I never caught that!
He stunned that robot's brain by throwing an illogical sentence at him, and busted up his logic circuits.

Comicsfan said...

Well, M.P., Star Trek was in production during this time, so we can only assume Captain America picked up a helpful tactic or two from Captain Kirk. ;)

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