Saturday Serial: Captain America #1

You guys, I found a thing on YouTube!

There's a passing reference in the Marvel movies that one of Cap's projects, during his USO showgirl days, was starring in adventure serials. The kind they used to run before the main picture at movie theaters.

(I've no idea if he did that in the comics as well; I'm not that up on the old issues. Although I do know that in comics continuity, for a while Steve was making ends meet as a comic book penciller. He sold most of his work to Marvel. I'm pretty sure it was either stated or implied that he was doing the pencils for the Captain America comic that existed in-universe, because that is exactly Stan Lee's sense of humor.)

The Captain America adventures were, in fact, a real thing. Not starring the real Cap on leave from the European front -- so far as I know, anyway -- and featuring 'DA Grant Gardner' as the Captain, rather than 'Steve Rogers'. (People other than Steve and Bucky have canonically worn the suit. They were both on ice for a rather long time... and frankly, neither one of them would have gotten along well with Cold War politics anyway. There would have been a lot of shouty punching for sure, but not necessarily directed away from the people who wrote their paychecks.) They were produced in 1944 by Republic Pictures, one of their most expensive series ever, ran for 15 episodes, and are profoundly ridiculous in the way that only adventure serials can be.



The piece is only improved by the fact that one of the plot Macguffins is a widget that mines things using vibrations. This affects the dialogue in pretty much the way you expect. In the very first installment, you get an older business-like gentleman asking, in horrified shock, "How did you know about my vibrator?"

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