Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – Comics You Should Read

Captain America has one of the longest running history in comics, pre dating Marvel but eventually falling into the fold. His first film adventure takes elements from all over his many decades in comics – but which comics? Here are our picks of comics you should read after Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

Captain America Comics #1

March 1941
Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

First appearance of Captain America, Bucky, Dr Erskine, Heinz Kruger, General Phillips

Cap joins the world of comics with an iconic shot of him punching Hitler. His origin is told, and it involves his buddy Bucky, Dr Erskine (under another name) and Heinz Kruger, all who appear in the film and fulfil their roles with good comic accuracy. Even Phillips is here, as a Colonel, not yet a General.

Captain America Comics #2
April 1941
Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

First appearance circle shield.

Just like in the film, Cap goes from a badge shaped shield to the more familiar and famous circle one. Cap just turns up with it, and all the stuff about special metals would come many years later.

Captain America Comics #7
October 1941
Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

First appearance of Red Skull.

Only seven issues in and we meet the second Red Skull, Johann Schmidt, who would be the most famous character to take the role. He’s a blood thirsty Nazi with that weird face. In the comics. He was also frozen and faced Cap many times in the present day.

Those very early Cap stories have been collected in various ways over the years. You can get it in Golden Age Captain America Omnibus Volume 1

Strange Tales #135
August 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First appearance of Hydra

Hydra in the comics have a long and convoluted history, basically being an evil society in any era as was needed. But they are definitely tied to the comic Nazis and would emerge as a foil to SHIELD.

Captain America #162
June 1973
Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema

First appearance of Peggy Carter.

Peggy Carter was created in much later as a love interest for Cap. A soldier in World War II, she would also play a role in the formation of SHIELD, like in the films.

Captain America #208
April 1977
Jack Kirby

First appearance Arnim Zola

Also amongst the baddies is Arnim Zola. He’s also a Nazi scientist in the comics, but his experiments led him to have a very different appearance. His fate as a face on a screen would eventually be seen in The Winter Soldier.

Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #1
May 1963
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee.

First appearance of the Howling Commandos

The Howling Commandos in the comics were actually friends of Nick a Fury, who started as a soldier, score being turned into more of a James Bond type. There’s been many Commandoes over the years, but the most famous appear in this film -Dum Dum Dugan, Jim Morita and Gabe Jones.

The Invaders #7
July 1976
Roy Thomas, Frank Robbins.

First appearance of Union Jack.

Adding to the Howling Commandoes are a couple of extras from the Captain America world. Union Jack was a British hero created in the 70s but also played a role in World War II. He was an ally of the original Human Torch, who is seen very briefly in the film.

Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #21
August, 1965
Dick Ayers, Stan Lee

First appearance of Jacques Dernier.

Rounding out these new Commandoes was Jacques Dernier. He was a frequent ally of the commandoes in the comics, graduating to a full member in the film.

Captain America 109
January 1969
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Captain America was revived for the Silver Age by Marvel. And it fell to Stan and Jack to retell (and reimagine) his origin for a new audience. They did so early in their run, an origin that distils the events of those early comics, with a lot more Kirby action.

Captain America White
Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale

It took til 2015 for Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale to turn their eye to Captain America’s origins, having done so for other Marvel greats. We go back to Cap’s World War II days, for an adventure with Cap, Bucky and the Howling Commandos. The bad guy is, of course, The Red Skull. A wonderful modern retailing of Cap’s early years.

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