This Bears Repeating #2 – July 4th Holiday Edition – Captain America: White #0!

Welcome to THIS BEARS REPEATING. This is a semi-regular in its appearances and will reflect comics that are stellar in quality and phenomenal in delivery. You can disagree with my views. In fact, I encourage it!!

In acknowledgement of the upcoming mini-series scheduled for September as well as the United States’ most patriotic holiday, this examination is for everyone who embodies the red, white, and blue!! The first issue of this long overdue collaboration will include a reprint of this prologue issue. This is a 7-year itch that brings joy and relief to all fans.

CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 cover A CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 cover B

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE #0 [originally released July 2008]

“It Happened One Night” (17 pages)

Story by: Jeph Loeb

Art by: Tim Sale

Colors by: Dave Stewart

Lettering & Design by: Starkings & Roshell of Comicraft

Covers by: Devon Massey; Budd Root

Publisher: Marvel Knights/Marvel Comics

Cover Price: $2.99

 CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 inside cover

The origin re-told. Not of the good Captain but of his closest friend and brother-in-arms: the incomparable Bucky!!

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Steve takes James who’s six or seven years his junior to the movies. They are going to view an Abbott & Costello film. Typical of the era, a newsreel featuring Captain America’s exploits awes the spectators. James can’t contain his enthusiasm.

CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 pg. 5 CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 pg. 7

The two return to Fort Lehigh, VA. James is way too eager to hit the battle lines. His mentor Steve tells him war is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s unglamorous. Aside from that, James doesn’t like being called by his proper name. Their convo is interrupted by the sergeant is less than impressed with their late arrival. He is the opposite of Steve Roger’s admirer. Playing the klutz or distracted driver, Steve runs over his S.O.’s foot much to James’ delight.

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The fateful moment takes place!! James walks in on Steve changing into a more colorful outfit. His disbelief is such that he runs off, excited but scared. He tries to leap over a pile of tires and tumbles. He swears to keep the secret. Steve Cap believes him and agrees to take him on as an apprentice after James begs him with fiery eyes.

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The kid gloves are off. Cap does not go easy on the young buck [natch!] nor should he. An indeterminate period of time elapses as Steve patiently awaits orders to be shipped out. Eventually, he is called. James thinks that he is being abandoned. Steve gives him a domino mask and his own costume. He takes his sweet time to change. The Sarge walks by and is thrilled to see Steve gone. James tells Steve that there is going to be a new nom de guerre. Bucky is born!!

CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 pg. 11 panels 3-6 CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 pg. 13

The kid gloves are off. Cap does not go easy on the young buck [natch!] nor should he. An indeterminate period of time elapses as Steve patiently awaits orders to be shipped out. Eventually, he is called. James thinks that he is being abandoned. Steve gives him a domino mask and his own costume. He takes his sweet time to change. The Sarge walks by and is thrilled to see Steve gone. James tells Steve that there is going to be a new nom de guerre. Bucky is born!!

CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 pg. 16 CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 pg. 17

End of prologue! NNNOOO. This issue was a pre-cursor to a six-part mini that was supposed to shape four or five months later. Alas, that never happened. This is a snag that companies run into for various reasons. Fast forward to 2015, seven years later and the actual limited series will see the white light of day. It has broken the duration of the broken mirror curse. We salute you, Mssrs. Loeb and Sale!

CAPTAIN AMERICA - WHITE #0 back cover

Heyday: ‘Bud’ Abbott and Lou Costello were the popular comedic actors of the 40’s and 50’s.

Know your enemy: “The man who is going to kick Hitler right in the Japantz!”

What’s your 20? Camp Lehigh is entirely fictional but it matters not since it housed the Sentinel of Liberty at the beginning of his career.

Boys and their toys: Dick Tracy two-way wristwatches. The Sarge refers to these. They existed!!

15th POTUS: James Buchanan, for whom Bucky was named. Had no idea he was an acrobat :0

27th POTUS: William Howard Taft, the “fat one” according to Bucky, not the acrobat.

32nd POTUS: FDR. Served a 12-year term right until the end of WWII.

On the Fritz: Derogatory term for Germans.

“Hi-ho, Silver!” – Bucky utters this emulating the Lone Ranger.

Jeph Loeb pours his heart out in this short tale. There is a lot of emotional angst peppered around Bucky’s unbridled enthusiasm. Many view Steve and Bucky as the best of friends or brothers. I see them more as father and son even though the age difference is minimal. Mr. Loeb experienced the loss of his son three years prior. Perhaps I’m stretching a bit here since there is no specific named “Sam” like in other works. Bucky’s hero worship of Steve is heart-wrenching since the dramatic irony of his ultimate destiny is known to all but himself. White symbolizes innocence and purity. Despite having ‘Captain America’, the focus is on James Buchanan Barnes.

Tim Sale employs smooth pencil shading that gives a very noir feeling to this comic. He is a fan fave and award-winning collaborator with Mr. Loeb on this fourth Marvel Knights entry. Bucky is a string bean compared to the honed, refined physique of his ‘elder’ Steve Rogers. He is a kid at heart as well as frame.

Personally, I cannot wait for September to roll around. The saga continues albeit a short one L I never imagined in a thousand years that Bucky would return to the Marvel Universe proper.

Captain America #0

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