My Nerd-life Crisis

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

I have lived my entire adult life in defiance of 1 Corinthians 13:11. Today I turn fifty-two years old. I don’t say that as an appeal for presents (although I would never turn down presents), and I don’t say that because 52 is some significant milestone. I say it because, sometime, somewhere in the course of the past few months — something happened.

Case In Point 1: Dinosaurs In Motion 

There’s an exhibit now on display at the St. Louis Science Center called “Dinosaurs In Motion.” It features giant metal sculptures of dinosaur skeletons that you can manipulate with levers and pulleys.

And I couldn’t care less.

imagesI know. I don’t get it either. Normally I’d be all over this thing. A few years ago I would’ve been first in line to pull switches to make a fake T-Rex shake his head. Now, I dunno. If someone gave me tickets, I’d go. But I can’t imagine spending my own $12 on such a thing. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by too many hours of dinosaurs on cable TV. Maybe I’ve been burned too many times by movies like “Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie.” Maybe I’m tired of waiting on science to get its act together and clone me some real dinos.

Or maybe I’m just getting old.

Case In Point 2: St. Louis Wizard World II

Remember last year how excited I was that Wizard World was bringing a full-blown comic convention to St. Louis? Remember how I spent two days covering it and how depressed I was when a late-season snowstorm blew in and I missed day three?

Did you notice I didn’t write word one about the event this year?

The trouble began when I submitted my press credentials — same as last year — but this time I was rejected. Apparently their first year they were so desperate for attention that they’d take anyone, but now that they know St. Louis is full of nerds, only the Real Media gets free passes now.

So I had to ask myself: Did I really want to spend anywhere from $40-$100+ to wander up and down the packed aisles of a football field filled with merchandise, people in poorly fitting costumes and maybe catch a glimpse at one of the has-beens or soon-to-be has-beens of nerd culture?

No, not really.

I had pretty much made up my mind not to attend when my wife insisted — nay, demanded — that I go. That’s the state of my life right now. My wife is more concerned about me attending a comic convention than I am. I finally agreed to go Friday night in large part to get her off my back.

1888891_655976484440350_1223228232_oI walked in behind a woman dressed as Hawkeye, which I took to be a good sign. As I entered the already crowded convention center at 4 p.m. (it opened at 3) I was momentarily overwhelmed by the claustrophobic sense of concentrated nerd. “I don’t belong here,” I thought. Nerd-dom has always been a private thing for me. None of my friends growing up read comic books, so I never had that sense of camaraderie that these people have.

I eventually shook it off and wandered around for three hours. The cosplay wasn’t as good as last year, but all the A-talent probably showed up Saturday. I caught a glimpse of William Shatner and some other celebs I have since forgotten. Felt sorry for Burt Ward seeing him at his empty booth right next to Adam West’s busy one. Picked up a nice Hawkeye print by Carlo Pagulayan. He even put down his sandwich to sign it.

I grudgingly admit I had a good time. But not good enough to go back the next two days.

All this got me thinking: Have I lost my nerd edge? Have I finally grown up? What do I do now? I still don’t like cars or sports or hunting. Isn’t it too late to take up those hobbies at this age?

But I haven’t given it all up. I still get excited by the latest comic book movie. I’ve become addicted to reading comics on the Ipad. I’d rather wear my Avengers T-shirt than anything else in my wardrobe.

So I thought some more. It’s not just nerd stuff I’ve grown tired of. Billy Joel was in town last week and I stayed home. I don’t need to see him sing “You May Be Right” another time, especially at today’s outrageous ticket prices. There’s a new Springsteen album but I can’t be bothered to download it off Freegal Music. I still haven’t bought those Monkees tickets.

Is this all there is? What was all the fuss? Why did I bother?

Oh, and then there’s the health issues.

I have remained relatively healthy for 52 years despite never exercising and eating crap because I never go to the doctor. Doctors, after all, are in the business of finding things wrong with you. The last time I saw the doctor was two years ago when I collapsed in pain at LawyerCon and had to have surgery for kidney stones. I haven’t seen my doctor or my urologist since.

So about four months ago my left shoulder starts bothering me. Dull pain with occasional bursts of shout-out-loud piercing agony. I put up with it for as long as my wife will let me, then go to the doctor. He pokes around, takes some blood and has me pee in a cup.

The next thing I know I’m going to Metro-Imaging for an ultrasound on Tuesday, then back again for an MRI on Saturday, then he wants me to call my urologist and talk to him (who will schedule more tests)  and then come back in two weeks. I didn’t bother to show him the rash on my right leg as I’m sure that will lead to me having to find a dermatologist. Did I mention there’s no sick time at my job?

I decided I’d had enough. I had done it all in 52 years. All I wanted to do anyway.

Time to cash in.

I figured I’d better share my plan with my spiritual guru and movie-going buddy, Paul.

“You’re not going to do that.”

“Why not?”

“Well, for one thing, you’d miss the next Avengers movie.”

“OK. There is that.”

“And then there’s the Ant-Man movie, and probably another Thor movie, maybe a Black Widow movie. How stupid would you feel if you killed yourself and the next day they announced they were making a Hawkeye film? You’d be kicking yourself in the grave.”

“So my continued existence hinges entirely on Marvel Studios?”

“There’s also Batman/Superman. And the new Star Wars movies.”

“OK, besides movies what is there to live for?”

“I’m sure there’s other things. What about your son?”

“Oh, he’d be confused for a day or two but then he’d get over it.”

“What about your wife?”

“She’d be so much better off. She could finally find a man who enjoys Shakespeare and Jane Austen movies and the works of the Impressionists.”

“There is no such man. Or at least, not one that’s interested in women.”

“She always talks about joining the convent after I die.”

“i thought the convent was closing.”

“Oh yeah. Wait — her friends have been talking about starting up a food-truck business near a beach somewhere. She’ll be fine.”

“There’s no Mexican Villa in the afterlife. Or Coca-Cola.”

“I probably won’t be hungry in the afterlife.”

“What about Joelfest 2017? Who will host it if you’re not there?”

“Liz can handle it.”

“Look, Ronnie, I get it. You’re more than halfway to 100 and know you probably aren’t going to reach it. Your career imploded and you can’t find an equivalent replacement job because you’re too old and your resume is five years out of date. Your St. Louis friends are fickle and your old friends and family are too far away. Your hobbies are starting to bore you. Your body is falling apart. Does that about cover it?”

“Pretty much.”

“Well that’s no reason to cash in your chips. You have a son that makes you smile every day. You work with people the rest of the world would just as soon forget about. Some people like you. You live in a peaceful, prosperous country where no one’s trying to kill you. And you have a wife who is far, far, far, far better than you deserve.

But that’s just the basics. Every day is new. You don’t know what’s coming around the bend. Could be more suck, could be something great. Remember last week when you saw ‘Once’ and it was really much better than you expected? Stuff like that. Why, you could win the lottery tomorrow and everything would change.”

“I don’t play the lottery.”

“Could you shut up for 5 seconds, I’m trying to make a point. See, life is like a roller coaster. There are ups and downs and twists and turns and sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s scary and sometimes it’s thrilling and sometimes it makes you sick. But you don’t get off the ride until it’s over. If you get off the ride early who knows what you’ll miss. And you can’t get back on because the line is like at Disneyland.”

“I’m pretty sure ‘Parenthood’ used that whole roller-coaster analogy.”

“Fine. Wait. I’ve got it. Life is like a Marvel Studios movie.”

“Go on.”

“Let’s use ‘The Avengers’ as an example. You wouldn’t walk out of the theater while Thor and HULK are going at each other and the helicarrier is about to crash, would you?”

“Of course not. That’s crazy talk.”

“And you wouldn’t leave in the middle of The Avengers battling the Chitauri for the fate of the planet.”

“No.”

“Exactly. You wait until the movie’s over. Once the credits start, then you leave.”

“No, that’s not right. If you leave then you’ll miss the after-credits scene with Thanos.”

“Oh, right. So you stay for the after-credits scene but then you leave once the scrolling credits begin. Who cares who the key grip was, right?”

“No. You have to stay through the scrolling credits or you’ll miss the schwarma scene. You can’t go until the movie is absolutely over and the ushers are impatiently waiting on you to leave because otherwise you’ll miss the schwarma scene and…

Sayyyy, I see what you did there. Well played, Mr. Kennedy. You’re pretty profound for an art teacher.”

“Well, I also coach track and field.”

“Is this movie every going to start?”

shawarma-avengers

 

On Stage: Once

Back in 2007 I rented a movie called “Once,” a low-key independent film about a musician and the woman who turns his life around. It had received a great deal of acclaim and was indeed a pretty good movie.

The film went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly,” but my personal favorite song — and moment in the film — is when our hero is in the studio laying down a recording of “When Your Mind’s Made Up.” I remember going back to that scene more than once before I returned the disc to Blockbuster.

In 2012 a stage version was brought to Broadway where it went on to win eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. The touring production made its way to St. Louis this week and is now playing at the Fox Theatre.

“Once” is a fresh, unique musical that in many respects outshines the original film.

"Once" tour company. Photo by Joan Marcus

“Once” tour company. Photo by Joan Marcus

Even before the show starts you find this will be an unusual evening of theater. The scenery is set up like an Irish pub and the audience are welcomed to come up on stage and look it over. Shortly before showtime the cast (all musicians) join the patrons milling around and begin to perform folk standards. The audience slowly returns to their seats while this is going on. It’s not clear when exactly the preshow ends and the musical proper begins.

“Once” is the simple story of singer/songwriter Guy (Stuart Ward), who is giving up on his dreams of being a musician in the wake of his girlfriend leaving Dublin for New York.  Guy meets Girl (Dani de Waal), who encourages and inspires him to pick the guitar back up and give it another try.

And that’s really it. There are no multiple love stories or hidden agendas or mistaken identities to fill the space. Just a guy and a girl and their family and friends and the music that they make.

And what music. “Once” features a string of lovely songs, from the acerbic “Leave” that opens the show to the popular “Falling Slowly” to what was once again the standout for me — “When Your Mind’s Made Up.” Another highlight is the ensemble piece “Gold,” performed once as a showstopper to end Act One and later in a quieter a capella version.

The show features an outstanding cast, who not only must sing and act but also perform their own instruments. The small cast/orchestra rarely leave the stage, sitting off to the side in the moments they are not acting. The leads — Ward and De Waal — do terrific work, with Ward having an exceptionally powerful voice.

A final word should be said about the clever way the show is staged. The set is an Irish pub but the characters move from place to place simply by moving tables and chairs around and the power of imagination. It’s low-key and effective.

“Once” is a delightful evening of theater that proves you don’t have to be big and bombastic to deliver an impressive musical show.

“Once” runs through April 20 at the Fox Theatre. http://www.fabulousfox.com/ 

 

 

Read More About It: Captain America

We wind up Captain America week with a listing of comics starring the good captain that you might enjoy reading. To be honest, this is going to be a short list because I’m not a big fan of Captain America comics.

Unknown-2I’ve checked Cap’s book out now and then over the years but never stick with it. I think my favorite Cap story is the one from the ’70s where he quit being Captain America for about three issues and became The Nomad. I quit reading when he went back to being Cap. I get my Cap fix from reading “The Avengers.”


If you want to start at the very beginning, there’s “Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America, Vol. 1.” Keep in mind that comics from the 1940s are very, very dated. And simplistic and crude. And where Cap is concerned, pretty much war propaganda. I don’t know how many volumes there are, but if you make it through the first one and enjoy it you can probably hunt up the others.

Unknown-1As far as Silver Age Cap is concerned (1960s-’70s), the cheapest bet is always the Marvel Essentials line. You get a ton of stories in a large paperback. The downside is it’s in black and white. The upside is you can give them to your kids for coloring books when you’re finished.

If you must have color, you can get the same stories through the Marvel Masterworks line but it will cost you. The Masterworks are available in paperback and hardcover and the hardcovers will really cost you.

The Cap story I was referring to earlier is available in “Captain America by Steve Englehart, Vol. 1: Secret Empire,” although I suspect the Nomad stories are in Vol. 2. Vol. 1 has the X-Men in it, which is pretty cool as they were on the outs back in those days.

Unknown-3I’m going to fast-forward through the ’80s and ’90s as I don’t think those were quality times for Steve Rogers. I believe one of the stories from that age was the Cap-Wolf story where Cap turns into a werewolf. I haven’t read it but how good could it be?

 

In recent years I’ve bought Cap books when the artist appealed to me. John Cassaday did a short run following 9/11 so you can imagine what it was about. I don’t really remember the story too well. Steve McNiven also did a few issues that looked really nice. Again, I don’t remember the story.

91+zxkxM7dL._SL1500_Writer Ed Brubaker did a long, well-respected run on “Captain America” recently. the Winter Soldier story that the new movie is based on was based on one of Brubaker’s stories. Several volumes of his work are available, including “Winter Soldier.” It’s available in several different formats.

And that should get you started on the road to reading “Captain America.” I hope you enjoyed Cap Week and now I think I’ll take a week off.

 

At The Movies: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Marvel Studios continues to get it more right than wrong with its ninth film, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” At this point, Marvel has a better track record with their movies than with the comic books that inspired them.

Based on a story by Ed Brubaker, “Winter Soldier” picks up with Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America a.k.a. Chris Evans) adjusting to life in the 21st Century — living in Washington, D.C., and working for S.H.I.E.L.D.  One morning while running laps around the city he meets and befriends a fellow veteran, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie).

Capt2-Payoff-1-Sht-v8-Lg-c563dBefore they can finish chatting, Rogers is whisked away by co-worker Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. Black Widow a.k.a. Scarlett Johansson) for a mission to rescue a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship from pirates. The mission is a success but when Cap discovers Natasha is busy with her own secret agenda on the boat, he confronts S.H.I.E.L.D. chief Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).  Cap doesn’t like all the secrecy (which begs the question of why he went to work for a spy agency instead of going back to the army) at which point Fury reveals an even bigger project designed to give freedom-lovers the willies: three helicarriers linked to satellites with the capabilities to single out and eliminate hundreds of threats at once.

The next day, an attempt on Fury’s life by a mystery assassin known as The Winter Soldier (a.k.a. Sebastian Stan a.k.a. But That Would Be Telling)  leads to even further division between Cap and S.H.I.E.L.D. Pretty soon it’s Captain America, Black Widow and Sam Wilson (who also happens to have a code name — The Falcon — which comes with a cool set of wings) against the world.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, “The Winter Soldier” is much more action-packed, fast-paced and explosive than its predecessor, “The First Avenger.” While the first Captain America film was seeped in World War II nostalgia, the new film plays out more like a modern spy thriller.

Evans continues to prove why he’s such a fine choice for the straight-laced Steve Rogers; he’s earnest and committed without coming across as corny. Jackson’s Fury maintains that air of mystery so essential to his role as top spy. This is the biggest role yet for Black Widow in a Marvel film yet and Johansson continues to do the role proud.

As the newcomers, Mackie makes for a decent partner for the Captain; Robert Redford gives the film gravitas as Fury’s boss; and Emily VanCamp is brought in as a potential love interest but isn’t given enough screen time to develop her character.

The action is frenetic with intense and brutal fight scenes. The plot is a bit of a mess but I’m more interested in the characters than whatever bad guy scheme they have to put down. And like many good Captain America stories there’s a political issue raised for those who like those kinds of post-movie discussions.

While it’s not “The Avengers,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is one of the strongest entries in the Marvel series so far. As always, stick around for the post-credits scene and the other post-credits scene.

 

Before You Go: The Winter Soldier

Welcome back to “Before You Go,” the sometimes column in which I go over everything you need to know before checking out tomorrow’s big nerd movie — in this case “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Now since everyone one here has seen “Captain America: The First Avenger” I shouldn’t have to spend any time going over Cap’s origin. The movie did a very good job of hewing to the original story. If you haven’t seen “Captain America: The First Avenger” or even “The Avengers” yet — well, what the hell’s wrong with you? Why are you even here? Go get caught up.

Instead, this installment will focus on new players The Winter Soldier and The Falcon. I’m about to spoil the identity of The Winter Soldier right now but you should’ve figured it out already from the many commercials that have been airing for months. Still, if you haven’t you might want to skip over this next section.

detail

Sidekick 1

Back in the Golden Age, when comics were young, sidekicks were all the rage. Robin is the best known but pretty much every superhero of the 1940s had a young protegé that followed them around and usually had to be rescued. The idea was that young people would relate to the sidekick, but I can’t imagine why any kid would want to daydream about being captured all the time and having to be saved by their hero.

buckyCaptain America’s sidekick was young Bucky Barnes. James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes was the mascot at U.S. Army Camp Lehigh (an orphan boy whose father was a soldier who died in a training accident at the camp). One day as Steve Rogers is in his tent changing into his Captain America suit, Bucky comes barging in. Rather than kill the young intruder for discovering his secret, Cap makes Bucky his partner.

Cap and Bucky fight Nazis throughout the war years and then things get kinda muddy.  Nobody knew what to do with Cap after the war and eventually he and Bucky wound up in comic book limbo.

By the 1960s Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were on a roll, creating a number of new superheroes that would be the backbone of the Marvel Universe. Stan wanted to bring Captain America out of retirement but there was a catch: Stan hated sidekicks. So when the captain was revived in the fourth issue of “The Avengers,” Bucky did not come with him. In fact, Bucky was blown up in the rocket accident that sent Steve Rogers into deep freeze.

Av4BuckyExplodedCap would spend most of the ’60s grieving over his lost partner (all Marvel heroes needed something to angst about). Now as we all know, death doesn’t have the same permanence in the comic book world as it does in the real world — but Bucky’s death was such a powerful moment in the Captain America story that it was eventually decreed that Barnes’ death would be one of the Three Great Unalterable Deaths of Marvel Comics. (The first being the death of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben and the second being the death of Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy).

And such was the case until 2005, when “Captain America” writer Ed Brubaker brought the character back to life as The Winter Soldier. It turns out Bucky didn’t die in that rocket explosion and his near-dead body was found by the Russians. The Russians pieced him back together, brainwashed him, and turned him into a lethal assassin with the inexplicable code name “Winter Soldier” (the name probably can be explained but I can’t be bothered to look it up).

And that’s probably all you need to know about Bucky. In the movies he’s not portrayed as a teenager but as Steve’s best friend from back home.

Sidekick 2

In 1969 as the Civil Rights movement was in full swing, someone at Marvel noticed that they didn’t have an African-American superheroes. And lo, The Falcon was born.

Captain_America_Vol_1_117Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, Falcon made his debut in “Captain America” 117. Like so many Marvel heroes that have been around a long time, Sam Wilson’s origin story is a long and complex thing and has been revamped over the years. Chances are the movie people won’t touch the whole social worker/thug/pimp/mutant/non-mutant mess that is The Falcon’s back story.

The Falcon’s power is that he can talk to birds, most specifically his pet falcon Redwing. He couldn’t fly in the beginning but he was later given a set of wings by the Black Panther. Falcon became Cap’s partner shortly after his debut and for many years the title was known as “Captain America and the Falcon.”

(Falcon fans hate it when you refer to him as a sidekick, but let’s be honest: They didn’t call the book “The Falcon and Captain America” and when one of them had to go, it wasn’t Cap.)

In the 1980s Sam joined The Avengers in a story that had the government take over the team and add Falcon to the roster for Affirmative Action reasons. It was not the most auspicious way to join an elite superhero squad and he didn’t stay long. He did rejoin later under better circumstances. He is currently on the rather bloated Avengers roster, continues to be a supporting character on occasion in “Captain America” and is a featured member of the “Avengers Assemble” cartoon.

And that’s all you need to know…before you go.

How Red, White And Blue Are You?

This same quiz was given out in the ’50s to see how good an American you were. Let’s see if you pass the test.

tumblr_lz3u19tQoH1qbgo38o1_12801. Captain America made his debut in:

(c) Captain America Comics 1

2. True/False: Captain America was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

False. Cap was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

3. Captain America’s shield is made out of:

(d) an experimental alloy of steel and Vibranium. Many people think it’s a mix of Adamantium (what Wolverine’s claws are made of) and Vibranium, but Adamantium wasn’t invented until the mid-60s.

AllWinners214. What super team did Captain America serve on that was published in the 1940s

(a) The All Winners Squad. The Invaders was another WWII group that Cap was part of, but it was a retcon created in the 1970s. 

5. Who of the following has NOT been Captain America:

(b) John Hancock. Steve Rogers is the only one who matters.

6. Who of the following has NOT been Cap’s sidekick Bucky:

(e) Tim Drake. I’m not sure if Rick Jones was ever called Bucky, but he ran around with Cap in a Bucky suit briefly so I’m counting it.

Avengers_Vol_1_47. True/False: Captain America is a founding member of The Avengers

False. Cap joined the team in Avengers 4. He does, however, have “founders status,” which is what happens when one of your founders is as unreliable at attending meetings as the HULK.

8. Sharon Carter, Agent 13 with S.H.I.E.L.D., is also:

(c) a or b, depending on when you read Captain America comics. Peggy Carter, you’ll recall, was Cap’s love interest during the war. When he woke up from the ice in the early ’60s, Sharon was introduced as Peggy’s younger sister so she could be Cap’s love interest. What with the unfortunate passing of time it is no longer feasible for Sharon to be Peggy’s little sis and still be in her 20s-30s, so now she’s Peggy’s niece.

9. True/False: J.D. Salinger’s son Matt played Captain America in a 1990 movie that went straight to video.

True. It’s not a very good movie.

10. For many years the title of Captain America’s letters page was:

(b) Let’s Rap With Cap. An even better letter page header than Iron Man’s “Sock It To Shellhead.”

28cap17511. True/False: Steve Rogers gave up being Cap for a time in the ’70s after he learned Richard Nixon was running an evil organization.

Kinda/sorta true. During the Watergate era, Cap was busy fighting some bad guys known as the Secret Empire. Cap finally corners their leader, who pulls off his mask and blows his brains out. Cap is so shaken by this event that he briefly gives up being Captain America. It was pretty evident if you were reading the comic at the time who the bad guy really was.

12. After his resignation, Rogers briefly takes on a new superhero role as:

(c) Nomad

13. True/False: During the Marvel Civil War, Captain America was pro-superhero registration.

False. Iron Man was in favor of superheroes registering and working for the government; Cap was against it. 

14. True/False: Captain America never killed anyone during World War II

False, then True, then False. In the ’40s Cap is shown killing lots of Nazis. Then in the 1980s, Cap writer Mark Gruenwald decided it was bad form for the captain to be a killer so he retconned bombed the character’s past and had him claim he’d never taken a life during the war. Later writers agreed that was ridiculous and nowadays if there’s a flashback you’ll probably see Cap killing Nazis.

15. Complete the next line of the song lyric: When Captain America throws his mighty shield …

All those who chose to oppose his shield must yield.

16. The first African-American superhero in mainstream comic books was:

(b) The Falcon. Black Panther came before him but he’s African, not African-American.

17. What is The Falcon’s pet falcon’s name?

(a) Redwing

18. When he’s not Captain America, Steve Rogers works as:

(d) Captain America has no other life. Pretty much being Cap is a full-time job, but he did work as an artist for a time. 

19. True/False: Captain America was the first Marvel Comics character to be adapted to other media.

True. A movie serial based on Cap was made in the 1940s.

20. Captain America’s fan club in the 1940s was known as:

(b) Sentinels of Liberty

Score

20-16: You are a Sentinel of Liberty
15-10: You need a refresher course in Civics
9-5: It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it
4-0: You’re as dumb as Cap’s shield

 

Test Your Capology

You should know how this works by now. Twenty questions. Answers tomorrow. Show the world how well you know the Star Spangled Avenger.

1. Captain America made his debut in:

(a) Star Spangled Comics 1 (b) All Star Comics 39 (c) Captain America Comics 1 (d) Action Comics 12

kirby-capn2. True/False: Captain America was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

3. Captain America’s shield is made out of:

(a) Adamantium (b) Herculanium (c) Uru (d) an experimental alloy of steel and Vibranium

4. What super team did Captain America serve on that was published in the 1940s

(a) The All Winners Squad (b) The Allies (c) The Justice Society (d) The Invaders

5. Who of the following has NOT been Captain America:

(a) Bucky Barnes (b) John Hancock (c) William Naslund (d) Jeffrey Mace (e) Steve Rogers (f) William Burnside (g) John Walker

6. Who of the following has NOT been Cap’s sidekick Bucky:

(a) Bucky Barnes (b) Jack Monroe (c) Rick Jones (d) Rikki Barnes (e) Tim Drake

7. True/False: Captain America is a founding member of The Avengers

alan-davis-captain-america-no-9-cover-sharon-carter8. Sharon Carter, Agent 13 with S.H.I.E.L.D., is also:

(a) Peggy Carter’s little sister (b) Peggy Carter’s niece (c) a or b, depending on when you read Captain America comics.

9. True/False: J.D. Salinger’s son Matt played Captain America in a 1990 movie that went straight to video.

10. For many years the title of Captain America’s letters page was:

(a) Captain Ameri-mail (b) Let’s Rap With Cap (c) Star Spangled Missives (d) All American Mail

11. True/False: Steve Rogers gave up being Cap for a time in the ’70s after he learned Richard Nixon was running an evil organization.

12. After his resignation, Rogers briefly takes on a new superhero role as:

(a) The Captain (b) Iron Patriot (c) Nomad (d) Super Soldier

13. True/False: During the Marvel Civil War, Captain America was pro-superhero  registration.

14. True/False: Captain America never killed anyone during World War II

15. Complete the song lyric: When Captain America throws his mighty shield …

16. The first African-American superhero in mainstream comic books was:

(a) Black Panther (b) The Falcon (c) Black Lightning (d) Luke Cage, Power Man

250px-TheFalcon17. What is The Falcon’s pet falcon’s name?

(a) Redwing (b) Woodstock (c) Freedom (d) Challenger

18. When he’s not Captain America, Steve Rogers works as:

(a) bricklayer (b) accountant (c) artist (d) Captain America has no other life

19. True/False: Captain America was the first Marvel Comics character to be adapted to other media.

20. Captain America’s fan club in the 1940s was known as:

(a) Cap’s Clubhouse (b) Sentinels of Liberty (c) Cap’s Commandos (d) All Winners Squad