Celebrating Jack Kirby: A Look Back at His #104s

For this issue, Kirby was once again joined by his frequent collaborator, Stan Lee. Within the story, Cap was plagued by “nuclear tape” that the Red Skull had placed on the back of his neck in mag #103. As long as Cap had the tape attached to him, the Red Skull could induce debilitating headaches in his foe. And if Cap removed the tape, a bomb would take out our nation’s capital.

With no other options, Cap was forced to return to Exile Island and face the Red Skull’s lieutenants in battle. One by one, Gruning, Baldini, General Ching, Iron-Hand Hauptmann, Krushki, and Cadavus tried to put down the Sentinel of Liberty. And yet Cap prevailed over all of them, even the Red Skull.

It should be noted that Jim Steranko, a legendary artist in his own right, guest-inked a single page in this issue that featured an appearance by Nick Fury. The mix of Kirby and Steranko was a thing of beauty, and that page stands out as one of the best illustrations in the issue.

Naturally, the issue ended with Agent 13, AKA Sharon Carter, arriving with S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers to help rescue Cap and rout the Red Skull’s forces. Fittingly, Cap also vowed to confront tyranny wherever it might resurface.

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