Page eleven (not shown) is a bit of a throwaway, looking not much like Kirby or even Avison, which it probably is. The layout is neither strong nor dynamic. Page twelve above, which does seem to be finished by Avison, is considerably better and at least the first half is primo Kirby in layout. Cap’s three-quarter back shot in panel two sets up a very nice machine gun panoramic scene in panel three. These are far from being Kirby finishes, but the drawings are effective. Let me repeat how much I love the colors in these comics, with their lovely lurid violets, acid greens and deep reds.
Page thirteen above looks like a strong Kirby action layout, with its plethora of leaping and hyper-extended figures throughout the area. The slugfests in panels five through seven are especially enjoyable. There is a strong compositional connection between Bucky’s uppercut in panel five and Cap’s shield slam in panel six, creating the circular movement that takes us around the two separate groups of figures. The tie up of feet at the border of the two panels brings the eye to the pile-up in panel seven.
The large first panel of page fourteen above is a border violating wonder of forced perspective that is 100% Kirby at his best. Several years ago, in a Kirby Kinetics post, I featured this panel as an example of deep space projection, so I’ll just reprint my earlier quote.
“Early comic books usually used simplistic middle ground shots with very little experimentation. Kirby, an avid film goer who studied movies for artistic techniques as well as inspiration, began to incorporate what he had seen and internalized into his earliest work. He began to design his panels for maximum impact as in this large panel from Captain America #7, circa 1942. The extreme foreground figure of the Black Toad has virtually leaped out of the page and into your face. The orthogonal lines of the room lead backward accentuating the momentum of the forwardly mobile pose of Captain America. Bucky runs behind, pushing Cap forward and the supine figures draped below give him further momentum. The fact that the vanishing point of the composition is well below the panel border also gives Cap even more upward thrust.”
The final page is somewhat average and appears to be mostly Avison. So it’s on to the next story in the following entry.