Due to the overwhelming lack of response, I have decided after a long break to resume this crucial artistic inquiry. Since I have no acceptable reproductions of Captain America #6, I’ve decided to skip the entire issue and carry on with number seven, which is just as well considering that issue six doesn’t particularly inspire me. What I like in particular about issue seven is that my second favorite Captain America artist, Al Avison does a good deal of work on the series beginning more or less with this issue. He did quite a bit earlier on in #4 and 5, but this issue is when it seems to me he really kicks it into high gear.
The splash page is nearly all Kirby, with a delightfully grotesque symbolically huge figure of the Red Skull, and tiny figures of Cap and Bucky trying to thwart him. It is a fantastic composition and is beautifully colored in lurid Golden Age hues, the like of which will probably never be seen again. There is something about the juxtaposition of the blue violet, red blue and pale green that so powerfully evokes a period.
Page two above appears to me to be pretty loose Kirby layouts finished mostly by Avison. I particularly enjoy the jagged panel layouts and the transition between panels three and four with the overlapping briefcase leading to the reclining figure in the chair. Jim Vadeboncoeur feels that the layout and art is all Avison, and I have to agree that the first two panels are pretty weak, but I believe it’s all still loose Kirby. For me, details like the thug’s open hand in panel five are a giveaway.
The final panel with the angled drawing of the leering Skull is a beaut, and possibly inked by Kirby. I also see crosshatched inking in the final two panels. Could this be evidence of George Klein’s inking. Again, the colors are wonderful, especially the light violet. I’m so pleased to have these actual scans to work with.
Page three above is much stronger and opens with some nicely drawn Kirby art, starting with a foreshortened dead body breaking the panel borders and continuing with the clever sequence of a newspaper blowing around for several panels until it lands on Steve Rogers’ pants’ leg. Again, the inking looks to me to be done mostly by Avison.
Skipping page four, we see Bucky and Steve decked out in “Gay Nineties” costumes for the Camp Lehigh play as the plot thickens on page five. This page also seems to be Kirby layouts with Avison inks. There is a nice overlapping of figures going on the the last four panels and a classic butt shot in panel five.
To be Continued.