Review of Stan Lee's Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge
By: David K. Montoya

With the recent passing of comic book legend Stanley Martin Lieber or as we the world knew him, the great Stan Lee. While, he was not a painter or (what is called in the professional comic book field) a penciler, Lee was an artist. A classic wordsmith from the beginning and wherein, I will attempt to examine him and his work as I would say Keith Haring's creations.

A then known as Stanley Lieber began his journey with Marvel when it was branded as Timely Comics back in the 1930s and a low level office boy. It would be in 1941, then Editor (and Co–Creator of Captain America) Joe Simon needed a couple of pages to fill his up–and–coming publication and turned to eighteen year old, Lieber to pen what was called Fill–in Pages for Captain America #3.

For those who do not know, created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in response to the anti–semitism and, of course, the United States entering World War II the previous year of the said publication's release. If you had ever seen an old comic book cover with a different looking Captain America punching Adolf Hitler in the face, that was the cover art to Captain America #1.


Back to Stan.

It was May during the time of production for issue number three of the comic and while it would still be six months (roughly) before the US would enter the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Stanley decided against using the word Nazi, but hinted to who they were. That would be his first published work titled Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge, and would also be the debut of Stan Lee. He did not want to use his real name, because of the stigma one would get back then or even today if you are Bill Maher.

Reading through the tale the title captures the main elements of the story as it beautifully portrays military bravery and even betrayal. It was quite clear that those elements were in the forefront of him mind while he crafted the story.

If you are a comic book fan of today, you would notice that this was something different from what you are used to in this day–and–age. It was a two page story, but, not a two paged comic story with panel to panel artwork. In fact, there was only two panels—at the beginning of the story there was a what appeared rushed quarter panel of Captain America socking a man dressed in green suit and red tie and there was a person in the background fast asleep. It almost felt like an ode to the cover of their first issue—as if they new that that tiny two page add–on story would be special several decades later.

They other panel would be on page two with Bucky (Captain America's Sidekick) standing over two bad guys who were tied up, and that was it for art work. In fact, it was… wait for it… It was actually a short story (bet you all see my motivation in reviewing this particular piece).

I suggest that you give it a quick read, as it read more like a story found inside a pulp magazine rather than within the pages of a Captain America comic book. It was such a blast to travel back to that time, the neat thing about written word it is always changing and evolving—to see how we write and speak today as to seventy–seven years ago.

In closing, I want to honor his passing back on the 12th of November. While I could had easily talked about your creations for Marvel, I wanted to focus on his ability to tell a story. While the world saw Stan Lee as a creator and businessman—I myself see him as a writer first.

"I always figure I'm not unique, and something that would please me hopefully would please a lot of other people that have the same tastes that I do." – Stan Lee

Thank you, Stan.