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Captain America: The First Avenger (***)
directed by Joe Johnston
written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, from the comic book by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Principal Cast
Chris Evans -- Captain America / Steve Rogers
Hayley Atwell -- Peggy Carter
Sebastian Stan -- James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes
Tommy Lee Jones -- Colonel Chester Phillips
Hugo Weaving -- Johann Schmidt / Red Skull
Dominic Cooper -- Howard Stark
Richard Armitage -- Heinz Kruger
Stanley Tucci -- Dr. Abraham Erskine
Samuel L. Jackson -- Nick Fury
Toby Jones -- Dr. Arnim Zola
Neal McDonough -- Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Captain America: The First Avenger They killed Bucky! No, just kidding. I mean, of course they killed Bucky, but they always kill Bucky.

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Captain America in a simpler time, World War II, when comic book stories were complete in one issue, or even had several stories in one issue. There was very little continuity, and one story was a lot like the next. In this relatively limited medium, though, Simon and Kirby were the best. Lots of Nazi-busting action, fists and shields flying out of the panels.

When, a generation later, in the Marvel Age of Comics, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decided to bring Captain America back to life, their first tentative attempt was pathetic -- a fake in an old Captain America costume appeared in the Human Torch story in Strange Tales 114, November 1963. The next revival of the character was really a flashback. Cap appeared with Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandoes in the last issue of that comic book, #13, December 1963, in a World War II story. Then, the real revival of Captain America took place in The Avengers #4, March 1964 and the rest, as they say, is history. Before long Cap had his own series in Tales of Suspense and then his own comic book. The Jack Kirby stories were the best.

The new Captain America movie has a lot of comic book references, but I imagine a moviegoer who doesn't know Dum Dum Dugan from Dixie Dugan will still enjoy the film. Tommy Lee Jones adds gravitas and the whole production is done with style, and not a hint of camp.

Of course there's a credit cookie.

Copyright © 2011 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at

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