leave that oversized baby alone!

Remembering a comic i’ve read 26 years ago

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Spoiler for a 30 year old comic in the following text.
Around 1990 my brother and i inherited a box full of comics. Most of them Marvel and DC issues translated and repacked into digest sized collections by then active german publisher Condor. Among them was Captain America Taschenbuch Nr.1.

cap1

It collected the issues 305 to 313 of the US Captain America comics, which were published around 1986. Like all the other comics in the box, we read this one from cover to cover until it came apart. This book also got confiscated because i read it during religious education[1]. But why this particular book stuck with me was because of issue no.313: Modok Screams Bloody Murder[2].
In the issue, Bushmaster and Daimondback of the Serpent Society are diving to a submarine used by AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics, another villainous organization in the Marvel Universe) and discover that MODOK was hiding there. They engage in battle.

At this point in my comic reading life, i was aware that no tears should have been spilled over whoever lost the battle, but nontheless i was startled by the actions taken to ensure Modok would not leave the craft alive and how helpless the character was without his chair.

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Modok manages to save his hide, but with his chair badly damaged he hides in the hanger of a parked truck.
Bushmaster was severly damaged in the fight and Daimondback contacts the Serpent Society which starts the hunt.

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The thing that grabbed me here was Princess Python and Death Adder in the fourth panel one the lower right corner. It must be very dangerous to hang around in elevator shafts with trenchcoats instead of a rather slim fitting outfit.
Meanwhile, Captain America visits his hotline’s offices to look who needs his aid and learns of a hacker. When investigating who tried to manipulate the line, he learns that a few computer savy people just wanted to help him filter and prioritize the calls that come in and makes him aware of reports about an extraterrestrial craft. Cap investigates and stumbles upon the Serpent Society agents that have Modok cornered in a Mall.
Cap engages in battle, which reminds us of the time this comic was written.

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It would be a shame to send off such a hunk. And lust becomes her undoing.
The next two pages “haunt” me to this day.

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cap6

They killed Modok. That was something that i did not yet encounter in comics. At the most, people got wounded badly but recovered. Today we make a snide remark about the death of a comic character in a mainstream title, and since then Modok has seen the ink of a printer again and again, with his depiction in Ales Kot’s run on Secret Avengers being one of my favourties.

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I guess what i’m trying to say is, that this was one of the moments where something i read provoked a genuine emotional reaction. And it’s echo still rings with almost the same intensity into the present,where it’s being heard by a more seasoned set of ears.

And to bring this whole thing full circle, here’s Modok’s first appearance from Tales Of Suspence no.94 by the King, Jack Kirby and the guy who exploited a lot of talented people.

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[1] A class you had to participate in if you were christened and your parents valued their freedom, which is strange considering the churches were nonetheless filled with the same people on sundays. And none of them were memebers of my schoolmates families.
[2] Modok auf der Flucht in german which translates to Modok On the Run

screenshots taken from digital version for review purposes, copyright lies with the respective owners

Author: Monkey

Passes for an adult, but his mind is being held hostage by a ten year old version of himself.

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