Friday, March 27, 2009


Summer 1973. Captain America just accidentally got himself some super-strength after a fight with the Viper, and Cap's partner, the Falcon, the coolest guy in comics, ever, even cooler than Luke Cage, did not. But that doesn't mean that Falcon is to be trifled with. Especially when it comes to the lllllllaye-ed-ayz.

Leila Taylor is the mod, hep mama he has his eye on. She has a huge afro and dresses like she beat up Pam Grier and stole her drawers. I love her SO. MUCH.

But Leila no likey that Falcon is hardly ever around, what with him protecting humanity from all the super-threats posed to it. So she flits around other guys, like Rafe Michel, a low-level thug and street hustler, whose Afro is not as big as Leila's, but whose facial hair and sunglasses suggest a thinking man's Dick Roundtree.

So Falcon is all like, I'm sick of being alone, and so he swoops down into the streets of Harlem and takes back his woman. And this is BEFORE he had wings with which to swoop. He used to get around town with a very cool hawk-y grappling-hook-rope thingie, way before Batman stole and adapated it for his 90s Animated Series.

I still have this comic at home in Newark. That scene is burned into my brain, and for years I actually thought that this was how real men conducted themselves in regards to women. Maybe they did, once. Sure makes for a cooler scene this way. No one would want to see Falcon and Rafe engaging in passive-aggressive verbal digs and agreeing to disagree and then Rafe buys Falcon a Lazy Susan.

It all comes to a head in the next issue, which has, hands down, THE best fight scene ever in a comic, ever, because Sal Buscema is a friggin' demigod and his art, then and now, pops and radiates with energy and clarity. Sal is a WAY underappreciated force in modern comics storytelling, but his influence is everywhere.

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