Hi! I just finished the Hawkeye comic and I 'm going to start reading Cap America: White next. Being a big stucky fan, do you have a list of comics you could rec to me? Anything would be appreciated, thanks!
Oh, did you enjoy Hawkeye???
Also, fair warning: Cap: White and I have a love/hate relationship. It gets a little queerbait-y and creepy at times (since from the way Bucky is drawn, you can’t really tell that Steve is only 4 years older than him), but oh god the story is so full of feels!
And yes, I absolutely have recs for you!!! Get ready for a long post!!!
The short answer would be basically “Anything in which Bucky is even mentioned” because Steve has no chill when it comes to Bucky. A longer answer would be, in no particular order:
Captain America & Bucky: The Life Story of Bucky Barnes #620-624
A summary of Bucky’s life and his relationship with Steve, and a truly delightful stand-alone comic.
Captain America vol 5 #606-610
An arc in which Zemo tries to ruin Bucky’s life and Steve, Nat and Sam are not happy about it. Feat a lot of “Steve telling the world the fuck off because Bucky is his priority” moments, which are always gems.
Captain America #447-448
Steve is trapped in an alternative reality while Bucky tries to save him.
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield?
After Steve’s death in Civil War, Bucky becomes Captain America. Comics being comics, Steve comes back to life. And the two of them angst over who should be Captain America.
Captain America: Red, White & Blue: American Dream
Steve thinks about Bucky as he lies frozen before the Avengers find him. It’s 8 pages (or so) of FEELS.
What If #5… Captain America hadn’t vanished during World War Two
A Nobody Dies AU, with Bucky calling Steve an old man while Steve is literally like “BUCKY LOOK AT THE SIZE OF MY ARMS DO I LOOK LIKE AN OLD MAN TO YOU???” What’s not to love about it?
Paradise X #0
A really obscure AU tbh, and precious only because of a few panels, as far as Steve and Bucky are concerned. Long story short, Steve is an angel (literally) and Bucky throws a tantrum. There’s a hug involved.
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #12
A really cute stand-alone story about how Bucky influences Steve, since most comics tend to show how Steve influences Bucky.
Captain America Comics
The original vintage comics written during the actual WW2. It’s a little bizarre as far as plots go more often than not, and Bucky looks anything from “a little younger than Steve” to “6 years old” and that’s disturbing. But if you want Steve and Bucky being fluffy (and funny) without angst attached to it, these are your go-to comics.
The first arc Steve has in the comics after he’s found by the Avengers as a Capsicle. It has a lot to say about how much Steve grieves for Bucky, even to the point of making you wish he’d see a therapist ASAP. Bucky is dead, of course, so you don’t get to see him, but you get to see what I consider one of Steve’s lowest points - looking at a kid, going “You look like Bucky!!” and essentially trying to convince said kid to be Bucky, while yelling at him whenever he tries to be Bucky because nobody will ever be like Bucky. It’s… worrying.
The entire Brubaker run. You can get the reading order/list here.
Some of it overlaps with some previous recs. Most of it is told in Bucky’s POV, and you truly get just how much Steve matters to him just by seeing how he can’t seem to go more than a couple of issues without thinking about Steve. It’s also a comic classic, so.
Hopefully this will keep you busy with feels for a while!!!
Let me know your thoughts on the comics as you read them <3
Edit: the awesome @buckbuckbuck reminded me for some weird reason I forgot to rec Planet Hulk, which is an angsty gladiator AU basically and Very Relevant when it comes to Steve and Bucky!
At long last the resolution of Congress giving Lafayette a division was communicated to the commander-in-chief. Washington called the marquis to him and announced the glad news. A division at last! Whatever doubts Lafayette had ever had about staying in America vanished immediately…. What a full year it had been only those who knew him in France as a timid, awkward, and reticent boy could have guessed if they had seen him now–proud, confident, and respected.
Lafayette in America by Louis Gottschalk, Book 2, pg. 87.
In your opinion how would Superman fit into Marvel?
Conveniently, Marvel’s been trying to tell us themselves for years. The answer is “not well”.
I’m not talking about your Hyperions or Gladiators or latter-day Sentries; those guys are all cast in the Superman archetype, but none of them function in the same way or for the most part even really comment on him. Age of the Sentry on the other hand - and to a lesser extent the original Sentry miniseries - is an attempt at putting exactly the classic Superman in the Marvel Universe, and showing how ultimately the entire world would have to contort to serve his narrative. Superman could never be fully Superman in the Marvel Universe, because the Marvel Universe is built outwards from humanity’s first contact with the strange being a bunch of people screaming at a freak on fire in a tank, just as foundational as the DCU seeing the smiling guy in the cape for the first time. The heroes are all assholes in recovery and the people are all awful, and the narrative relies on that understanding so much as to render his influence relatively ineffectual; he fits fine in DC because DC was knowingly built around him, but here even if he inspired and uplifted people in his own book they’ll all still be shitheads everywhere else (i.e. the Captain America problem).
That’s pretty much the entire point of the Great Society arc in New Avengers: the rules the DCU and implicitly Superman operate on can’t be applied in full to how Marvel works. Yes, Superman/Sun God and his pals won’t ever give up on you and will always find a way to save the day, but that’s not enough to sway a bunch of hard-luck heroes from a world whose storytelling engine is built on failure, ego, and attempts to overcome personal inadequacy that will always set back to zero. The difference in short* is that the heroes in Marvel are desperate in a way Superman never can be, and they could never invest in him the trust his world is built on. If you build the story on Superman’s terms that just means a greater hurdle to overcome in making them better, but he has to share that world, and they aren’t all going to reconfigure to service him. The differences are too ingrained unless as with Sentry you rebuilt the entire universe for him.
The obvious answer then would be to retrofit him to fit the different universe, but Marvel’s been trying to do that for decades, and with most of those attempts you either get characters built around that contrast where they can’t really do anything else - like Hyperion, who serves his purpose well and is good for a oneshot or two but isn’t leading man material - or you get someone whose connection is ultimately ephemeral winking at the audience with no bearing on the story, like Gladiator. I’d only call two of the attempts real successes. You might know the first one.
I know I’ve harped on this more than once before, but try and tell me who I’m talking about here: there’s an orphaned nerd in glasses raised by elderly caretakers with the strength of ten men in a red and blue costume, who initially pursued a relationship with his pretty brunette coworker at his job at a great metropolitan newspaper where he trades on his connection to his alter ego, whose biggest enemy is a mad genius in green and purple. Everything’s the same (hell, his first use of his powers isn’t to sense danger or stick to anything, but to almost leap a tall building in a single bound) except that everything sucks and is completely different. He only has the (proportionate) strength of a bug rather than the alien power of a super man, he’s initially a dick, his boss hates him, his love interest only has eyes for his nerdy alter-ego, he’s the first Marvel hero who can’t either fly with relative convenience or leap miles at a time, and the death of his family is in fact totally his fault.** In much the same way as Martian Manhunter reads in concept like a 90s Vertigo/Wildstorm Superman pastiche 40 years early, Spider-Man comes off in the early days as the kind of monstrously cruel parody of the Superman ideal you’d see in the 80s from Pat Mills, every bit as much the logical endgame of MAD’s Superduperman as Watchmen. Maybe that’s the reason for Amazing Spider-Man #3′s infamous misprint where Doc Ock refers to the wall-crawler as Super-Man.
Still, Spider-Man undeniably grew far beyond whatever Superman comparisons might have initially been in place; while a lot of the details are the same, his personality and role in the world make it impossible to keep that going long-term. The other, more recent success not only goes a little more on-point, but actually does try and translate Superman’s narrative role to the Marvel Universe, to some really interesting results.
Starting out with Kevin Grevioux’s Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel miniseries, Adam Brashear began as a very simple idea: what if Superman had appeared in the Marvel Universe in the period between Captain America vanishing and the start of the heroic age with the Fantastic Four (specifically in the 60s, Marvel’s most iconic and now largely unpopulated period), but was rejected by the world when he was exposed as a black man, the most powerful man on Earth ordered to step down by the President to keep white America from imploding. It was a solid story that struck a major chord with readers, and Al Ewing pushed it further when he brought him back in Mighty Avengers.
Ewing cracked the code of how to put the Superman archetype in the Marvel Universe: make his story about how that kind of character doesn’t fit in comfortably. Marvel gets all the checkmarks - he’s a flying strong nice man in a cape who fights for the little guy and goes on wild adventures, with his own equivalents to the Fortress of Solitude, the Phantom Zone and Kryptonite, even if his origin by nature of being Marvel of course involves radiation and an experiment gone wrong (and I don’t think it’s a coincidence his powers are connected to antimatter, i.e. the opposite of what makes up the Marvel Universe) - but he’s never fully accepted by the world, even in the present. He’s not part of the Avengers group shots because he’s too busy helping people all over the world for their bullshit squabbling, and even when he does play in their space he doesn’t fit in. He’s a little too unyielding in his principles, his head’s a little too far over everyone else in the room without ego or neuroticism to keep him grounded, he won’t let the kind of moral indiscretions Tony Stark has built his entire modern career on slide. He’s too self-righteous for the heroes, the government considers him a rabble rouser, the people barely notice he exists even though he saves them all every day without them knowing it.
He works both in his own right and as a Superman analogue because he literalizes every complaint about the character Marvel invites; he’s too old and old-fashioned, too powerful, too righteous, too good to be accepted under the Marvel model of the universe. He’s both great and good, his heroism is never in question to the reader, but the very nature of what he is can’t be accepted by the larger universe. Which lets you have a Superman-type character having cool adventures at the edges of that world without disrupting how that world works, or leaving him too locked into how Superman functions to develop his own character. For that, and for Al Ewing just writing the hell out of him, he’s the closest we’ve ever seen to successfully putting Superman in the Marvel Universe without majorly altering or breaking either of them, by admitting the incongruities and building his stories around them.
** There’s some Batman in there too early on between the animal motif, utility belt, intelligence, swinging from buildings and murdered father figure, though just the same inverted into a penniless, dateless loser with the same age and temperament as the teenage sidekick rather than the real hero.
Well, no shit it was. England was male. Biologically he wasn’t even designed to be able to accommodate a baby, let alone conceive one.
Yet that didn’t really change matters because, when push came to shove, he was preggers, and it was by all accounts America’s fault somehow. Even the DNA test came back positive for a match, as fucked up as that was. What the hell did you have when two countries produced a baby? A micro-nation? A city? A human being? None of that seemed right.
You stretched out on your bed, content
on rolling back over and going to sleep in the early morning haze.
You’d just gotten back the evening before, from a grueling two week
assignment in China, which had given you plenty of nights to sneak in
with one another, and plenty of mornings to wake up with your
Soldier. But you’d found the marks, and killed them all, and now you
were back in Moscow, with a few days off, in your bed, alone.
Your arrangement had worked for the
both of you for a long time, but the more you were together, the
longer you stole glances and moments, the more each of you knew that
it wasn’t enough. You’d been thinking about it, and you knew James
had been thinking about it; running. Neither of you had
brought it up yet, but it was an undercurrent of every conversation,
every moment you spent in each others company. The life you lead now
and the life you wanted to lead, together, could never mesh. A
decision had to be made. You didn’t even know if you could have a
normal life, a functional relationship, an all the time romance. But
you had to try. You weren’t sure you’d be prepared; you didn’t know
where you would go or how you would hide so that Hydra nor Ivan would
find you. You knew you could disappear, slip off to Indonesia or
Latin America somewhere vanish; hiding the Soldier would be harder.
Hydra was everywhere. It seemed like an impossible feat, so neither
of you had brought it up yet.
England stared at the young nation before him. America hadn’t responded to any calls or messages for the past few days succeeding the World Meeting, and the British nation had started to get worried. So, having still been in DC, he had paid him a visit.
He had expected America to be sleeping. He had expected video games, movie marathons perhaps, or a spaceship in the yard and a rude grey alien seated in America’s living room. England wouldn’t have been surprised to see takeout containers; Chinese, McDonald’s, or even pizza boxes to be littering the floor.
He had not expected to find America a curled up, shivering, and sobbing lump under his sheets.
“…America?” he asked softly.
The lump shifted and England found himself faced with America’s red, tear-stained eyes. The sight was enough to send his heart stuttering painfully in his chest. Soon enough though, the face vanished and America resumed his previous position- though minus the shivering and sobbing.
“Go ‘way.” Alfred’s voice croaked from within the mass.
Shaking his head, England stepped forward and sat down gently on the edge of the bed. “America, tell me what’s wrong?”
“No.” England was stubborn. “Come now, tell me what’s got you in this state.”
A few more small sobs wrenched their way from beneath the sheets, though it sounded like America was trying to repress them, or at least keep them silent. Whichever it was, it didn’t work. “I…” The rest trailed off into mumbles.
England lightly tugged on the corner of the sheet, trying to get him to come out. “If you want me to hear you, you’ll have to speak up.”
The whole lump suddenly rose up as Alfred sat, the covers landing with a soft whump around his hips. The blond nation looked more a mess than England had expected. His hair was a rat’s nest, Nantucket now only one of countless strands sticking up all over the place, and it seemed he hadn’t changed clothing since the meeting. (England wrinkled his nose slightly- that suit had seen its last outing.) His cheeks were puffy and red, and a multitude of tearstains lined his cheeks. There wasn’t any evidence in the room that he’d eaten at all, or even left the bed.
“America…” England murmured, lifting a hand to America’s cheek.
The younger nation turned his face away. “I’m failing.” he whispered.
“I’m failing!” America screamed, fresh tears dripping down his face. “It’s all a damn illusion, I’m a horrible nation, I can’t solve anything, I-I’m not…”
The breath left England in a rush. “Not…?” he uttered quietly.
“Not a h-hero.”
It fell into place in the Brit’s mind. The last meeting, things had heated up between America, Russia, China, one or two more of the European countries, and a few from Africa and the Middle East. Combined, they had all ripped into America, criticizing his every move over the past few years and adding some quite hateful insults to boot. England himself had tried to come to his defense, but America didn’t let him, and the British nation had received some glares as he sat down. America had tried to defend himself at first, but after a while of getting insulted he’d…given up, almost. He’d started not responding and withdrawing within himself.
All in all it had been one of the worst meetings in a long time, and finally it had taken him, Germany, and Switzerland to break it all apart and send everyone home for the day. Some nations had left right away, some had announced they wouldn’t be appearing at any forthcoming meetings in the near future, and the meeting had never re-commenced.
And there had been silence from America.
“Oh Alfred…” England said, using the human name to try and comfort him more. He shifted until he was closer to the man and wrapped an arm around his shoulders, drawing him close. His fingers carded through America’s hair, simultaneously providing comfort and untangling the knots there. The refrain to a song he’d heard on the radio came to him then, and he sang the words softly.
“Rise to the top of the world,
America, don’t you cry.
Lift me up.
Give me strength to press on.
Rise to the top of the world,
America, don’t you cry.
Lift me up.
Give me strength to press on.”
America had fallen silent, and when England finished (he only knew those words anyway) he sniffled a bit. “Why?” he eventually ventured.
“Felt it was adequate. It’s quite a nice song.” England gently turned America’s face towards himself and used a clean handkerchief to wipe his tears away. “And it’s true. Don’t you cry now, America. The things they said were unprecedented and unfair because you’re trying to make things better, even if your methods sometimes baffle the world and you need a little help.”
America lowered his gaze, shrugging noncommittally, but a slight jerk from England’s hands brought his eyes up again.
“You hear me? There is no illusion, America. You’re not a horrible nation either. You’re new, you’re young, you have mistakes to make and life lessons to learn. Just like all of us. Mmm, and even if you aren’t hero to the world… You’re my hero, for sure.” England smiled a bit.
America snorted. “What, do I lift you up and give you strength to press on?”
“I’d say yes.” England replied seriously. “You’ve done so much for me in the recent past, and I know you’re an ally that can be depended on.”
“R-Really?” America perked up the tiniest bit and leaned into England a bit more.
“Yes.” England’s smile grew as he nodded. “America don’t you cry.” he whispered, then leaned in and pressed a kiss to America’s forehead. “Now, let’s get you up and out of bed, showered, fed, and ready to face the day.”
America groaned but couldn’t help a small smile from forming on his lips, and he nodded. With England, and his words, he was just about ready to try and face the world again.
“When the top 10 percent gets 100 percent of the income growth over the course of a generation, then the America of opportunity is vanishing… Our best hope for economic justice,” she said, “is to create more economic opportunity. And the only way to create more economic opportunity is economic growth…”
The dream of upward mobility, in her telling, is not to improve one’s lot in life relative to the children of other people with more prosperous parents. It’s simply to enjoy a rapidly rising standard of living; to grow up to have a better life than one’s parents.
The content of Warren’s address is important, too, but not exactly novel at this point.
She called for tougher enforcement of Wall Street regulations, and a return to the rules that forced commercial banking and investment banking to be done by separate entities. She wants to see more labor unions and more spending on transportation infrastructure, broadband internet, and basic research. She called for investments in preschool and after-school programs. She wants to see more spending on Social Security. She wants more subsidies for college students — “every person should get a good education without debt.”
This is a big, ambitious agenda but essentially a restatement of what have long been the hopes and dreams of the left-wing of the Democratic Party.