Late Nights in the Silver Age

Late Nights in the Silver Age: Tales of Suspense #75 (March 1966)

Late at night, I like to read comics. It’s my way of drowning out the day and escaping into a different universe. Although I’m a young man, I’ve learned to appreciate and to love comics out of the Silver Age era. So, I’ve decided to blog about different stories from the era and since this week is the release of Captain America: Civil War, I’m going to talk about the first part of two Captain America stories. The two stories are broken up into two separate issues: Tales of Suspense #75 and Tales of Suspense #76. They feature the introduction of Batroc the Leaper, who happens to be one of my favorite villains. 

Tales of Suspense #57 features the story called “30 Minutes to Live!” The story begins with Cap hurtling downwards to the ocean after finishing off the Sleepers, which are a deadly set of machines that where created by the Red Skull. While he’s busy falling into the ocean, a demonstration of a deadly chemical called “Inferno 42” is taking place in New York by evil, shadowed men. The chemical, after it’s planted, will glow brightly a yellow color and then burst into a blaze. The evil men want to begin using the chemical for world domination, but it’s too bad that an agent from Shield stole it. The men decide that Batroc will be the man for the job.

Cap gets saved from drowning and may I say that Stan Lee is great with adjectives. Look at his skills with this panel.

I need to work on my adjective game. Okay, Cap is picked up by men that’s aboard a Navy freighter and he goes home. While Cap is strong and brave in front of other people, Lee makes Cap depressed and lonely when he’s by himself. Cap remembers people from the forties that were a major part of his life. He remembers Bucky Barnes, Sgt. Duffy, and a woman whom he loved. I take it that this woman is Peggy Carter, though her name is never spoken. All of these memories start to get to Cap and he decides that he needs some fresh air.

Cap walks along the streets of New York and comes across a woman, who looks an awful lot like his lover from the forties. He starts to follow her, in shock that she looks similar to the woman of his past. He notices that she’s holding a cylinder tightly, so tightly that it’s suspicious! The woman walks into a man, who happens to have a cylinder as well. They bump into each other on purpose and they happen to grab the other’s cylinder. Cap knows that things are fishy and confronts the woman, while being fascinated with her face. The man, on the other hand, is being looked as well…by Batroc the Leaper!

Leaper kicks the hell out of that guy and grabs the cylinder. Lee made Batroc French and a man with exquisite facial hair. Just look at that mustache! Batroc is twirling his mustache because the cylinder he has doesn’t contain the Inferno 42 and he has to go after the mysterious woman Cap is talking to. Cap asks her if they’ve met before and she says no. She reveals in her thoughts that she’s the sister of the woman who Cap loved in the forties. She leaves Cap and Cap hears a shot ring out. He puts on his outfit and pursues the direction of the woman.

Cap rushes to the woman’s aid and she’s the one who fired the shot. She fired the shot at Batroc, who is trying to snag the cylinder. Cap goes one-on-one with Batroc, who knows La Savatte, which is the French art of boxing with your feet. How in the fuck do you box with your feet? I need to learn this art. Batroc gets in a good shot, but Cap begins to take over the fight. While they clobber each other, the woman runs off with the cylinder. Batroc informs Cap that what she has could kill everyone and the pair follow after her. The final panel is her entering a Shield hiding place.

That’s it for this one! I’ll be back with more Batroc and his amazing mustache.


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