With the Fourth of July only a day away, this seems like the right time for an article on Captain America covers featuring the American flag. This could have easily gone into other titles and publishers but there are at least 36 issues of Captain American that feature an American flag on the cover. There wasn’t really a need to delve into other titles with so many great covers available.
As a side note, some of the best Captain America covers don’t include the flag other than the modified version on his uniform. Jack Kirby’s classic #109, Steranko’s fun covers from the same period, the iconic introduction of Falcon in Captain #117, the Mike Zeck covers like #224 or #272 and the Captain America in the slammer cover found in issue #260. Anyway, here is the list of the top 10 Captain America Covers featuring the American flag.
Captain America #33 vol. 3 (Sept. 2000) –
This Dan Jergen’s cover has 3 America flags instead of the wimpy covers which only have one. What are we as Americans if not excessive? Captain America is staring forward sternly ready to launch off a flagpole. The cityscape and Protocide dominate the background. I’m fairly sure that Captain is angry that Protocide stole his star chested costume and then defiled it by adding a flipped collar. This my friends is a fight over fashion.
Captain America #40 Vol. 3 (April 2001) –
This is a simple cover with a gradient yellow to orange background featuring a single figure. Captain America is partially draped in the flag walking away from us. Dan Jurgens did much more work with shadows on this cover than his normal artwork. “Does this make my butt look fat?” You would expect the finial on the top of the flagpole to be an eagle, strangely it isn’t.
Captain America 383 (March 1991)
This Jim Lee and Ron Lim cover is reminiscent of Superman #24 from the Golden Age. Captain America stands strong holding a flag that is waving in the breeze. Behind him stands New York City with the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center buildings. This legendary cover almost has it all. One question, where’s the bald eagle?
Captain America #34A vol. 5 (March 2008) –
Alex Ross painted this angry Captain America variant cover. This cover conveys action with the white stars bleeding away from Captain. I’m not sure why the red stripes have stars placed over them other than to show movement. There is an uncharacteristic anger in Captain America especially when he is holding a drawn weapon. (perhaps because he is Bucky) I’d be angry too if my name was Bucky.
Captain America #616 (May 2011) –
The 70th Anniversary issue of Captain America shows him dressed in retro costume standing in front of an American flag. It should be pointed out that the flag is burned at the bottom, in the middle and on the side. The imagery is strong with this cover. Captain stands guard, fist clenched in front of the tattered flag.
Captain America #454 (Aug. 1996) –
The sky is growing darker as the sun begins to set and the smoke begins to rise. Above the destruction, Captain America steps forward with an American flag. It’s interesting that the artist, Ron Garney, kept Captain America’s face in shadow making it more about the act and less about the person. When you see Captain America planting a flag on a pile of rumble it reminds you of the Iwo Jima photo from 1945.
Captain America #6 vol. 4 (Dec. 2002) –
So technically this doesn’t have an American flag on it but stylistically the stars and stripes are well represented. Cassaday created this beautiful mix of the American flag and a golden eagle as the perfect backdrop for Captain America. Captain is standing on Liberty and Justice for all with his shield raised high. For some reason I feel like saying, “Amen”.
Captain America #332 (August 1987) –
Jansen and Zeck created this powerful cover “Captain America No More”. It’s a big bold cover that features a large flag background that is dripping red. Is it blood or is Captain just upset that his artwork is dripping? Captain America is weighed down with his head and shoulders slumping while his hands signal resignation. The cover even features a crying Abraham Lincoln, Abraham FREAKIN’ Lincoln. It should win for that element alone!
Captain America #1 Vol. 4 (June 2002) –
John Cassaday drew this cover to showcase Captain America as a World War II symbol. If you remove Captain America from this cover it’s a generic war scene. Add him back in and you’ve got more stars and stripes than you can count. ‘Merica!
Captain America Annual 2001 –
Often in top ten lists, annuals are overlooked but not this time. Rodolfo Migliari created an absolutely stunning painted cover. The flag has a ridiculous number of color variations with all the folds and twists. The shield is reflecting the clouds and in one spot the sun. Captain’s uniform has tiny folds at the armpits and elbows. Lurking over it all is the gruesome face of Red Skull. This is a great cover with incredible details.
by Captain Ron