Quote1.png If we have erred, Rogers will be dead within seconds! For, he is drinking the strongest chemical potion ever created by man! But, if we succeed, he will be the first of an army of fighting men such as the world has never known! His reflexes, his physical condition, his courage, will be second to none! Quote2.png
-- Dr. Erskine

Appearing in "Somewhere Lurks the Phantom!"

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Synopsis for "Somewhere Lurks the Phantom!"

Quote1.png I just came back from half-way around the world, after fighting for my life... and you make it sound like I was at the corner drugstore! Quote2.png
--Iron Man

Iron Man just arrives to Stark Industries from his battle against the Mandarin, and Pepper and Happy give him a cold welcome, still bitter at him for supposedly failing to protect Tony Stark. Iron Man returns to his lab, and starts working on a way to remove his armor that he came up with when he was returning from China. After successfully tripling the output of a master transistor, Tony's armor no longer requires the extra output from the belt pads, allowing Tony to remove most of the suit and return to his civilian life.

Joyful for having escaped his predicament, Tony re-enters his office, taking Pepper by surprise and causing her to faint. After realizing that Happy is truly in love with Pepper, and reassuring himself that he can't be with her because of his damaged heart, Tony decides to lie and claim that he's going to get married, in order to prompt Pepper to stop thinkin of him. Tony also claims that his fiancée is from Boston, and that he had been there on a yacht for the past weeks, and that's why he supposedly hadn't heard he was believed dead. Tony begins to walk down Stark Industries, in order to catch up with the developments during his absence, and while doing so, he brushes off mild-mannered Dr. Birch.

At night, a mysterious masked figure plants a bomb in Stark Industries which subsequently damages the missile testing section of the factory. When he investigates the crime scene, Iron Man discovers the instigator, dubbed as a "phantom saboteur," used Stark's own technology in the bomb, meaning it was an inside job.

In the days that follow, Stark Industries becomes the target of many sabotages, to the point its employees no longer feel safe. Fully aware of the grim situation, Tony patrols his factory as Iron Man and catches a glipse of a human silhouette, giving chase to the figure. In his eagerness to catch the villain, Iron Man sets off a booby trap that makes him lose his balance long enough for the villain to escape.

After failing to capture the Phantom, Stark meets up with the union delegation, who give Stark 24 hours to stop the phantom, or they would call a strike due to the company's state of insecurity. With his company at risk, Stark continues patrolling the factory claded in his armor, when his sensors detect movement nearby. When Iron Man tackles the person in the darkness, it turns out to be Happy Hogan, who was also looking for the Phantom.

The Phantom is soon spotted in a catwalk, and he throws an explosive at Iron Man in order to distract him and escape. The Golden Avenger pulverizes the device before it can explode, and races the Phantom to the control center of the factory. The villain points his blast gun at the computer, but Iron Man disarms him by shooting a repulsor beam that ricochets against the wall and strikes the Phantom's hand. The Phantom throws a smoke grenade and fastens a bomb to the control center before leaving. Iron Man notices the explosive and destroys it before directing his attention back at the Phantom.

The villain enters Stark Industries' prototype Moon missile and Iron Man follows him. However, the hero can't fly due to the girders and braces inside the structure, and he can't climb up he stairs because of his armor's weight. Iron Man retreats, because there's only one exit and the Phantom would eventually have to climb down. However, the villain plans to reach the missile's capsule, which can fly independently from the rest of the vessel. In a turn of events, Iron Man expected the villain to follow this escape route, so he breaks the control wires and frees the capsule as soon as the Phantom gets in. Iron Man flies the capsule to the security guards, leaving the Phantom with them, and returns the capsule to the missile.

A few minutes later, Tony Stark confronts the Phantom, who has been unmasked and revealed to be Dr. Birch. The doctor claims that he felt ignored, and he envies Iron Man and Tony Stark for the attention they get. After Birch is taken into custody, Pepper and Happy ask for their boss to borrow one of his cars to go on a date. Tony lets them have it their way, in compensation for his absence, and as they leave he wonders why even though everything is going as he wants, Tony feels his heart heavy.

Appearing in "The Origin of Captain America!"

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Synopsis for "The Origin of Captain America!"

This story is a retelling of Captain America's origins. In the 1940's young Steve Rogers who was rejected from joining the military because of his frail body. However he is chosen for a top secret project to create the perfect soldier. Given a formula by Dr. Erskine his body is transformed into one of peak efficiency. After Steve Rogers is transformed however, Erskine is killed by a Nazi spy, who in turn is killed by Rogers. Erskine's secret formula would die with him, however Steve Rogers would become Captain America.

The tale would gloss over how Captain America would bust up Nazi spy rings as Captain America, but in his civilian guise he'd pretend to be a bumbling soldier under the command of Sergeant Duffy, and the mentor for his units mascot Bucky Barnes.

Bucky would one night stumble upon Steve changing into Captain America and would convince him to join him in combat as his sidekick, Bucky. Their first mission together would be to break up some Nazi's sneaking into the country and using their own explosives to destroy the submarine they arrived in.


Continuity Notes

The Origin of Captain America!

Chronology Notes

Characters in this story also appear in other stories between this issue. This chronology is not going to acknowledge events from Captain America Comics #1, since those events happened on Earth-616's real world as they appear in this issue. The affected characters are:
President Roosevelt

Under-Secretary Simms

General Phillips

Dr. Anderson

Agent R

Captain America (Steve Rogers)

Dr. Erskine

Heinz Kruger

Bucky (James Barnes)

See Also


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. Young Allies Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 used this explanation to retcon every Young Allies' Golden Age adventure.

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