As 1949 started, it seemed as though Timely’s attempt to spark renewed interest in its super hero titles through the addition of new shapely female sidekicks for its heroes really hadn’t gotten the desired effect. Sales hadn’t increased–if anything, they continued to slide–and so at least in the case of Captain America, the decision was made to reverse course. This decision wound up being an inconsequential one in the grander scheme of things, however. Either way, it was goodbye to Golden Girl, who is shown here on this cover but who makes no appearance at all within the issue itself. But a figure from the past does make his short-lived reappearance…
Yes, Bucky returns in the opening story in this issue. It’s the only story e shows up in–Cap operates solo in this issue’s other Cap tale, as he will continue to do for the sort remainder of the run. Surely there must have been some demand to bring Bucky back, but having done so, he was immediately dumped thereafter. So this represents the last Bucky story of the Golden Age. The GCD has no credit for the writer of this story, but it lists Gene Colan as the penciler, with the inker still unknown. Colan, of course, would return to the character again in the 1960s and 1970s.
Friends and partners–and more! The origin of the Stucky memes!
For all that Steve and Bucky appear to know him from some prior encounter, this story represents the Trickster’s first appearance. Go figure.
The Trickster knows that Bucky has a connection with Captain America–but he can’t connect the dots well enough to work out that his captive Steve Rogers is really Cap. What a dope. But this sort of thing really wasn’t all that unusual for a golden age story.