Thankfully it doesn’t look like S.H.I.E.L.D. is affected by the government shutdown, so last night we got to see episode two titled “0-8-4″. Just like last week, we’ll give you some recommended comics reading based on what we saw last night. Ready? Here we go!
The 0-8-4 isn’t completely identified in the episode, but we do know it’s powered by the Tesseract and Ward mentions it looks “almost German.” They also mention Captain America, so if you want to get caught up on the Marvel film universe Tesseract, maybe go back and watch Captain America: The First Avenger. But this post isn’t about telling you what to watch. We’re here to tell you what to read. That in mind, check out:
Tales of Suspense #79
The July 1966 issue of Tales of Suspense featured the first appearance of the Cosmic Cube, which has since been rebranded as the Tesseract in the Marvel film universe. Despite Iron Man and the Submariner getting the cover, the story you’ll be more interested in is the second billing Captain America story “The Red Skull Lives!”
As the title would have you guess, the focus of the story is the Red Skull who explains how he and his men were held in suspended animation due to a strange gas leak as their bunker was being destroyed in World War II. The Cosmic Cube isn’t particularly central to the issue, but this is the first time it’s seen. AIM scientists built the Cosmic Cube, but this issue is all about the Red Skull trying to convince everyone Cap is insane with invisible soldiers.
The Cosmic Cube doesn’t get a lot of play in this issue, so that leads us to:
Tales of Suspense #80
In the continuation of “The Red Skull Lives!” titled “He Who Holds the Cosmic Cube!” the Red Skull uses mind control devices to get the Cube from the AIM scientists. Captain America arrives just in time to not be able to stop the Red Skull from taking the Cube and the story continues in…
Tales of Suspense #81
“The Red Skull Supreme!” The Red Skull has the Cosmic Cube, and he can bend reality to his very will! He uses the limitless power of the cube to… make a dirt man to fight Captain America and give himself some fancy King of the Universe armor.
Captain America tricks the Red Skull into knighting him instead of killing him, and Cap knocks the Cube out of the Skull’s hand. It falls into the sea, and the Skull dives after it, forgetting he’s wearing heavy armor and he sinks to the bottom of the sea with the Cube.
It’s presumed lost, but obviously it isn’t because this is the first appearance of the Cosmic Cube. Not the only appearance of the Cosmic Cube. It’s kind of a big deal in the Marvel Universe.
These three issues are available as digital comics from Marvel and have been reprinted in a few trades including Essential Captain America 1, and Captain America vs. the Red Skull #1.
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