Captain America (vol. 1) #76 (May 1954):
“The Vulture’s Crime Robots”
by Stan Lee, Russ Heath

Captain America (vol. 1) #76

Title: “The Vulture’s Crime Robots”

Medium: comic

Cover date: May 1954

Publisher: Marvel Atlas
Written by: Stan Lee
Art by: Russ Heath

10 characters in this story:

(Click links for info about character
and his/her religious practice, affiliation, etc.)
Pub. #
Human Torch Human Torch (Jim Hammond)
(lead character)
CBR Scale: I N.A.
Heroes for Hire; Penance Council...  Marvel Timely 497
Toro Toro (Thomas Raymond) hero
  Kid Commandos; The All-Winners Squad...  Marvel Timely 311
Vulture (Isidoro Scarlotti) villain scientist
  [scientist; would-be conqueror] Marvel 3
crocodiles crocodiles villain group real/historical person
CBR Scale: D N.A.
[animal species] N.A. 1
Vulture's crime robots villain group
CBR Scale: D N.A.
[1st app: Captain America (vol. 1) #76 (May 1954)] Marvel 1
Chief Wilson supporting character
  [daughter kidnapped by Vulture] Marvel 1
Betty Wilson supporting character
  [police chief's daughter; kidnapped by Vulture] Marvel 1
Metallo villain
CBR Scale: D N.A.
[largest of Vulture's crime robots] Marvel 1
Seminole supporting character group real/historical person
CBR Scale: M Native American religion
[1st app: Captain America (vol. 1) #76 (May 1954)] Marvel 20
Professor Costene
supporting character scientist
  [kidnapped by Vulture to obtain his robot formula] Marvel 1

There is some ambiguity about what "volume" of Captain American comics this issue is a part of. Captain America #76 (May 1954) continues the numbering of the Captain America Comics series that began in 1941. That series had ended four years earlier, with Captain America #75 (Feb. 1950).

This issue certainly is a continuation of the original Captain America Comics series. However, note that the actual series title "Captain America Comics" had not been used as the logo on the cover since issue #73. With issue #74, the logo on the cover was "Captain America's Weird Tales." That peculiar title lasted for only 2 issues, and then the series was on hiatus for 4 years.

The series resumed for 3 issues in 1954, simply titled "Captain America." This particular issue is known both as Captain America #76 (based on the logo as it appears on the cover) as well as Captain America Comics #76 (based on the longstanding title of the series).

Are Captain America Comics and Captain America volume 1 really two different volumes of comics? Not really. For nearly the entire run of Captain America Comics, the word "Comics" was extremely small compared to the "Captain America" logo. When the modern Marvel version of Captain America began, its numbering began with 100. It truly was intended as a continuation of the original Captain America Comics series.

Despite a few gaps and title changes, we regard Captain America Comics and Captain America volume 1 as the same series and the same volume of comics.

Another point of ambiguity about this issue of Captain America is who wrote its stories. Only the artist is credited. But Stan Lee was the editor and is credited in some commentaries as the writer. Stan Lee typically relied heavily on his artists for breakdowns, plotting, and other aspects of writing. But to whatever extent there was a writer of these stories beyond their artists, the writer was almost certainly Stan Lee.

Finally, there is some ambiguity about exactly who the characters are who are identified in this post-war issue (and the two issues that follow) as "Captain America" and "Bucky." When originally written, these characters were simply intended to be Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. However, later Marvel continuity established that Steve Rogers was frozen in ice at the end of World War II and Bucky Barnes was dead (or transformed into the Winter Soldier, in still-later ret-conned continuity).

Then who were these heroes who identified themselves as Captain America and Bucky in the 1950s Captain America comics? The retcon stories explained that these were imposters developed by the government to replace the fallen or lost heroes of World War II. "Bucky" was actually Jack Monroe and "Captain America" was actually William Burnside. These replacements had even been conditioned to believe they were the originals.

Because these stories were originally intended by their creators to be portrayals of the actual Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, and only later retconned to be about somebody else, we have listed both sets of characters as characters featured in these stories.