Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Mort Leav Captain America Story

A while ago in one of his Four-Color Shadows posts, Booksteve presented the Captain America story "Double Identity" from All Winners 1 (Aug/48—the only issue in volume 2) and noted that the Grand Comics Database attributed the art to Syd Shores, but it didn't look much like Shores' art. I was certain the Shores ID was wrong, but had no better guess to offer at the time. Now I do.

Captain America page with vignette panel, All-Winners v2 #1

Mort Leav is supposed to have done a handful of Captain America stories around 1946-48. This looks like one of them. Leav's work at Orbit (where he went in 1948) looks very much like the art on "Double Identity." This Wanted story, signed over the open "S" in the first page's blurb (click the final scan below to decipher at larger size), is "International Enemy No. 1" from #13 (May/48). The amoeba-bordered vignette panels opening both my examples, where the figures end at the edges of the neckties, present a very obvious similarity, and are a choice I don't recall Shores using.

Wanted 13 page with vignette panel
At Timely, the editors couldn't help "fixing" artwork with work by other hands. The Cap and Bucky figures on the splash page could be Shores' sole contribution to this 10-page story; see the first Captain America story in the Fifties revival (Young Men 24, Dec/53), where John Romita's splash has been famously jettisoned for Mort Lawrence's work.

splash pages--Cap in All-Winners 1; Wanted 13

So IDing this one story leaves a handful (minus one) of Mort Leav Caps to track down.


  1. Good eye, Martin! We caught that when we did the credits for the Marvel Masterworks All Winners Vol 4 last year, which reprinted #15-19, #21 and Vol 2, #1. So it's right in print.

  2. Have you found any of the other Cap stories Leav is supposed to have done, Doc? I've seen eight mentioned as his total, but a quick flip though the postwar Timely comics (and not all of them, at that) hasn't turned up any more for me.

  3. Martin, we haven't worked our way through those books yet. This is an ongoing project and I only gain access to the books as they get ready to be reprinted. It's unfortunate they are so expensive and out of most everyone's hands.