|First appearance||Human Torch Comics #4 (Spring 1941)
first modern appearance: Marvel Premiere #29 (April 1976)
|Alter ego||Jeffrey Solomon Mace|
|Team affiliations||Liberty Legion
|Notable aliases||Captain America|
|Abilities||Skilled athlete and hand-to-hand combatant|
Jeffrey Solomon "Jeff" Mace, also known as the Patriot and Captain America, is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe, created during the 1940s period which fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books. As the Patriot, he first appeared in The Human Torch # 4 (Spring 1941; mis-numbered #3 on cover), published by Marvel's 1940s precursor, Timely Comics.
In 1976, Marvel revealed via retroactive continuity that Mace had become the third Captain America some time after his World War II era adventures.
The superhero the Patriot debuted in The Human Torch # 4 (cover-dated Spring 1941; mis-numbered #3 on cover), with both a two-page text story by writer Ray Gill, with a spot illustration by artist Bill Everett, and a 10-page comics story by writer Gill and artist George Mandel. The character went on to appear in the first of two Human Torch issues both inadvertently numbered #5, and known to collectors as #5[a] (Summer 1941), in a story by Gill and artist Sid Greene. Concurrently, the Patriot began as regular feature in the superhero anthology Marvel Mystery Comics, appearing in issues #21-44 (July 1941 - June 1943) and #49 -74 (Nov. 1943 - July 1946), making him one of Timely's most popular characters in the second tier beneath stars Captain America, the Human Torch, and the Sub-Mariner. The Patriot story "Death Stalks the Shipyard", from Marvel Mystery Comics #29, was reprinted during the Silver Age of Comic Books in Marvel Super-Heroes #16 (Sept. 1968).
A simulacrum of the Patriot was temporarily created from the mind of Rick Jones, along with those of the Blazing Skull, the Fin, and the Golden Age Angel and Vision, to aid the superhero team the Avengers during the Kree-Skrull War.
The Patriot first appeared in modern times in a four-part flashback story running through The Invaders #5-6 (March & May 1976) and Marvel Premiere #29-30 (April & June 1976), set during World War II which retconned him as a member of a newly created superhero team, the Liberty Legion. That team later appeared alongside Fantastic Four member the Thing in a two-part time travel story, set during World War II, in Marvel Two-in-One #20 (Oct. 1976) and Marvel Two-in-One Annual (1976).
When Marvel Comics had revived the character Captain America in 1964, the story explained that he had been missing in action and in suspended animation since 1945. This discrepancy with his postwar comic-book appearances was later explained as the result of replacement heroes taking on the mantle. As the third Captain America, Jeffrey Mace would have been behind the mask in Captain America Comics #59-75 (Nov. 1946 - Feb. 1950) and other comics during that period. Mace succeeded the second Captain America, William Naslund (formerly the Spirit of '76), who was shown in What If? vol. 1, #4 (Aug. 1977) as having been killed in 1946.
Mace appeared briefly in a flashback in Captain America #215 (Nov. 1977), then as a guest-star in Captain America Annual #6 (1982) with his death depicted in #285 (Sept. 1983). In a flashback, the Patriot co-starred in a World War II adventure with Captain America in Captain America Annual #13 (1994) and in a post-war adventure with the All Winners Squad in All Winners Squad 70th Anniversary Special (2009).
A retelling of Jeffrey Mace's origin and time as Captain America is told in the 2010 mini-series Captain America: Patriot. This was collected with the All Winners Squad 70th Anniversary Special and What If? #4 in 2011. What If? #4 was also collected that same year in a Captain America Legacy volume collecting the debuts of the Captain America replacements.
Fictional character biography
Jeffrey Mace was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was a reporter at the Daily Bugle, who was inspired to become a superhero after seeing Captain America in action. As the Patriot, Mace becomes one of several superheroes who fight Nazi saboteurs and supervillains during World War II, sometimes alongside sidekick Mary Morgan, a.k.a. Miss Patriot. He helps found the superhero team the Liberty Legion, billed as "America's home front heroes" who fight saboteurs, Fifth Columnists and other wartime threats within the United States.[volume & issue needed]
After the war, the Patriot continues to fight crime on a regular basis, eventually helping the All-Winners Squad prevent the assassination of a young Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1946. The skirmish costs the life of the second Captain America, William Naslund, formerly the Spirit of '76. Mace is recruited to be the third Captain America, retiring in 1949. He marries Betsy Ross, who as the superhero Golden Girl had briefly been the post-war sidekick of his Captain America, and in modern times succumbs to cancer at an old age.
Powers and abilities
Jeffrey Mace had no superpowers, but he was a skilled athlete and hand-to-hand combatant.
- Middle name per Captain America: Patriot #4 (Feb. 2011)
- 'The Human Torch #4 at the Grand Comics Database, with cover blowup here
- The Human Torch #5[a] at the Grand Comics Database.
- The Avengers vol. 1, #97 (March 1972)
- Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 36–39. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6.
- Captain America #285
- Independent Heroes from the U.S.A.: Patriot
- Grand Comics Database
- The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators