A new Captain America image by Kirby/Giacoia is on the cover of this book, which contains three Kirby reprints.
Two stories from CAPTAIN AMERICA #3 (1941) begin and end the book. First is “The Hunchback of Hollywood and the Movie Murder” (17-pages), which has a movie producer making an historical epic with clear anti-Nazi overtones. He gets himself killed, but the film production goes on, with Steve Rogers and Bucky being hired as extras. They take advantage of the movie stage setting for a lot of fun scenes, including a horseback duel, a swordfighting scene and the storming of a castle…
…before finally revealing the true villain behind the hunchback.
Ending the book is the awkwardly titled “The Queer Case Of The Murdering Butterfly And The Ancient Mummies”, retitled for this reprint as the no less awkward “The Weird Case Of The Plundering Butterfly And The Ancient Mummies” (11-pages). This time there’s a criminal gang operating out of a museum, which Bucky discovers on a class trip (Cap wanted to him to go to West Point some day. Poor Bucky…). Again, the setting allows for a lot of nice background touches which make the story much more interesting than its simple plotline.
Various hands were inking Cap in those days. The Kirby Checklist has the first as Joe Simon, the second as Reed Crandall, and Al Avison and Crandall doing general assists on the issue. Lots of minor art alterations in both those stories, making the hunchback less scary, changing a scene where Cap stabs a guy, as well as generally mediocre art reconstruction. Fortunately later reprints are more faithful to the originals.
Among the monster/suspense stories between the Cap reprints is the 13-page Kirby/Ayers “Beware of Bruttu” from TALES OF SUSPENSE #22 (1961). An interesting twist on the standard monster story of the era, as this time the story is about a scientist who is accidentally transformed into a monster (based on one in a comic book, too), so the story is actually narrated by the monster, as he’s hunted and unable to communicate, and finds out a few things about life on the way. Definitely one of the better of these stories, and much more of a pre-cursor to Marvel hero concepts like the Hulk than those stories that just happen to use the name “Hulk” that are often passed off as “prototypes”.