Sure, that was exciting...and bionic...but pound for pound, moment for moment, croc for croc, it's not as repthrilling as Captain America* versus a crocodile! (*And Bucky.)
As befits America's most vital and powerful secret weapon against the Axis, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are naturally deployed to...well, a swamp somewhere in the deep South. Now that's the quicksilver logic and precise military planning that got America ahead in World War II...and, uh, Vietnam.
While this would have been a dandy place for the young Stan Lee to introduce the Golden Age Man-Thing ("Whosoever lives in the 1940s and knows mid-century fear burns at the World War II-era touch of the Golden Age Man-Thing!"), instead Privates Rogers and Barnes wander straight into the lair of a...well, you've probably guessed by now, but check it out for yourself:
Panels from Captain America Comics (October 1942), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Don Rico
While the captions are careful to point out that Cap and Bucky are too far away from the croc and its prey to do anything about it, the same Super Soldier serum that turned 4-F Steve Rogers into He-Man Captain America enable him to spy the crocodile strangling a man with his tiny, spindly arms. Dude, you've got massive jaws with the crushing power of two trains...use 'em!
Nearby, in the once-proud but now rundown and ramshackle Killer Crocodile Plantation, once home to the beautiful Southern Belle Crocklett O'Hara (before she ran away with Yankee rascal Rhett Alligator), Cap and Bucky inform the mother of Dick Tracy's criminal nemesis Pruneface that she's going to have to call Easi-Temps to get a replacement crocwrangler. So intent on keeping Steve from prying into her business is Mrs. Pruneface that she not only doesn't notice the bizarre perspective of her side table, but also the severed human hand dangling from the panel above!
Now, you can't chase Captain America away that easily. (Namor, on the other hand, would be halfway to Miami at this point.) Donning their Cap and Bucky costumes which will surely fool the residents of a remote mansion who recently met Steve Rogers and his partner, the Earth-616 Dynamic Duo crosses paths with the Killer Croc again, who attacks Steve...um...by pushing over a giant statue of Oprah Winfrey onto him. And then taunting him with laughter. That's one intelligent super-croc! I sense the strange hand of bio-geneticist Arnim Zola, created by Jack Kirby, is behind this whole plot! Yes, yes, of course Arnim Zola debuted in 1977's Captain America #208, you say? Sure, but that only goes to prove just how amazingly awesome Jack Kirby is!
Midnight at the plantation (not to be confused with midnight at the oasis) finds Cap and Bucky standing guard with Blinky, their faithful watchcat, until the alarm is given and Cap springs up from his tiny, tiny armchair! Darting through the electrified panel borders, they arrive just in time to encounter the crocodile attacking with a dagger (jaws, pal, jaws!) as well as yet another horrifyingly racist portrayal of a black man. Oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear. The "good old days," folks. The "good old days."
From here it's a maddeningly high-paced chase through the mansion's rooms, likely set to the theme from The Benny Hill Show. I'm sorry I had to edit out the three or four pages that featured the crocodile and Cap and Bucky chasing each other in and out out of doorways across and around a single corridor. Luckily for Cap, when the croc emerges from behind the clock and out of the Batcave, there's a banister he can slide down to attack the ravenous reptile. Even luckier: there's not a wooden ball at the bottom of the banister.
Cap and the croc trade witty repartees as they slug it out on top of Mrs. Pruneface's bed. I bet that's the most action that's happened in that bed has had since the Taft administration, am I right, huh huh? Seriously, this thing goes on for another six or seven panels of Cap saying "No, this is your end!" and the croc shouting back, "No, this is your end!" Stan Lee: definitely not being paid by the word.
But watch out! Cap hits the amoral amphibian with his specially patented "sleeper punch," which apparently involves standing with your boots five feet apart. Then Bucky pulls off the rubber mask to reveal it was the plantation's gardener all along, trying to frighten everyone off so he could get himself those secret hidden Confederate jewels! It's only one "And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you meddling superheroes!" away from being an episode of Scooby-Doo '42.
He wasn't the first superhero to fight an evil crocodile, and he won't be the last. But you definitely must agree...Captain America fought a evil crocodile..
Play us off, Elton John and the Electric Mayhem!