Syd Shores was a Golden Age artist who worked with Joe Simon and
Jack Kirby on the first issues of Captain America. He even inked
the cover of #1, published in 1940 and then took over drawing the feature when
Joe and Jack left their creation and went elsewhere. Shores remained at
Marvel and became one of their top artists...but that was back in the forties.
In the late sixties, his art career floundered and he even ended up driving a
cab for a living. He reconnected with comics and Marvel, and began inking
Kirby on Captain America. It was the hope of Stan Lee that in so
doing, Shores would pick up on the new "Marvel method" of drawing a comic from a
plot instead of a script, and also that he would make his super-hero art more
dynamic, a la Kirby. Neither happened and he was destined to remain
primarily an inker of other artists.
There were several times while
inking Kirby that he seems to have gotten confused as to whether the end product
was supposed to look like a Jack Kirby comic or a Syd Shores comic. Stan
was encouraging him to be himself but also to learn from Jack...but sometimes
when Shores tried to be himself, Jack had the art retouched back in Jack's
direction. This cover was such an example. It is not known who was
responsible for the distracting background shadow in the unpublished version.
It doesn't look like the kind of thing Kirby would ever do but it's unlikely
Shores would have added it on his own. In any case, Stan (or whoever was
making such decisions by then) had it removed and also had a lot of the Shores
detailing stripped from the Captain America figure.
But the big change was the head of Captain America which was judged as looking too
much like Shores. A Kirby/Sinnott Captain America head from an earlier issue
was pasted into this version. And another artist — probably John Romita — added
in the figure of The Wasp to balance the shadow-less design. It was all
probably a lot of work but since this was Cap's "premiere" issue in his own
comic (despite the numbering), it was probably worth it.