WASHINGTON — Captain America will be joining the troops this Fourth of July.

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials have scheduled the release of their third exclusive comic book for the patriotic holiday, making more than 1 million copies available free to military personnel worldwide.

That includes nearly 214,000 issues to be distributed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to AAFES spokesman Judd Anstey.

“They’ve been very popular in the past,” he said. “We know these are collectibles for many of the troops.”

The comics have also been hot items among those not in the military, with the previous two issues selling for anywhere between $3 and $10 on the online trading site eBay. Copies of the latest one, “Time Trouble”, were supposed to be kept under wraps until July 4 but are also up for sale on the site.

Along with Captain America and his star-spangled shield, the New Avengers comic features appearances by the X-Men, Spider-Man, Nick Fury and Luke Cage. In this issue the heroes are sucked through a time portal to World War II and battle a villain named Kang.

Unlike previous issues, the third installment does not feature any AAFES characters. But Anstey said the comic does include a special message from the exchange service thanking troops for their contributions to throughout the globe.

The 36-page comic will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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