Captain America #103-104
Issue(s): Captain America #103, Captain America #104
Cap invades the island but gets defeated and the Red Skull implants a nuclear bomb (now in adhesive tape form!) on the back of his neck, and then allows Cap to free himself and Sharon and escape.
Next issue, after helping SHIELD test some LMDs, the Red Skull contacts him about the bomb (except now it is simply a detonator for a bomb hidden in Washington DC. Last issue it was the bomb and the Skull had the detonator. Now the Skull's detonator is a remote control Neuro Rod. It's all effectively the same thing anyway). If the Red Skull were as bad as he likes to pretend he is, he would simply detonate the bomb and be done with it. Instead he uses the bomb as blackmail to... order Cap to return to the Island of Exiles. The Island that the Skull let Cap escape from in the first place as part one of his plot. That... makes no sense! IT MAKES NO SENSE! And god help me, when i first read it, my brain just sort of accepted it. I have been reading Silver Age comics for too long!
Cap returns to the island, defeats the Exiles, defeats the Red Skull, and gives a patriotic speech.
Meanwhile, Nick Fury gets Tony "Sir not actually appearing in this comic" Stark to defuse the bomb in Washington.
I do love the Murder Chair guy, though.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Captain America vol. 2
Inbound References (5): show
"Instead he uses the bomb as blackmail to... order Cap to return to the Island of Exiles. The Island that the Skull let Cap escape from in the first place as part one of his plot. That... makes no sense! IT MAKES NO SENSE! And god help me, when i first read it, my brain just sort of accepted it. I have been reading Silver Age comics for too long!"
Posted by: David Banes | November 15, 2013 2:51 AM
Are brains are trained to except this madness, unless it appears in a modern comic, then I'm like whaa?
Posted by: Silverbird | July 8, 2014 8:10 AM
The star pattern on the US flag is wrong for either the 60s or the 40s. It's wrong for any historical variation of the flag.
Hard to believe Kirby drew that flag. Very crudely drawn. Altered? If so, I wonder what was originally supposed to be there? Strange panel, looks like a paste-up. Are those Egyptian pyramids in the background?
Posted by: James Holt | October 3, 2016 9:33 PM
The Appendix does a decent job trying to rationalize why a Russian and Chinese guy would be living with exiled fascists, making Krushki a Czarist collaborator and Ching a Manchurian who collaboated with the Japanese. (Which is whole lot more thought than went into them originally). For some reason I've always seen Grunning as Austrian based on no evidence.
Amazingly, the exile who always gave Cap the most trouble in a fight was Baldini and his frightening weighted scarves.
Posted by: kveto from prague | March 12, 2017 7:12 AM
The Exiles are certainly a strange group of villains because without any kind of suspended animation device, they must be physically quite old and no real physical threat to Captain America. They would be much more useful as some kind of mastermind or think tank group the Skull uses, but who happen to have all these weird unexpected physical means to defend themselves.
I think there is an implied backstory here that the Exiles were the ones who preserved some kind of post-WWII non-Hydra Nazi/Fascist network, and that once the Skull came back and they handed it over to him as someone who would be better able to lead it since they were getting long in the tooth.
I'm actually surprised Gruenwald didn't utilize them in some fashion when he showcased the Red Skull as leader of a global empire. But he might have thought the Exiles were too cheesey, or didn't want to explain how they were still around fifty years after WWII. At the same time, he had no problem with lame characters like Scarbo and Suprema, and with Zola's technology the Exiles could have been kept alive. They'd have made a good intermediary level villain who bosses minions and whose presence indicates the involvement of the Skull, but distances the Skull from the plot.
Posted by: Chris | September 28, 2017 2:23 PM
Chris, the thing to remember about the Exile's ages is that in 1968, a man who was 20 in 1945 would be 43. There's plenty of precedent in fiction for men in their 40s being a serious threat to a younger character. The problem is the sliding timeline.
Posted by: Michael | September 28, 2017 7:49 PM
You are right, but the Exiles don't look to be in their forties. They are clearly older men. Cadavus looks especially decrepit. Furthermore, if they were 20 in 1945, they'd have ended the war as low ranking enlisted men or newly commissioned officers. I don't think the Skull would seek out such men to be his chiefs of staff. Ranks like general imply they were career army officers with plenty of experience in WWII. I'd expect the Exiles were in their mid-thirties and forties when the war ended, which would make their current age more like mid-fifties to late sixties in 1968.
Posted by: Chris | September 29, 2017 1:33 AM
Fnord, did iron man have an appearance in 103 or 104?
Posted by: Mernyferny | October 24, 2017 5:45 PM
Tony Stark is said to be defusing the bomb behind the scenes in issue #104.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 25, 2017 7:40 PM
Baldini dresses like Mussolini, which covers the Italian Fascist franchise.
Posted by: Mike Teague | January 14, 2018 5:30 AM
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