Captain America #163
Issue(s): Captain America #163
I always like super-villain groups, because i don't like the cliche of villains never being able to work together. I prefer a non-themed group like the Masters of Evil over the likes of a Serpent Squad or Zodiac because it feels more natural, but while the Serpent Squad/Society concept would eventually get abused, with seemingly hundreds of snake-themed villains, it's interesting to note that right now there are so few in the Marvel Universe that they're willing to let in the Eel (which is not a snake!) as a founding member.
This original Serpent Society group is especially tight since the Eel & Viper are brothers. The Viper isn't really cut out for the super-villain life. He'd prefer to use his marketing skills to sully Cap's reputation. It's interesting characterization.
Speaking of strained partnerships, the Falcon is looking to get a little more independent. He's not interested in hanging around when Cap heads down to Virginia to visit Sharon & Peggy's family, and he gets a little testy when Cap insists on helping track down the Serpents after getting injured in the initial fight.
Oddly, Cap's excuse is that the Falcon is a "city boy" and therefore wouldn't be as good at tracking as Cap. If i recall correctly, the Falcon's first appearance had him surviving in the wild on the Island of Exiles. Also? He's got a pet falcon whose main function is tracking (we can pretend that Redwing's expression in panel 2 above is due to crankiness related to Cap's discounting him). So what's Cap talking about?
This issue also introduces Dave Cox. He's a Vietnam vet and former POW who is now a conscientious objector, or would be if he wasn't honorably discharged after losing his arm.
Peggy Carter, Cap's love during World War II, has recently had her memories returned, and she's not adjusting well. Sharon is afraid to tell her that Cap is now in love with her (Sharon). Still a product of WWII, she has no respect for David Cox's pacifism, and is mystified when he resists revealing Cap's location to the Serpents under torture.
The entire Peggy Carter thing should have been left alone. Even by 1973 Marvel should have realized that the timescale was going to be a problem and it eventually wouldn't make sense for Peggy to be alive. Beyond that, Cap being in love with Peggy and then switching over to her younger, hotter sister is a bit creepy and doesn't make him look all that good.
Aside from Peggy, this is a good issue with some decent characterization.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places Cap #163-167 between Avengers #114-115.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAmanda Carter, Captain America, Cobra, Dave Cox, Eel, Falcon, Harrison Carter, Mr. Carter, Mrs. Carter, Peggy Carter, Redwing, Sharon Carter, Viper (Jordon Dixon)
One of the panels, showing the newspaper, has, very clearly, the words "backgrounds" and "Mortellaro" on the front page. This is in keeping with his procedure in Spider-man to display his name in the backgrounds he was responsible for.
Posted by: Haydn | November 3, 2011 11:42 PM
Heh, now that you point it out, i see it in the second scan above, panel two. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 4, 2011 7:25 AM
The Viper was actually all Steve Gerber's creation and inspired by his time working in an ad agency.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 10, 2013 5:29 PM
Steve Englehart was a conscientous objector and Dave Cox was his response to people who considered him a coward.
Posted by: Michael | April 23, 2014 8:17 AM
OK this is a NO Brainer... David Icke Conspiracy Theorist has nearly single-handedly given the Global populace a reason to contemplate the possibility of a Reptilian race that may have walked the Earth and that may still have influence on a technologically Anesthesized Human race... And if you have enough TEQUILA it is some of the greatest prose for late night reading!:)
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | July 12, 2016 6:36 PM
@RocknRollguitarplayer: Mark Grudenwald for starters.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 12, 2016 7:26 PM
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