Captain America #187-188
Issue(s): Captain America #187, Captain America #188
Now, if i put you on the outskirts of a maze and told you that your death was in the center, which way would you go, or what would you assume about the traps you have to pass through on your way there? I wasn't originally going to point that out because "death-defying" is certainly a characteristic of any super-hero, but when Cap fights through the maze's traps for half an issue before coming to that realization himself, i felt it needed attention.
Anyway, who is behind this plot? Holy crap! It's the Caretakers from Morbius' series!
Ok, not really, it's just that when you have Frank Robbins draw some guys in hoods, they are going to come out looking pretty close to other guys Frank Robbins has drawn in hoods, thanks to his distinct style, and especially when you put them next to big vats, and especially when the hoods are colored the same (the hoods become purple in issue #188).
Anyway, the Caretakers would have been cool, but these guys are really working for the Druid. It's interesting to see him dredged up at this time, not that he's used to great effect here.
Robbin's art was looking pretty bad at this point...
...so i was glad to see reliable Sal Buscema take over for the next issue. But the story doesn't get any better. The Druid's plan seems a little suspect. He's got an Alchemoid creature that is definitely pretty powerful, and he says he intends to create an army of them, to fight SHIELD and usher in a "new age of Druidism". But maybe wait until the army is complete? Why go after Cap? He says Cap is a symbol of an impotent nation, but strategically it doesn't make any sense to go after him.
It's fine though. The guy is clearly nuts, so we shouldn't expect a rational scheme.
One thing i do like is that while Cap is missing, SHIELD tracks him down. And they make it clear that while the guy is definitely nutty, his control of super-science is sound and he ought to be taken seriously.
And indeed, even though Cap manages to defeat the Alchemoid, the Druid escapes. SHIELD arrives in time to mop up.
Issue #187 didn't touch on the Falcon much (he's still in a coma), but in #188 we find that SHIELD has brought in Leila Taylor to try to find out if the Red Skull's claims about "Snap" Wilson are true. Leila doesn't actually know anything about the Falcon's past life, but the SHIELD agents are depicted as employing strongarm tactics.
John Warner will be replaced by Tony Isabella for the next arc. See Mark's comment here; the book was essentially in a holding pattern between Englehart's run and Kirby's return, whether the creators knew it or not.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This story picks up in the immediate aftermath of issue #186, but instead of following up on the Red Skull's escape, it goes in a completely different direction. Because of that, and the creative team change, i've placed this in a separate entry, but it should follow the previous arc directly.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCaptain America, Contessa Valentina Allegro De La Fontaine, Druid, Eric Koenig, Falcon, Gabriel Jones, Jeff Cochren, Leila Taylor, Peggy Carter
The weird thing is that in Captain America 186, it's made clear that the people that rescue Cap and his friends aren't really SHIELD but that's basically forgotten about this issue.
Posted by: Michael | April 24, 2013 7:58 PM
A letter in a column just before Kirby took over referred to Warner as the "Flaxman Loew" of Marvel; Loew being the pen name of British SF writer Michael Butterworth, who took over writing of Warren's "Vampirella" in 1974 as a placeholder(and stayed around longer than expected). Evidently, Warner's status wasn't a secret from some readers.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 26, 2013 3:09 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|