Captain America #265-266
Issue(s): Captain America #265, Captain America #266
Ok, not quite. But Peter Parker leaves a party thrown by J. Jonah Jameson and sees an artist that he met there getting hassled by some street toughs (Cap's "I have work to do -- unlike you!" strikes me as a little more judgmental than i'd expect from him, but i guess they're already harassing him at this point).
Peter goes to help out but finds that the artist can take care of himself. He also demands that Peter turn over the pictures that he took of the fight.
But something about the guy triggers Peter's spider-sense, so he changes into Spider-Man and follows him for a bit, and then sees him disappear.
Before he knows it, he's attacked by SHIELD agents (who even let loose the dreaded "Maneuver double-punch" on him).
Nick Fury breaks up the fight, and he reveals that the guy that disappeared was Captain America.
Now, Peter got a really good look at the guy. And presumably someone at JJ's party heard his name or got a business card, even if there wasn't a formal guest list. So it shouldn't be too hard for Peter to learn Cap's real name. Not to say that he'd necessarily want to. But Fury's pretty loose with that information; i guess he's really confident that Spider-Man isn't the bad guy he's made out to be in the press.
Spider-Man returns the trust by revealing to Nick Fury that he's got a Spider-Sense.
Bad move, Spidey! Never give any information to Fury! He's a good guy, sure, but he'll screw you over in a second if he thinks it's for the greater good!
But it's with Spidey's Spider-Sense that they are able to track down Cap, who was taken prisoner by a former SHIELD weapons designer calling himself the Sultan.
Cap, Fury, and Spider-Man plow through the Sultan's robot army (which are called Biotrons, but no noticeable relation to the Micronaut).
The scripting's a little stilted in these issues, but i like Spidey's reaction to Cap's speechmaking.
And if you thought "Maneuver double-punch" was impressive, wait until you see Nick Fury's Cocoon Release shirt. For when you absolutely need to be bare-chested with no delay.
Actually, one Micronaut-like attribute of the Biotrons is their ability to scoop up pieces of broken robots to replace their own limbs.
The heroes find themselves in trouble when they find out that the Sultan's base is actually a flying island.
The beginning of #266 has a nice sequence where Cap battles robots while falling and eventually gets a jetpack off one of them and uses it to save himself and Spider-Man (i'm only posting a portion of it).
Nick Fury was hanging on to a missile that Sultan launched at Washington, but it turns out to be a decoy. The floating mountain turns out to be the real missile. But SHIELD takes care of that off panel. And it turns out Sultan never actually had a nuclear warhead like he claimed he did. So the second part of this story is really kind of anti-climactic, focusing on Spidey and Cap fighting more robots (including Sultan, who transfers his mind into one of them).
Actually, before they find out he's transferred to a robot body, Cap says that it's always the case that when you defeat the head, the body of a movement dies.
I guess he never heard of terrorist cells or guerrilla warfare.
The thing about Mike Zeck is there are occasionally images that are a little wonky. A few above and more that i didn't want to scan in these issues. But generally speaking the art is really nice. Great layouts and nice storytelling, with lots of dynamic panels. You get the impression that the occasional less than perfect panel is because the guy was fast. I mean, i know this isn't unprecedented, but this is a fill-in during the DeMatteis/Zeck run where it's the writer who's taking a break.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Avengers #213-214. For Spider-Man, i don't have it lined up with the MPC (between Amazing Spider-Man #227-228) but it's a context free appearance and i've placed it after ASM #222, which was a fill-in (it's really context free for Cap, too, but i gave him the precedence).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Cap's secret identity never seemed to a big secret. Perhaps because he had less of an identity as Steve Rogers than many other heroes did and less people around him to protect from danger - many of his friends were in SHIELD. Or maybe it's just that Avengers #211, where he walks around with his mask down, was the start of my Avengers run and I just never thought it was a big deal.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 2, 2015 12:35 PM
I always liked Mike Zeck's art a lot. I liked the design of the Biotron robots too even if Sultan is a rather uninteresting villain. It would have been more interesting for Gruenwald to utilize this guy than Machinesmith when putting together minions for the Red Skull. His motivation is more in alignment with the Skull's than what we knew about Machinesmith.
Posted by: Chris | May 2, 2015 3:46 PM
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