The Transparent Fox:
Captain America #325
Issue(s): Captain America #325
You probably never thought you'd see the word "subtle" in a post about a 600 pound crimelord who calls himself "the Slug" because his real name is Ulysses X. Lugman, but there you go.
We start with Cap getting attacked by some guys in suits shouting "Plug the muthah!"...
...but they turn out to be undercover cops. Cap walks away muttering to himself that he's not sure if he approves of subsidizing small criminals just to get at bigger ones.
He then heads to the headquarters of Marvel comics, where he finds that he's got a new editor (Don Daley has replaced Mike Carlin at this point).
Now on to the main story. We learn that the reason Nomad has infiltrated the Slug's organization is because he's hooked up with a hitchiker named Priscilla Lyons ("she was undaunted by my cool looks and hot bike"). And Priscilla has a brother that had fallen in with the Slug, and Nomad promised to try to get him back. In return for sex.
We get to see the Slug's Jabba The Hutt-like pleasure palace...
...and how he tortures his enemies by dipping them in a pool of slugs (which, i mean, they're not leeches, right? So it's just kinda gross?).
It turns out that Priscilla's brother doesn't want to be rescued, so Nomad gets captured, injected with heroin, and dumped into the sea. Luckily, Priscilla had already gotten impatient and called Cap's hotline asking for more help, and Cap arrives in time to fish Nomad out of the water. It's said that Nomad's super-serum helps him recover from the heroin.
Nomad and Cap then head back to the Slug's boat, but Nomad has lethal vengeance on the mind, and so he tries to get Cap to wait on the upper deck while he goes into the kitchen and starts a grease fire. Cap helps the majority of the boat-goers to evacuate, but then he investigates and finds Nomad beating the Slug to death.
Cap admonishes Nomad and demands that he help him save the Slug from the burning ship as well. Nomad refuses, claiming that he's going to rescue some of the Slug's goons that he knocked out instead (but he doesn't).
In the end, Cap tries to get the Slug to a special lifeboat, but the ship goes down first and Cap isn't sure what happens.
Nomad never reveals that he's the one who started the fire, but Cap still has a concern that "Something about Jack has changed. There is a bit of a harder edge to him than when he was my eager-to-please partner". And this is what i mean by subtle. Instead of having Captain America and Nomad come to blows over Nomad engaging in extreme lethal methods, we just have this vague sense of disquiet. And it's a nice use of Nomad, who was shown to be pretty violent as the sidekick of the 1950s Cap. ("Cap's a great guy... But I know that his idea of justice is just a little more liberal than mine", Nomad thinks to himself this issue.)
Very nice development from Gruenwald.
But of course we also have this.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Last issue was said to be a "few weeks" ago, leaving time for Cap to participate in the larger Avengers: Under Siege storyline.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The Slug returns during the Evolutionary War. Guess he was so fat, he floated on the ocean.
Posted by: CLYDE | February 26, 2014 5:13 PM
Well Cap did fight off the drugs the Yellow Claw injected him with in the Marvel Fanfare #31-32 story...
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | February 26, 2014 5:33 PM
That hadn't been published yet. Gruenwald must have had something else in mind...
Posted by: fnord12 | February 26, 2014 7:22 PM
Drugs and their interaction with the super-soldier serum becomes an interesting feature later on many years from now.
Posted by: Chris | February 27, 2014 9:09 PM
"Mitch Schiffman" is probably a reference to Milton Schiffman, one of Marvel's finance guys.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 1, 2014 7:25 PM
Bizarrely, the Slug was imprisoned in the Raft as a superhuman criminal. Even more bizarrely, he managed to escape during Bendis' first arc!
Posted by: Berend | March 15, 2014 4:02 PM
Perhaps the similar situation was when Cap was injected with the first Viper's poison back in the Englehart run?
Posted by: Jeff | September 16, 2014 12:27 AM
That could be it, Jeff. I've added it to the References. Thanks.
Kids, just to be clear, this doesn't meant that heroin will give you super-strength.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 16, 2014 7:41 AM
Cap has time to fight crime and get his pages in on time. Makes you wonder about artists who are notorious for missing deadlines. There's no excuse if Cap can do it.
Posted by: JSfan | August 4, 2015 4:52 PM
Before I was done reading this issue I was afraid that Cap and Nomad would fight each other about justice and whatever but thankfully it didn't happen. As fnord notes such subtlety is really good, especially when you know that hero vs hero fights became more and more common over the years, and often happen for the smallest misunderstandings.
Man, Don Daley really looks like the Beyonder.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | April 3, 2017 2:21 PM
The Marvel Universe version of Marvel Comics must have had a field day in about 2002 when Cap revealed he was really Steve Rogers. All the issues he drew of himself must be collectors items now.
Then there was probably a big speculator boom, where people would buy other comics, trying to work out which were the most likely to increase in value when it turned out they were drawn by other heroes moonlighting as self-cartoonists.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | April 3, 2017 3:28 PM
Thank God David Wohl was involved in this issue in some capacity. He was very, very trusted.
Posted by: Wis | October 27, 2017 6:07 PM
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