Captain America #365
Issue(s): Captain America #365
"At that moment", Col. John Jameson returns home from Madripoor with Captain America and Diamondback, but can't locate Avengers Island to land. Cap sends John to Newark and hops out of the plane with Diamondback on a Skymobile. They locate some of the Avengers support staff and some Quinjets on a nearby barge.
Diamondback had been arguing with Cap about sticking around, but he sends her away for now, telling her that he'll keep in touch. Her facial expression indicates either that she's having a stroke or joining the cast of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith.
"Meanwhile", the Sub-Mariner, who is searching for "the alien spawn of my late wife" is also approached by the facilitator, who apparently hasn't read a Marvel comic in decades and doesn't know that he's not a bad guy.
Notice that the facilitator has left a door behind for Namor, same as he did for the Red Skull.
And then Crossbones happens upon the Controller and, with an ok from his boss, brings him in.
Despite not being happy about being manhandled by Crossbones, the Controller agrees to listen to the Red Skull's terms.
"[T]hat night", Captain America discusses having been repelled from the Fantastic Four's building, and Jarvis suggests setting up base in the sub-basement of the old Avengers Mansion.
Namor, "several hours later", goes to Avengers Island, probably to alert them about the mysterious stranger, and finds that it's not there. Investigating, he finds the mansion sunk beneath the ocean, but he's then ambushed by the Controller and tagged with a control disc. Normally the Controller just absorbs his victims' strength, but in this case he also gains Namor's ability to breath underwater.
Meanwhile, Peggy Carter gets a tip that Namor was spotted flying around the harbor, and Captain America assumes that he was looking for Avengers Island, so he takes his Skymobile to find him. And when he gets there, Namor attacks him.
Cap notices the thing on his his neck and recognizes it as one of the Controller's control discs, so he plays possum until Namor gets close, and then tries to knock it off. He's not completely successful but he manages to jar it.
And then he worries that he might have caused Namor brain damage. Meanwhile, perhaps because his latest ploy to defeat Captain America has failed, the Red Skull decides to join the cabal.
I personally don't like it when a single issue spans a period of time like this during a crossover (see the Considerations section below). I know that's mainly due to my own peculiar needs, but it's also worth thinking about how the format drives decisions like this. If Acts of Vengeance were a Secret Wars II style crossover, with all the "Banner" books (as opposed to the "Nabisco corner" books) being published in an Acts of Vengeance maxi-series while the lesser tie-ins were designed to take place between issues of the crossover, the structure of the story would have been more linear. Avengers Island is destroyed, Quasar begins his salvage attempt, Captain America comes home from Madripoor, Cap and Thor try to go to the FF. That's all perfectly sequential, but the events are spread across multiple series. That's probably great for readers of any one particular book that didn't want to get sucked into the crossover, but it prevents the books from being put in a strict timeline order.
Anyway, that's not really a problem (if it even is a problem) specific to this book; i mention it here because Mark Gruenwald is actually great about establishing in this issue where Cap's appearances in other comics are happening.
The writing here is entirely plot-driven, but it's a good issue setting up various parts of Acts of Vengeance. Kieron Dwyer's art is spotty at times (some of Diamondback's faces, for example, even if he is going for comedy), and really nice at others. The spottiness may indicate deadline issues; the book continues to have back-up features by other artists to help with the page count, and Dwyer will get a "one-issue breather" from Ron Lim next issue that will quickly turn into Lim being the regular artist.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Issue #365 begins with Captain America and Diamondback returning from Madripoor after Captain America #364. They arrive to find that Avengers Island has been destroyed "six hours" earlier, making that portion of the story taking place after Avengers #311. Quasar and Stingray are said to be currently on their salvage attempt, as shown in Quasar #5. Later ("that night"), Captain America is talking with his support staff about his attempt to go to the Fantastic Four from Fantastic Four #334. Captain America then fights and defeats the mind-controlled Sub-Mariner. Cap's fight with Namor is shown in the montage in Avengers Spotlight #27 amongst the other concurrently happening Avengers battles. The issue ends with Red Skull deciding to join the cabal of Acts of Vengeance arch-villains; we see him going through the magic doorway left behind by Loki. Since there's a gap in this issue during which Cap appears in other comics (e.g. FF #334 and Quasar #5), i'm placing this entry where the issue ends. Issue #366 will open with Henry Pym having examined the Sub-Mariner and the control disc on his head, so i will be allowing a little space to occur between this issue and next.
Issues #365-367 have a Cobra & Hyde back-up story that i cover in a separate entry.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showCaptain America, Controller, Crossbones, Diamondback, Dr. Doom, Fabian Stankowicz, Guardsman II (Michael O'Brien), Jarvis, Kingpin, Loki, Man-Wolf (John Jameson), Peggy Carter, Red Skull, Sub-Mariner, Wizard
Namor looks downright scary in some panels.
Posted by: kveto | March 30, 2015 3:27 PM
Fnord, the problem with placement of this issue is that the Skull appears as part of the cabal in Wolverine 19. So Wolverine 19 has to take place after this issue. Except that Avengers 312 takes place explicitly after Uncanny X-Men 255, and Avengers 312 takes place shortly after Hank Pym and the Wasp arrive in New York following the events of Avengers West Coast 53. In Avengers West Coast 53, Hank doesn't know about Hydrobase sinking but in issue 366, Hank is examining the Sub-Mariner in the subbasement, just as the Skull is leaving his first meeting with the Cabal. IOW, only a few hours is supposed to take place between the Skull joining the Cabal and Avengers 312 but at least a week takes place between Wolverine 19 and Uncanny X-Men 255.
Posted by: Michael | March 30, 2015 8:12 PM
Thanks, Michael. Even if i discard all references to days and weeks as temporal, it's still insane amount of books to fit in, especially when considering the New Warriors also have a dependency on UX #255. Let me keep going until i create the entry for Avengers #312 and the X-Men AoV issues and then i'll start reshuffling the X-books best i can.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 30, 2015 8:51 PM
It is hard to square how this recruitment of the Red Skull makes any sense to Byrne's writing of the Skull in Avengers who is always commenting that this is his own plan and manipulating the others. Just lame.
I also hoped to see that some mention was made of the Controller's defeat by Iron Man during the Stark/Armor Wars and show how this has affected the Controller.
The Dwyer/Bulanadi team is putting up some great art though.
Posted by: Chris | March 30, 2015 11:24 PM
I actually prefer this portrayal of the skull, as one who mistrusts his fellow cabal members but wants to be a part of the group in case they succeed. Much better than Bryne's portrayal that he (and the others) each naively believe themselves to be in charge.
Posted by: kveto | March 31, 2015 2:03 AM
I think that last shot of the Red Skull was either inked or fully drawn by Todd McFarlane - any thoughts?
Kieron's still one of my favorite Cap artists.
Posted by: Vin the Comic Guy | April 7, 2015 7:58 PM
"and Jarvis suggests setting up base in the sub-basement of the old Avengers Mansion."
Maybe this has been discussed elsewhere, but it's amazing that very few of the Hero teams' original structures are still around at this time. You have the FF's new building to replace their old building that was lifted into space, the X-men's mansion was destroyed during "Inferno", and the Avengers' residence was moved and has now been sunk. Was there a point where Marvel ran out of ideas so much that they had to not only break apart teams (FF lost and then gained back Reed and Sue, X-Men thought dead, Avengers broken up and hastily reassembled)but also the places they lived in?
Posted by: clyde | July 21, 2015 10:25 PM
I find Clyde's comment about all the old Silver Age headquarters being destroyed interesting in light of my realization while looking at this issue that all the members of the cabal are classic Silver Age villains. We've got old-time villains for Thor, the FF, the Human Torch, Iron Man, Captain America and the X-Men. If only they had added The Owl, the Leader and Baron Mordo, we could have had a complete set.
Posted by: Erik Beck | September 18, 2015 8:07 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|