Characters Appearing: Billy (The Wanderers), Captain America, Chisel, Fastback, Flintlock, Folio, Hardhat, Nomad, Outback, Slug (Crimelord), Transom
Captain America #421
Issue(s): Captain America #421
Cap's not doing very well picking up on Nomad's erratic behavior, either.
We learn via flashback that Cap has already confronted Faustus directly, who told him that he sent him after the Slug, so it's not like Cap shouldn't know better. We also learn that in Nomad #18 we were supposed to see Cap fight his way "though Nomad's accomplices and the Slug's flunkies".
That did not happen. Cap was just seen lurking at the Slug's place after Nomad broke away from the fight between the two mercenary groups.
Anyway, Cap finally gets it "through my thick skull that Faustus has manipulated Jack" and works to break him of his conditioning. Cap tells Nomad that just because his father was a Nazi doesn't meant that he has to be. After all, his own father was "an alcoholic, a wife-beater, a quitter", but that's not what Cap became. Nomad seems to shake out of it, but the Slug slips away. Cap runs out of the building after him, into the battle between the all-loser squads.
The Slug tries to escape in his VTOL Slugmobile, but he gets blasted into the water.
Cap then returns to check on Nomad, but he's gone. Cap surmises that he's gone after Dr. Faustus for revenge.
With no subplots and an issue-long fight against a brainwashed Nomad, this issue is pretty weak. I'm not saying this would be better, but it's weird that all of these second rate mercenaries were developed for them to just appear in a quick crowd scene. They could have at least provided some fodder to vary up the fight. Cap looks like a complete idiot in this issue, not just because he can't figure out that Nomad is brainwashed (and at least his thick-headedness is eventually acknowledged) but also because the story has him running between Faustus and the Slug while capturing neither. He supposedly called the local SHIELD office to pick up Faustus but nothing comes of that. And he leaves the Slug presumably floating in the water so that he can chase Nomad. Cap just comes across looking ineffective. Although part of that seems to be due to the poorly coordinated hand-offs between issues (which we'll see more of in the next chapter).
But the bigger problem is just how plain this story is.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part two of The Faustus Affair. Part three is in Nomad #19. Dr. Faustus only appears in a flashback portion that takes place concurrently with Nomad #18, so i haven't listed him as a Character Appearing for this entry.
Crossover: The Faustus Affair
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Note that Cap explicitly says his father was a wife-beater in this story. When Remender portrayed Steve's father as a wife beater, there were a lot of complaints. But this issue shows there was a basis in canon for it.
Posted by: Michael | March 1, 2017 8:07 PM
Wasn't a fan of Levins' art to begin with, but it appears he's caught the Liefeld anatomy bug with this story.
Posted by: Bob | March 1, 2017 10:48 PM
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