Characters Appearing: Captain America, Dum Dum Dugan LMD, Iron Man, Jasper Sitwell, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Nick Fury, Sharon Carter
Captain America #127
Issue(s): Captain America #127
The suit is designed by a Dr. Ryder. Cap is impressed that SHIELD continues to find such incredible super-scientists to create their equipment. First Tony Stark, now Dr. Ryder. But Cap doesn't want to stick around, because he's recently broken up with Sharon and doesn't want to bump into her.
We learn that he's avoiding being with Sharon thanks to the deaths of Bucky and Peggy Carter (who is still unnamed, and there's definitely no hint of a connection to Sharon).
Later, SHIELD go up against AIM, who are wearing blue versions of their costumes (later, the blue costumes will indicate a split from the main branch of AIM, but for now i think it's just a style choice), and suddenly find that their protecto-suits aren't working.
Since Captain America is the only person who knew about the new suits that didn't have a background check done on him, he comes under suspicion. Sharon has her own reasons.
So Cap gets a call saying that his SHIELD priority has been revoked. At exactly the same time, Joe Robertson from the Daily Bugle hears rumors about it, and goes to interview Fury and Carter about it.
Robbie bumps into Cap on the way out, and Cap doesn't like what he hears.
As a way to clear Cap, Nick Fury has Tony Stark build him a giant radioactive robot.
Fury is very impressed with the robot. It looks even better than the Dum Dum Dugan LMD that Fury keeps around ever since the real Dum Dum died (Oh, that's not what Fury means by that? He's just making a joke? Ok, if you say so. I say it's evidence of 40+ years of planning.).
Captain America is then summoned by SHIELD to compete against Android X-4.
"What if I'm tired? What if I slip? On the other hand, what if I've been replaced by the Super-Adaptoid? What does this prove, exactly?"
While Cap is fighting the robot, which seemingly goes out of control, Sharon uses a Geiger counter to track down who is really controlling it, and it turns out to be Dr. Ryder.
Cap is not happy to be used to flush out the real traitor, and he storms out in a huff.
There's a lot that i like about this issue. I like the fact that AIM is remembered as a high tech organization and not just a group of generic terrorists. The fact that the organization's roots come from inside SHIELD also make is plausible that Dr. Ryder could have infiltrated so easily despite the talk of background checks. I also like the use of Joe Robertson and Tony Stark, and i like little details in the art like Cap using his shield as an umbrella while talking to Robbie in the snow. But there's a lot that's crazy, too, like the ability for Stark to create a radioactive killer robot, and Cap's ability to defeat that robot being the only way to prove that he's really Cap. There's also a lot of angst - with Sharon and with Cap feeling betrayed by Nick and SHIELD - but that leads directly into the changed status quo coming next issue.
I now give you: The Poses of Sharon Carter.
In the lettercol for this issue, there are a pair of wild attempts to explain the Captain America comic that continued to be published into the 1950s despite the retcon origin in Avengers #4. We won't see an official explanation for this for a couple more years (and even that won't be a full explanation).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place this between Avengers #77-78.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Neal Pozner later became a designer and writer for DC.
Sharon's poses look much more like Wood than Colan; I have to wonder if Wood actually had to finish some penciling.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 20, 2014 5:11 PM
This may be the first time we see Fury outright manipulate a superhero; he's held back details before, but he's never staged a scenario like this entirely as a ploy. It's a foretaste of the more ignoble take on the character that will eventually bring him into line with broader changes in the spy genre. (For all that Fury was supposedly SHIELD's "public director," he tended to act more like a frontline sergeant when he had his own series.)
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 17, 2015 6:07 PM
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