Captain America #285
Issue(s): Captain America #285
The Porcupine is marketing an updated version of his battle suit to the newly reformed Secret Empire, and they demand proof of its value.
Porcupine's proposal is for him to "test the suit - in combat - against the ultimate soldier! The world's greatest fighting machine!" The Secret Empire guy immediately knows that he means Captain America. But the terms of the test are a little vague. He doesn't say he has to defeat Cap - and that would be setting the bar a bit high, in my opinion. So does he have to survive five minutes with Cap? It's not clear.
It's worth noting that in the Porcupine's first appearance he was working as a military weapons designer, and he almost turned his suit over to the government for development. Instead he decided to become a super-villain, which hasn't really worked out that well for him, so here he is trying to sell his suit designs. If only he'd gone with his original impulse...
Anyway, Nomad is the first guy to encounter the Porcupine. It... doesn't go well.
Listen, i know that Nomad is inexperienced, but please don't go attacking a guy called the Porcupine with your fist. It's just common sense.
With Nomad in danger and the Patriot on his deathbed waiting for Cap to show up, the Porcupine has to be defeated quickly. So Cap fakes an injury, allowing Nomad to attack Porcupine from behind, and then Cap finishes him off.
Honestly, i think that showing should satisfy the Secret Empire. The Empire's plan was to commission thousands of these suits. Porcupine held out for a decent amount of time against Cap, and he managed to defeat Nomad. Seems good enough for an army of goons to me.
Since there was nothing time sensitive regarding Porcupine's goals, I wonder if things would have gone differently if Captain America had just said, "Dude, I'm on my way to visit a dying friend. Can I fight you later?"
Nonetheless, the Patriot holds on long enough for Cap to say goodbye.
(At least two of the people that the Patriot hopes to meet in Heaven aren't actually dead yet.)
Good old Sal Buscema filling in on art. This was a decent issue.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBernie Rosenthal, Captain America, Jarvis, Josh Cooper, Mike Farrel, Nomad, Patriot, Porcupine
The Bucky in that last panel would have to be the Fred Davis Bucky II. Marvel back then was really coy about whether he was dead or comatose or paralyzed or what--in any case, his absence wasn't addressed for quite a while afterwards.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 21, 2011 12:55 AM
It's not addressed here, but it was later established that Jeff Mace married Betsy "Golden Girl" Ross. Since we don't see her here, I wonder if that means she already passed away or they divorced?
Posted by: Gary Himes | September 15, 2013 7:38 PM
This new Porcupine suit looks great - far better than the old one from the 1960s. A foe like the Porcupine is always going to fall short against Iron Man or other top powered hero, but he should be a decent threat against any street level hero like Cap and DD, and even true super powered folks like Spidey and Iron Fist/Power Man.
While I understood why Gruenwald used him the way he did in the Porcupine's last issue in Cap, I think this character was salvageable.
Villains have to be defeated, but they can still prove to be a threat. On occasion, they might even score a minor or temporary victory, or escape until the next story.
Posted by: Chris | September 15, 2013 11:09 PM
I understand for dramatic purposes why the Porcupine can't find any buyers, but come on, SOMEONE would want this suit. At the very least, I'm not sure why someone like Hammer or the Tinkerer wouldn't buy it and retool it.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | January 21, 2015 10:46 PM
Strangely, the new Porcupine armor has a lot fewer spikes on it than the old ones; he's pretty much unprotected from the front. This makes Nomad punching the quills even less excusable.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | August 5, 2016 4:38 PM
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