Captain America #309
Issue(s): Captain America #309
Before he left, as Steve Rogers he was working on a deadline for his ad agency. Now that he's finally back, he calls his boss at home on a Saturday night only to find that the job was given to another artist. The following Monday, Steve shows up at the Bennett Advertising Agency to apologize, and also to resign. Mr. Bennett tries to retain him, but Steve is determined to quit, citing his own unreliable schedule and, more importantly, a lack of comfort with the very idea of advertising and the "promotion of material things" that "contributes to a consumer-oriented society -- one that places more value on possessions than people". Who is this guy, some kinda commie? ;-)
Steve is downright giddy running out of the office building after quitting, looking like me after i'd decided to cut class back in college.
"Considering I just talked myself out of a high-paying job -- I feel great!" Well, sure, Cap. It's not like with your Avengers stipend you've got any need for money. I don't know why you had a job in the first place. I really think it's weird that Captain America had a job. If he likes to draw as a hobby fine, and if he can sell his drawings, great, but you'd think he'd find fighting super-crime to be a more valuable use of his time than meeting deadlines for toothpaste ad campaigns or (as we'll see next issue) comic books. it seems downright irresponsible for him to have a job when he doesn't need one. Again, as a way to relax, sure. But nothing that could potentially take him away from the thing that only he can do, and nothing where other people are relying on you to turn things in on time.
Later, while Cap is exercising at the Avengers' gym, Jarvis brings him a snack.
It's his "favorite": American cheese on whole wheat with a glass of milk. "Oh boy", says Cap, looking gleeful again. That's really corny. Between the high-minded thoughts about advertising and this ridiculously wholesome favorite snack, Gruenwald is turning Cap into a real boy scout. Captain America is a soldier, and there's no doubt he's always had principles, and that he's always kept himself in top shape ("How does he move like that?" "Clean living, son."). But he's also traveled the country on a motorcycle, eating at greasy spoon diners. A quintessential man of the people, not some judgmental guy standing on a pedestal. Hrmmmm.
Back to the story, Jarvis also tips Cap off on where Nomad might have gone to look for Madcap, which is actually the main plot of this issue. After failing to apprehend him in their last encounter, Nomad hunts down Madcap with a new strategy, and sort-of befriends him by playing along with Madcap's anarchist philosophy. It's a cool idea.
In the process, Nomad learned Madcap's origin. He was a fairly religious man who was the sole survivor of an accident when his church's bus crashed into an AIM truck carrying experimental chemicals.
The accident gave him his invulnerability, and also gave him the ability to cause other people to act goofy (it turns out that power is generated by his eyes, not the gun he carries, which is just a cheap toy watergun).
Eventually Madcap gets dangerous again and Nomad is forced to try to stop him. Cap manages to track Nomad down but he stays out of the fight...
...letting Nomad prove himself. And when Nomad does defeat him (by binding Madcap's eyes), it's confirmation for Jack that he's able to be a super-hero on his own and doesn't need to be Cap's partner anymore.
I don't know if Gruenwald had intentions to use Madcap again (he next appears in single issues of Daredevil, then Power Pack, then the satirical She-Hulk series), but he's a really dangerous sort of character: invulnerable and irrational. Luckily he's generally been used as a weirdo joke character.
In a set-up for a major ongoing plotline, we see the Serpent Squad doing some recruiting.
I don't know if it was deliberate but it's funny how Princess Python above first seems startled and then composes herself and settles into high villain speak.
Cameos by Falcon and Nick Fury while Cap is looking for Nomad.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Captain America is shown returning home via taxi at the beginning of this issue. Since he was shown flying home from the West Coast in a Quinjet, he must have taken the cab from Avengers mansion, not the airport. Steve Rogers quits his job working for the Bennett Advertising Agency this issue. Pushing this back to get Captain America back with the Avengers by Avengers #256.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): showAnaconda, Bernie Rosenthal, Captain America, Cobra, Constrictor, Death Adder, Falcon, Jarvis, Madcap, Nick Fury, Nomad, Princess Python, Sidewinder
Since Death Adder can't talk, I wonder how he recruited Princess Python?
PS. I thought I remember seeing somewhere that Cap didn't take a salary for being on the Avengers, but I could be mis-remembering.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | July 1, 2012 10:07 AM
He gave her a card with writing on it. He could talk normally until his vocal cords were damaged- he can still write.
Posted by: Michael | July 1, 2012 10:14 AM
It's a cute little post-it note that actually says "Signed Death Adder" at the end.
Regarding Cap, if he is refusing a salary, it's by choice. I also don't think that's been revealed *yet*, anyway; i'll keep an eye out for it. I'm sure Nick Fury would sign him up for SHIELD in a heartbeat, too (although in this issue he says that SHIELD is done relying on super-folks for the time being). I guess my (very minor) point is that Cap's decision to take on a civilian job is perfectly fine, but it's voluntary and therefore odd that he's so giddy about quitting.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 1, 2012 10:21 AM
ok, thanks. I was wondering.
Posted by: kveto from prague | July 1, 2012 11:39 AM
I like Nomad's send off. It establishes him as a serious hero that can work on his own. I also think it's more than enough time to end this team. Gruenwald will later establish some interesting development in the Nomad character, and I think this makes him one of the stronger recurring characters on this title.
Posted by: Chris | January 9, 2014 10:05 PM
Don't you think AIM would want to remake Compound X07, seeing as how it basically makes people invulnerable (albeit probably insane as well)?
Posted by: MikeCheyne | January 18, 2015 12:28 PM
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