Captain America #340
Issue(s): Captain America #340
D-Man is impressed with his new shield, but of course Steve isn't so happy about it anymore.
Meanwhile, back in the Vault, Mr. Hyde and Titania are making their escape.
They wind up freeing Armadillo in the process...
...and Vibro and Griffin manage to escape, too.
Since Cap's crew is nearby, they respond to reports of the breakout.
Notice that Cap is going more "viciously" against Mr. Hyde than usual, and meanwhile Nomad grins about sending Vibro on a long fall. The violent days are here.
But Cap ultimately lives up to his ideals.
D-Man, however, is too scared to engage with Titania after initially getting thrown off a cliff by her. I'm glad to see he didn't let her go because he didn't want to fight a woman.
Nomad's girlfriend Vagabond was told to sit out the battle because she's not combat ready. But she does manage to convince Armadillo to turn himself in.
A very straightforward battle issue, although there are a few twists and character moments. Not a great showing by the villains (this isn't "Masters of Evil Raid Avengers Mansion II", by any stretch), but sometimes you just want a fight issue. And someone's got to clean up Iron Man's mess.
When the Vault is eventually shut down, the multiple escapes are cited as a main reason. But it's worth noting that in this case, it wasn't the fault of the Vault itself; it was due to the actions of Iron Man and James Rhodes.
The letters are in regarding calling Lemar Hoskins (who, along with John Walker, doesn't appear in this issue) "Bucky", and we'll see a change regarding that next issue.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from Iron Man #228 for Steve Rogers.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
Vibro's powers shouldn't work- the Rockies aren't on the San Andreas Fault.
Posted by: Michael | May 14, 2014 10:51 PM
I enjoyed this issue in real time. I'm all about character moments and there are plenty to choose from. Gru handles Titania nicely with her dialogue sounding more comedic than previous appearances were she was more of a bully. Good thing, too, since it provides a nice contrast to Hyde's sadistic, non-nonsense persona. Armadillo's decision suits his demeanor, while poor D-Man makes the right call as well.
Nomad does come off as a real douche, though. If this comic were published today, we'd see Vibro splatter all over the countryside. The best moment for me is Cap getting payback for Jarvis. Nowadays, he would have let Hyde take the fall. And Nomad's view of Cap would certainly differ from what we see here.
Posted by: Clutch | May 15, 2014 7:09 AM
Would a fall like that kill Hyde? I mean guy fell from a skyscrapper fighting Spider-Man. Peter was horrified but it turned out it was what it took to finally knock him out. Of course that doesn't mean Steve heard about that.
Posted by: david banes | May 15, 2014 6:09 PM
Having Armadillo here seems out of character. Last we saw he was badly injured and headed to a hospital. Given his personality (he's not a villain - just wants to be with his wife), I'm surprised they bothered to put him in the Vault - he seemed like he would have been okay just serving his time for his brief little rampage in NYC.
Kudos for Gruenwald recognizing how much more powerful Titania is. It's not a good showing for D-Man, but it's a realistic one.
It does beg the question why Steve went after Tony on his own - did the Iron Man writers just not want to include the others? Surely D-Man, with his strength, would have been of more help in the fight against Tony.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 30, 2015 8:04 AM
I really respect Kieron Dwyer's storytelling efforts in this issue. At this point in his career, he is just starting out, but it's clear that he is trying to be thoughtful how action is portrayed not just with a panel, but across panels, such as on the first screen shot that fnord has at the top of the entry, showing Falcon and Captain America entering the scene.
Other examples in this issue show him playing with the viewer's perspective, and of being mindful of how to position characters in panels to establish directional flow (as Alex Toth has referred to it) as he does in the Vibro/Nomad fight on the cliff, as shown in some of the screenshots fnord has of that fight.
I still think his art and storytelling is rough in these early efforts, and not always perfect, but it is clear that he is focused on mastering the essentials, which certainly puts him well ahead many other new, flashier artists who are becoming better known for their style over substance approach.
I keep reassessing his work on Captain America and my respect only increases each time I do, as he now ranks among my favorite Cap artists (which include Kirby, Sal Buscema, Byrne, Zeck, Lim, and Epting).
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 19, 2015 1:23 AM
Yeah, I also like the art a lot in these John Walker era issues.
Nomad says "Oh, spam" when he sees Hyde and Titania's vehicle on the road. The way he said it makes it sound like "oh, crap". I didn't know spam could be used as a swear word/interjection. Pretty odd if you ask me.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | November 15, 2017 2:29 PM
I agree with the above commenters on appreciating Kieron Dwyer’s art in Cap during this run. I was all of 12 years old at this time, but it is the first time I can recall really taking notice of the change in art within a comic book and enjoying it. The next time was when McFarlane hit the scene (but that was a more extreme example).
Posted by: Paul Peterson | April 14, 2018 9:43 AM
Dwyer was the perfect man for the late Walker era, he really had a talent for kinetic and sometimes very painful-looking fight scenes.
I can't think of any artist of the time who would have done such a good job portraying Walker's violence as something truly scary and unhinged. (Speaking of his talent for choreographing fight scenes, he also did some good work near the end of Nocenti's Daredevil run in 289-290. As much as I love Nocenti's more thoughtful stuff, I thought it was great that after 50+ issues of not giving the public what they wanted, she pretty much ended the run with a classic Daredevil-Bullseye brawl, and Dwyer clearly had fun doing that.)
It will sound like I'm damning Dwyer a bit by praising him for his ultraviolence, but I think Aaron already said the rest of what I think better than I could. Dwyer's work was not always pretty, but he had some great ideas and it's always been a shame to me that he didn't do more.
Gruenwald had done good work with less dramatic artists earlier on in his run, but he did hit a lot of peaks with Dwyer and then Lim, it's a shame he wasn't so lucky with his artists following those two.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | April 14, 2018 2:20 PM
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