Captain America #348
Issue(s): Captain America #348
This actually works out well for Douglas Rockwell, who is under orders from his mysterious boss to keep Walker as Captain America so that he will continue to "besmirch the image". Reagan's comments also cause Steve Rogers to be released from jail. He's released unceremoniously, to say the least: his cell door opens and he walks out to find an empty prison and his shield waiting for him. What he doesn't know is that his shield has a tracer implanted in it.
Hoping to locate D-Man, he checks his computer hotline but finds it's just spouting pop culture sayings and song lyrics.
This will continue in Avengers #298.
The main story is that Flag Smasher's ULTIMATUM organization has turned against him, resulting in some awesome ski jet action (again, that's different than jet ski action).
He flees to a base in the Arctic and takes hostages, demanding that Captain America be sent to him. The government is forced to send the unstable Walker. And Walker won't play the hostage game.
Additionally, Walker is also stronger than Steve Rogers.
However, that works to Flag-Smasher's advantage, because he has a strength-draining exoskeleton.
He then tells Battlestar that he wants the real Captain America, and notes that it's for a cause that could throw the entire world into chaos.
Battlestar decides not to confront Flag-Smasher on his own, and contacts the Commission. But they don't know where Steve Rogers is (except Rockwell, who isn't telling).
Nice build up. I have to admit i enjoyed seeing Walker get trounced by one of Cap's lesser villains, despite, or even because of, Walker's super strength. But that's not fair to Walker, who is past the point of a nervous breakdown at this point. Flag-Smasher plays an interesting role here as a quasi-hero who still can't help taking a hostage to get a message to Cap. It does help knowing how this will all tie together for #350.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Steve Rogers was in prison since the end of the last arc, and so shouldn't appear elsewhere prior to this issue. He next appears in Avengers #298, which is part of Inferno.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBattlestar, Captain America, Douglas Rockwell, Flag-Smasher, General Lewis Haywerth, Henry Peter Gyrich, Raymond Sikorski, Red Skull, USAgent, Valerie Cooper
I love the fact that the hotline is susceptible to the effects of Inferno.
Posted by: clyde | August 5, 2014 5:12 PM
Super issue. I got real schadendfruede in seeing the Flag-smasher smash Walker. Walker getting defeated due to his over-reliance on his store-bought super-strength.
I even love the little detail of the smasher removing his cape before facing Walker. More characters should do that.
Posted by: kveto from prague | August 5, 2014 6:17 PM
Flag-Smasher was always written as a caricature... but at least he got to hand Walker his posteriors here, so that is something.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | August 5, 2014 8:21 PM
I used to DJ under the name Flag-Smasher and throw underground electronic music parties called ULTIMATUM. Not making that up. Thought I'd share.
Posted by: cullen | August 6, 2014 12:09 AM
When I was younger, I thought the Inferno storyline was only confined to New Mutants (I was never a comic book collector) It's interesting to see the story told in different books.
Posted by: JSfan | August 6, 2014 5:48 AM
These early effects of Inferno take place after N'astirh arrives on Earth and begins casting spells in X-terminators #1.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 6, 2014 1:07 PM
Jay, i'm still dancing around the edges of Inferno for now so i may ultimately agree with that placement, but i'm curious why you say this has to take place after X-Terminators #1. We saw evidence of inanimate objects getting possessed in X-Factor #33 and New Mutants #66, both of which take place before X-Terminators #1.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 6, 2014 3:18 PM
Well, specifically the scene at the beginning of X-terminators #1 when N'astirh arrives on Earth. N'astirh claims responsibility for "the transformation of Manhattan" in X-Factor #36. It was his spells that were demonizing objects into attacking people.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 11, 2014 3:31 AM
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