Thursday, November 10, 2011

80-Page Thursdays: Captain America #400!


For the next stretch, as long as I can find them, every Thursday we'll check out an 80-page comic! Not 64, not 100, 80-page giants only! Today, Captain America #400!

The main story, "Murder by Decree!" was Cap's third of four chapters in the Operation: Galactic Storm crossover, and finds Cap trapped on Hala, capital of the Kree Empire. A team of Avengers, led by Iron Man, have left Cap behind as they attempt to stop the Shi'ar Nega-Bomb from destroying the Kree. The captive Cap is brought before the Supreme Intelligence, but after an explosion Cap finds himself in battle with...King Cobra? And Batroc? As other villains start showing up, Cap knows something isn't right, but Flag-Smasher, Crossbones, the Viper, and the Red Skull all pile on.
It's really embarrassing to snap your fingers and have nothing happen...
Eventually pinned, Cap's in a bad spot, with the Skull about to give him the dust of death. But, that wouldn't be sporting, especially if you're Batroc, who lets Cap's arm loose in time to break free. Afterwards, Cap notes Batroc acts as he would expect him too, but...

The Supreme Intelligence had wanted to absorb Cap into its collective, but ultimately Cap's "insufferable desire for freedom and independence" made him unsuitable. Meanwhile, the Nega-bomb comes closer...

Also this issue: USAgent and Falcon team up against Flag-Smasher, to rescue the amnesiac D-Man. Poor D-Man had been living with the Eskimos for some time, and unfairly is given what would be his defining characteristic this issue:

Stinky.

Next, some ninety issues after her first appearance, Diamondback gets an origin, in the form of an inconveniently timed flashback right before she drops a cinderblock on the skull of her captor, Crossbones. And Crossbones wasn't just her captor:

When her brothers get mixed up with a gang, young Rachel Leighton wants to join as well, which leads first to her being raped by Brock (Crossbones, before his mask) and then the deaths of two of her brothers. Only the thought that Cap wouldn't approve of murder stops her. It probably shouldn't. (Writer Mark Gruenwald seemed to hit a wall with the character of Diamondback; where he'd been doing great with her trying to reform to be Cap's girlfriend, then couldn't figure where to take her next.)

Closing with a reprint of Avengers #4 by Lee and Kirby, this issue still holds up. Stories by Gruenwald, with art by Rik Levins, Danny Bulanadi, Larry Alexander, Kathryn Bolinger, and Dan Panosian.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I still got this one myself, or at least what's left of it. Still holds though.

Now more Doom Idol please!!!!