Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Once is happenstance, twice enemy action, but three times? They don't like you, USAgent.

I mentioned a while back going through my box of Captain America comics looking for a USAgent appearance, and ended up reading a ton of issues, including all fifty issues of the 1998 series. I had forgotten USAgent appears three, maybe four times in that run. He probably wishes he could forget, too; since none of them go well for him. In the parlance of wrestling, USAgent is jobbed out, every time.
First, in Captain America #10, "American Nightmare, Chapter Two: The Growing Darkness," written by Mark Waid, pencils by Andy Kubert, and inks by Jesse Delperdang; USAgent falls under the influence of long-time Dr. Strange bad guy Nightmare, and tries to steal a jet to sell to a foreign power so they can be a proper foe for the U.S. army. Yeah...Cap stops him in about four pages, most of which is them crashing said jet into the ocean.
USAgent returns...in a dramatic fake-out, in Captain America #20, "Danger in the Air!" With Waid, Kubert, and Delperdang again. Taking a break from trying to catch the Thunderbolts--a break that may have lasted over a decade, I'm not sure--the Agent fights some A.I.M. beekeepers, until his Cap-style, new vibranium shield explodes on him. This was building up to the conclusion of the plot of Cap's indestructible, shattered shield; and USAgent gets taken out to show the stakes rising. Later this issue, a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. vibranium likewise blows up, and the next issue at Avengers Mansion Hawkeye's stash of vibranium for arrows goes blooey as well. (Hawkeye isn't in there, so he comes out better than USAgent.)
Later, most ignobly of all, in Captain America #33, "Impending Rage!" Story and pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Art Thibert. A.I.M. revives Protocide, a pre-Steve test subject for the Super-Soldier Serum, and tests him on USAgent. Protocide rolls over USAgent in three pages; even though the Agent was better trained, had a better shield that shouldn't break, and was well over twenty times stronger. Unless it was altered somewhere, USAgent could lift about ten tons; even with the Super-Soldier Serum, I don't think Protocide should have been able to bench more than a thousand pounds...

USAgent is shown getting medical care the next issue, and may have suffered spinal injury. In about a year, he would get a limited series and his Judge Dredd-like costume. It really makes me wonder if the poor guy has any fans, or if they just like seeing him take abuse.


Dale Bagwell said...

Probably a little of both Goo. I still like myself, even though Marvel hasn't done anything decent with him since his brief stint in the West Coast Avengers. I used to have a repainted Captain America Marvel Super-Heroes figure of him that came with a shield launcher. Remember that?

Hell I even gave his 1st mini a try, but stopped because I didn't know enough about his back-story at the time to care what was going on there besides him fighting the Scourge. Nonetheless, I'm eagerly awaiting his ML figure that comes out in wave 3 or 4 I think. Some guy online I was talking to yesterday, said the new ML figures are supposed to come out in September. So we'll see huh?

Dale Bagwell said...

Sorry, meant to type I still like him myself. Damn typing skills.