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Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #10: Review

Jun 1999
James Felder, Steve Mannion

Story Name:

The Janus Chamber

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #10 Review by (August 16, 2010)
Review: Easily the most bizarre issue of this series and one of the strangest Cap comics ever, CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY #10 is a comic romp enhanced by art clearly inspired by the great Wally Wood (note Cap looking like a lantern-jawed lunkhead), though the strangest part may be the incongruously somber ending. No idea what they were thinking when they devised this issue (probably just to do a burlesque of the standard Captain America story) but I really have no idea what they had in mind with that climax.

Comments: Dino Manelli is based on crooner Dean Martin; Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr are also mentioned briefly. The final panels date this story to November 21-22, 1963.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #10 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

1963: Summoned to the White House for a late night meeting, Captain America encounters a scantily clad woman wrapped in an American flag outside the President’s office. They recognize each other but Cap is quickly intercepted by General Zane who, despite his open disapproval of superheroes (and television), needs Cap’s help in securing the Janus Project out west. Later, at the Kefauver Airfield in Nevada, the General shows Cap what happened to the men he sent to investigate Janus: the one man to return was driven hopelessly insane; it’s now up to Cap to secure the Janus facility alone. He drops by the Las Vegas penthouse of old army buddy—and former Howling CommandoDino Manelli, now a famous entertainer, and passes Dino’s disappointed paramour—the same starlet from the White House—on the way in. Cap has Dino drive him out to the desert where he detects dangerous levels of radiation with a Geiger Counter. As Manelli heads back to Vegas, Cap makes his way to the Janus facility where he discovers the place is guarded by A.I.M. soldiers. Overpowering them he enters the main vault and encounters MODOK, who show him a human form inside a fluid filled tube and explains that this is his agent to assassinate the President, after which MODOK will mount an enormous headless automaton and conquer the world. Cap pursues his grotesque foe into the Janus Chamber and, exposed to the same gas that drove the soldier mad, he begins to hallucinate that snails, his secret phobia, are oozing from MODOK’s eyes (ick!). Cap insists that none of it is real—as he is drawn into a belly dancer’s navel and comes face to face with a battalion of transsexual Nick Furys. He unmasks Fury as Bucky, who melts into an army of Red Skulls…when Cap realizes that he can turns the nightmare to his advantage. The wings on his mask grow and Cap flies off to pilot his giant talking shield as an aircraft, crashing it through MODOK’s defenses. Outside, General Zane has arrived, summoned by Cap’s earlier transmission a, just as the giant robot body emerges, clutching the container with his dormant agent. The robot is revealed to be operated by Cap, with the unconscious MODOK balanced on top. Cap advises them to destroy the agent as soon as possible…then he realizes what he has been overlooking. He rushes to Dino Manelli’s apartment and unmasks him as an AIM robot of death (the clue: the starlet’s "disappointment with Dino’s "performance"). The Dino robot opens fire on Cap with a bevy of weapons but Cap decapitates it with his shield. He then rushes to the military lab and rescues the real Dino, who was in suspended animation in the AIM container. Cap reports to General Zane that the mission has been accomplished—and finds the General in shock: the television is announcing that President Kennedy has been assassinated….


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> Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty: Book info and issue index

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #10 cover


Steve Mannion
Steve Mannion
Matt Hicks
Steve Mannion (Cover Penciler)
Steve Mannion (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: A.I.M., Dino Manelli.