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Captain America #221: Review

May 1978
Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

Cul-De-Sac!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Captain America #221 Review by (September 14, 2011)
Review: Aaaand the whole thing comes to a grinding halt. The interlude in Newfoundland was just a distraction from the search for Steve Rogers, as Cap and the reader both recognize. But whereas Cap got the opportunity to fight some bad guys and see his past retconned in insignificant ways, the original reader was forced to spend 35 cents a clip (an exorbitant price for a comic book in 1978) for this. On the other hand, the Ameridroid arc was a lot better than the actual Search storyline so it is with sadness I note that the best is behind us. Meanwhile, the Avengers story is an odd duck: you’d think we had moved past the “it was all a dream” plot device but no. I know it is a filler story but really…. The unusual thing is that while aptly illustrating Rick’s deep-seated longing to be a hero, it also shows that even in his fantasy world, he’s a screw-up. Maybe he should have stuck to music.

Comments: Part seven of the ten-part story arc “The Search for Steve Rogers.” Story split into two issues after finals five pages of art for issue #220 were lost; Avengers story was commissioned to fill out the issue. Avengers story takes place between AVENGERS #14-15. The Ameridroid returns in CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #261-163. Avengers Safety Tip: Electrocution usually does not cause harmless flights of fancy.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #221 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As the newly-created Ameridroid terrorizes the Newfoundland seaport, Captain America struggles to escape from the mind-transfer device which gave his power to the giant monster. Cap manages to kick his shield so that it damages the machine’s power source, unlocking the clamps confining him. Outside Lyle Dekker, in his new android body, is announcing to the stunned populace that he is making this village the capital of his new nation which he will rule with the iron hand of reason. Cap attacks him and during the fight mocks his pretensions of superiority; the villain clobbers Cap explaining that his vision is greater than the chaos democracy has brought to the world. This vision requires a ruler of mythic proportion, free from the weaknesses of ordinary humans….suddenly the significance of what he is saying strikes him. He realizes he is now a freak who can no longer live like a real human being; he has cut himself off from comradeship, the love of a woman, even a seat at the movies. In a sudden outburst of anger he scoops up the dead Dekker body and hurls it against a wall, then dissolves in hysterical laughter. Captain America confronts him but the Ameridroid tells him he has defeated himself though his own insane ambition. Cap, looking for a bright side, informs his foe that he is now free from his obsession and can start anew. Dekker/Ameridroid makes the decision to vanish into the lonely wilderness to seek his soul and find his true destiny….

Epilogue: Cap returns to his apartment in New York, realizing his search for his own identity has reached a dead end, and like Dekker, he must begin anew, after a night’s sleep….



Story #2

The Coming of Captain Avenger!

Writer: Scott Edelman. Penciler: Steve Leialoha. Inker: Al Gordon. Colorist: Irene Vartanoff.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Rick Jones, responding to a high-priority summons to a meeting, rushes into the Avengers’ conference room. He trips over some cables and is thrown headfirst into the viewscreen. Breaking free of the electrical field, he realizes he has been endowed with super-powers, and has also generated a costume, which is a combination of the outfits of Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. He declares himself Captain Avenger. Suddenly, Baron Zemo bursts into the room, leading an army. The villain fires a ray paralyzing the Avengers but leaving the newly minted hero unharmed. Rick crashes through the minions to destroy Zemo’s weapon and he seizes the baddie by the throat. Zemo laughs—Rick has destroyed the ray gun which is the only means of restoring the Avengers to their natural state. As Rick stands horrified, he realizes it was all a hallucination, and resigns himself to never being a superhero—as the image of Captain Mar-Vell hovers in the background.


Sal Buscema
Mike Esposito
George Roussos
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Tony De Zuniga (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Plot: .

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Ameridroid, Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Lyle Dekker.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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