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Captain America #225: Review

Sep 1978
Steve Gerber, Mike Esposito

Story Name:

Devastation!

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Captain America #225 Review by (September 20, 2011)
Review: That’s it?!? A ten-part story arc in which Captain America finds out the truth about himself and the big revelation is that his father disapproved of him while growing up? Weren’t you expecting him to be a clone or a Commie spy or something that justified the build-up? And not only that, the writer chose to kill off Veda, the Corporation agent who was spying on him, in a move that smells of “didn’t know what to do with her.” So we never learn what her grudge against Cap was, even though the early part of this same issue seems to be leading up to a big reveal? Feh. The good side: now that this plot devised by Roy Thomas and farmed out to other writers is done, Steve Gerber can move on to something he wants to do (which turns out to be something other than Captain America). Punch line: the ridiculous retcon is tossed in the trash as soon as Roger Stern takes over as writer in issue #247; the explanation is that these were false memories implanted in Cap to come out should he ever be captured and interrogated by the enemy—but that’s a different absurd scheme.

Comments: Conclusion of the ten-part story arc “The Search for Steve Rogers.” Harding was a key figure in the Madbomb story arc in CAPTAIN AMERICA #193-200.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #225 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A bitter Captain America surveys the wreckage of the train destroyed by the Animus in its attempt to kill Cap (issue #223). Nick Fury approaches him and tries to persuade him to abandon this search for his identity which is only distracting him from his primary duties. Cap counters with his new plan: contact the nation’s leading expert on mind science, Mason Harding—the inventor of the Madbomb. Arriving at the SHIELD Helicarrier, Dum Dum Dugan presents Cap and Fury with the file on the mysterious Veda, whose mother was Agent R, present at Cap’s creation. The photo of Agent R reveals a woman with a horribly disfigured face, hinting at some dark event after 1941…. A short time later, Cap arrives at the penitentiary where Harding is imprisoned for treason and taken to see the scientist. Cap explains his problem of missing memories and Harding suggests that his mind-probe device might unlock the hidden knowledge….

At Corporation headquarters, Veda is ushered in to see her boss, Kligger. As she has brought the attention of SHIELD upon herself, she is now a liability to the Corporation. Kligger presses a concealed button and deadly beams are fired at her, reducing her to ashes….

Though Nick Fury does not trust Mason Harding, he arranges for the scientist to be released from prison temporarily so he can subject Captain America to his mind-probe. Cap is hooked to the machine and his missing childhood comes back to him…. Steve was the son of diplomat Walter Rogers and his wife Elizabeth. He had an athletic older brother Mike but Steve tended toward artistic and intellectual pursuits. This caused quite a bit of tension in the family as Walt openly favored his manly son and despised the more sensitive one; his mother naturally defended Steve, causing friction in the marriage. The family was proud of Mike when he graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis but Steve’s pacifist sentiments only called forth his father’s anger and contempt. This led to Steve making a break with his family and moving to New York to attend art school. When, in December 1941, Steve heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, he call home and learned that Mike had been killed…but his father refused to speak to him. Steve decided to reject his pacifist views and join the military to stand against the forces of Hitler. But he was rejected by the army for his small stature…leading to his being chosen for the Super-Soldier Project…. Seeing Cap’s near-panic on reliving his past leads Fury and Harding to shut down the machine. Then they receive a shock: something has neutralized the Serum in Cap’s body…he sits there a scrawny little man, his Captain America costume hanging loosely on him….


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Mike Esposito
John Tartaglione
George Roussos
Frank Robbins (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Animus
Animus

(Vamp)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Kligger
Kligger

(Eugene K. Stivak)

Plus: Dum Dum Dugan, Veda.