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Captain America #246: Review

Jun 1980
Peter Gillis, Jerry Bingham

Story Name:

The Sins of the Fathers!

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Captain America #246 Review by (May 3, 2014)
Review: Okay issue—but why turn the obscure yet sympathetic Spidey villain into a serial, er, beater-upper? Did they have big plans for him that fell through? This tale doesn’t seem like the set-up for future appearances (he’s has a few, mostly minor ones over the years). Otherwise, the nice art by the little-known Jerry Bingham (most famous for introducing Damien Wayne in BATMAN: SON OF THE DEMON) carries the day, though he seems overly fond of long- and medium–shots.

Comments: “Just a Guy Named Joe” previously appeared only in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #38. On the cover the train features the names of several Marvel staffers in the graffiti. The letters column is devoted to one issue: reader Matt Kaufman’s observation that Captain America has been going through an identity crisis since issue #120 but has finally settled down into a definite characterization with the advent of Roger McKenzie. Roger Stern disputes this, claiming Cap has always been the defender of the American Dream, not the American Way—even if the dream had been a bit fuzzy in the 70s.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #246 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Late one night, School Board member Martin Harris is pursued though the dark streets and brutally beaten by a costumed villain….

At home, Steve Rogers has a visit from neighbor Josh Cooper. Josh, a special ed teacher, relates a stressful incident from his week: a boy named Joey went into convulsions and died, shattering the kid’s single father. A few days later Steve is at an outdoor market when he hears sirens go by. Quickly changing into Captain America he follows the police to a nearby Social Security office where a costumed villain is trashing the place. Cap fights with the super-powered baddie and has a rough time. Suddenly the villain hurls a billing machine through the window and leaps to the ground far below without a scratch. Cap connects this incident to the beating of the school board member and goes to see Josh Cooper. He learns from Josh that Joe Smith, father of the dead boy, was a minor celebrity. He was an actor imbued with superpowers after an accident on a movie set and fought Spider-Man; he parlayed this brief sensation into a starring role on a short-lived superhero TV series. After his career ended, Joe moved back to New York with his wife where they had a son Joey who was born with mental handicaps. Joe’s wife left him and Joe came to dote on his son. And now with the boy’s death Joe is seeking revenge—the Board of Ed for denying benefits and Social Security for turned his down as well, and the next victim is Larry Sawyer, Joey’s teacher. Joe assaults the el train Larry is riding and prepares to hurl the teacher to his death; Cap arrives and engages the mad father and persuades him that his son’s death was no one’s fault. Joe breaks down in tears and is taken to a hospital while Cap muses on tragedy.


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Jerry Bingham
Al Gordon
Bob Sharen
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Josh Cooper, Just a Guy Named Joe.