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Captain America #249: Review

Sep 1980
Roger Stern, John Byrne

Story Name:

Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #249 Review by (October 26, 2010)
Comments: Conclusion of a three-part story. Starr Saxon first appeared in DAREDEVIL (Vol. 1) #49-55, becoming Mister Fear in the final issues; his first appearance as Machinesmith was in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #47-48. This Cap issue is where we learned that Machinesmith was Starr Saxon.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #249 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Captain America is being crushed to death in the clutches of the massive monster Dragon Man, goaded into a rage by the floating Gadget-12 of the sinister Machinesmith. Unable to get any leverage to break the hold, Cap hurls his glove into his opponent’s eye causing the monster to drop him. Cap then seizes his shield and uses it to shatter the irritating device. The childlike Dragon Man, associating his recent troubles with Machinesmith, heads off for vengeance against his tormentor, so Cap lassoes the flying giant’s ankle with a clothesline and hitches a ride. [Meanwhile on the ground, the burning building has been evacuated and Bernie, Josh, and Mike are concerned for the missing Steve.] Arriving at their destination, Cap follows at a distance as Dragon Man smashes into the secret entrance to his master’s lab. Machinesmith dispatches three floating gadgets to disable the enraged monster with electric shocks. An unseen Cap then hurls his shield (in a star pattern!) disabling the deadly gadgets and confronts Machinesmith—who turns out to be a robot duplicate. Another Machinesmith appears and orders several partially-assembled robots to attack Cap, including android doubles of the Thing, Spider-Man, and Magneto. Cap easily dispatches the androids and captures the villain, who relates his story: he started out as Mister Fear, enemy of Daredevil and ended up plummeting to the ground from a great height. Found by his robot servitors, he was…then this Machinesmith turns out to be a robot double as well. Another Machinesmith sends a cadre of robot hands to fight his foe. While Cap is battling the murderous appendages, Machinesmith continues his tale: he was saved by his servitors—by recording his mind and transferring it into a mechanical body, effectively turning him into a living robot. Cap then tackles this version of the enemy and discovers he is facing an entire army of Machinesmiths. Cap battles the baddies realizing they are trying to protect a certain compute bank; leaping over them Cap wrecks the mainframe and all of the Machinesmith androids fall. Then Cap receives a shock: the computer bank is the real Machinesmith, who has wanted to die rather than live on in a non-human form, but his programming would not allow him to destroy himself. And so this elaborate plan has come to fruition—and Machinesmith has tricked Cap into killing him.

John Byrne
Joe Rubinstein
Bob Sharen
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)
Plot: .


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)

(Peter Parker)

(Ben Grimm)

Plus: Bernie Rosenthal, Josh Cooper, Machinesmith, Mike Farrel.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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