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Captain America #257: Review

May 1981
Mike W. Barr, Lee Elias

Story Name:

Deadly Anniversary!

Review & Comments

2.5 stars

Captain America #257 Review by (May 17, 2014)
Review: Shorter synopsis: Cap and Hulk team up to stamp out a generic masked criminal organization with a minimum of bother. Cap is seen to great advantage as a soldier and a tactician, especially in the scenes where he quietly maps out the villains’ entire lair on a brief tour. Hulk, on the other hand, does not fare so well: he is portrayed as a big dumb brute who has to be constantly manipulated by Cap into aiding him, making him a prop rather than a character in this story. Julio should be annoyed at this. And to cap it off (no pun intended), we end with a bit of forced pathos, of the “I miss Bucky” variety. Pssh.

Comments: First, last, and only appearance of Matrix Eight; don’t tell Ed Brubaker, he might bring them back. “Charlie America’s Family Album!” is reprinted from NOT BRAND ECCH! #12; “How to Be a Comic Book Artist!” from NOT BRAND ECCH! #11.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #257 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Sinister figures enter the hotel room of Dr. Bruce Banner and gas the sleeping figure, spiriting him away to an unknown location….

Some time later, Captain America arrives in Northern England and has a cab take him to a remote area near some cliffs; there he is suddenly attacked by masked figures who take him unawares with a gas bomb and overpower him. He awakens in the underground complex of Matrix Eight, a splinter group from Baron Zemo’s gang which develops new weapons to sell to the highest bidder. The gloating Master brags about the group’s brilliance as he takes Cap on a tour of the facility, including a look at their prisoner Bruce Banner. Cap, still groggy from the gas, does not react, biding his time until his mind is clear. Matrix Eight’s crowning achievement is the Gammadroid, a massive android developed by studying Banner’s metabolism and allegedly as powerful as the Hulk. Their intention for Cap: to have him fight the monster as a final test of its powers. Cap seizes this opportunity to escape, his senses having detected the complex’s defenses during the tour and he makes his way to Banner’s cell. As Cap fights the guards, Banner turns into the Hulk in time to be sprayed with Zemo’s Adhesive X, the most powerful glue known to man. The glue holds Jade Jaws fast so Cap insults and hits the Hulk until his anger gives him the strength to break free; the down side is that now the Hulk is after our hero! Cap leads Hulk to the Gammadroid, which the Green Giant smashes to pieces with only a couple of punches, and he corners Cap in a small room. Suddenly the door seals itself and gas floods the room. Cap, holding his breath, manipulates the Hulk into breaking down the door before passing out and reverting to Banner. Cap carries the unconscious scientist to safety, having sabotaged the facility while Hulk was clobbering the Gammadroid earlier. The Master of Matrix Eight is splattered with Adhesive X and trapped so that he dies in the explosion. Cap and Banner make it to shore and Cap explains that he comes to this site every year to remember his fallen partner Bucky Barnes. Bruce offers Cap his sympathy and friendship.

Story #2

Reprinted Material

Writer: Marie Severin. Penciler: Marie Severin. Inker: Marie Severin.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

2. "Charlie America’s Family Album!"
Photos from the life of Marvel’s Captain America parody, demonstrating his absurd patriotic links, underlying cowardice, and which ends with a pic of his greatest contribution: hanging from the top of a base flagpole as a stand-in for the Stars and Stripes.

3. "How to Be a Comic Book Artist!"
Helpful advice for a career in comics—counterpointed by drawings showing the truth of the often-miserable business.

Lee Elias
Many Hands
Bob Sharen
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Bruce Banner)

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