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Captain America #268: Review

Apr 1982
J. M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck

Story Name:

Peace on Earth—Good Will to Man

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Captain America #268 Review by (August 28, 2014)
Review: Nifty crossover with the Defenders despite lacking any of the four big names—but then if Dr Strange, Hulk, Subby, or the Silver Surfer were involved this tale would have been much shorter. Nice use of the characters from issue #264 (though they weren’t named there) and a powerful, if totally unmemorable, villain make this tale quite enjoyable.

Comments: The Defenders storyline began in DEFENDERS #102 and this Cap issue follows #105 and continues in #106. Kyle Richmond wears his Nighthawk outfit on the cover but not on the inside. Title comes from Luke 2:14 in the Bible, the angels’ announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ. The cover promises “Steve Rogers’ review of a smash movie!” and they deliver: Steve didn’t like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK because Indiana Jones was too amoral to be a suitable hero and role model. An odd aspect of the tale is hidden references to other stories of psychic powers: the two psychics from #264 are Ursula Richards and Phillip LeGuin, references to Ursula K. LeGuin and (possibly) Philip K. Dick; the villain’s estate is called Carriwhite Acres after the title character of Stephen King’s CARRIE, Carrie White. Oh yeah—and it’s the first (brief) appearance of Arnie Roth, who is likely the first homosexual character in Marvel Comics, as well as the debut of female SHIELD Agent Gail Runciter.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #268 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As the story opens, the Defenders (Hellcat, Valkyrie, Gargoyle, and Kyle "Nighthawk" Richmond) are unconscious in a darkened room. Roman soldiers remove Kyle and he awakens to see August Masters, who has a part for him to play in his sinister scheme….

The scene then jumps several weeks to Steve Rogers and Bernie Rosenthal on their way home from the movies; she says "I love you" to him and they are suddenly both embarrassed. [Meanwhile, a passer-by spots Steve and is surprised; he will be revealed as Steve’s boyhood pal Arnie Roth in issue #270.] Reaching home, Steve excuses himself to sweat over his drawing board. Suddenly a psychic shock rips through his brains; by the time Bernie and Josh come running, the attack has passed and Steve is back to normal. Donning his Captain America togs, he goes out to investigate: he recognized the blast as coming from Ursula Richards and Phillip LeGuin, the two psychics he rescued from Morgan McNeil Hardy in issue #264. He finds Ursula’s apartment wrecked and gains a mental picture of the two being kidnapped. Heading to SHIELD HQ, Cap undergoes a mind probe to see if it can reveal anything but the machine overloads and burns out….

Back several weeks, August Masters tells Kyle that his girlfriend Mindy Williams is severely mentally unstable because of her psychic ablates; the only thing that can calm her is Kyle’s presence. Masters threatens to kill the other Defenders if he won’t cooperate….

Now: Cap goes undercover near the site of Masters’ secret lab. His guide leads him into an ambush but Cap easily bests the Roman guards and enters the facility. He runs straight into Masters and an armed reception. The villain explains that he has hooked the most powerful psychics he could find to a machine and is planning to wage mental warfare against the Soviet Union to wipe it out. Cap recoils from that idea and clobbers Masters. Meanwhile, Ursula and Philip, who had contacted Cap earlier, have now awakened the Defenders and released them from their prison. The heroic team arrives with Kyle and the freed psychics and they fight the guards while Cap destroys the machine. Masters sets the facility to self-destruct and only Cap’s surrender will stop it; Cap wisely yields. As the villainous plan resumes, Kyle wishes he could contact Dr. Strange; the catatonic Mindy picks up this thought and sends a mental summons to the Sorcerer Supreme….

Story continues in DEFENDERS #106.



Mike Zeck
John Beatty
Bob Sharen
Mike Zeck (Cover Penciler)
John Beatty (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hellcat
Hellcat

(Patsy Walker)
Valkyrie
Valkyrie

(Brunnhilda)

Plus: Arnie Roth, August Masters, Bernie Rosenthal, Defenders, Gail Runciter, Hildegarde (Hildegarde), Josh Cooper, Mindy Williams, Nighthawk.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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