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Captain America #278: Review

Feb 1983
J. M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck

Story Name:

Oh, Thus Be It Ever…

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Captain America #278 Review by (December 2, 2014)
Review: Wait, what? Who was talking to Sam Wilson? This twist literally comes out of nowhere, suggesting a supernatural involvement—or Garcia could merely have been Sam’s voice of reason or conscience. Either way, it’s weird. Oh yeah, and there was a Captain America story in the issue too; a pretty good one too. Another classic Cap moment as he has to explain freedom to a pack of mutated monsters and it comes off very well. I’ve always thought Mike Zeck was underrated as an artist but look at the page with Vermin’s vengeance on Zemo. And then there’s the penultimate page of the Falcon story wherein the newly liberated hero seems to literally fly out of the comic book. Very well done.

Comments: Both stories are part three of three-part tales. Title of the Cap story comes from the fourth stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner:” “Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand, Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.” Reverend Garcia appeared in CAP #139-143.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #278 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In the dungeons of Baron Zemo, Arnie Roth accuses Captain America of having let his roommate Michael die at the claws of Vermin. Zemo gloats that his scheme of turning all of Cap’s friends against him is succeeding. The villain then sends his mutates into the room to destroy them. Cap holds them off while the cowardly Vermin slips away after Zemo. Arnie tells Cap that due to manipulation of his consciousness while he was in a mutate body he discovered that the monsters were once people, people who might be cured. Cap lets that sink in and then appeals to the mutates to reclaim their humanity and rebel against Zemo. Cap takes Michael’s body (as there’s a possibility he may still be alive) and they exit the dungeon. They find Zemo in his lab; Arnie punches him out as the mutates destroy the place. Suddenly Gail Runciter and other SHIELD agents come to the rescue guns a-blazing; Cap has to stop them from hurting the mutates and in the confusion Zemo escapes. The villain takes off in an aircar and just as he heaves a sight of relief, he discovers he has an unwanted passenger: an angry Vermin. Oh my.

The next day, Steve Rogers and Bernie Rosenthal are having a quiet lunch at a neighborhood diner when Captain America strides in and challenges "Steve" to a fight….

Story #2

Snapping: Part III

Writer: J. M. DeMatteis. Penciler: Mike Zeck. Inker: John Beatty. Colorist: Bob Sharen.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Sam Wilson has turned on Reverend Garcia, insisting Snap Wilson is his real personality; the pastor encourages him to understand that Snap is the phony personality, created out of the pain of his parents’ deaths. Soon his wise words break through to Sam who realizes that he can now put his dark past behind him. Sam calls a news conference and reveals his sordid past. When he thanks his sister Sarah for sending Reverend Garcia to find him, she mentions that the pastor has been out of town for weeks. So who..?

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Baron Zemo
Baron Zemo

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)

Plus: Arnie Roth, Bernie Rosenthal, Gail Runciter, Primus, Vermin.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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