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Captain America #284: Review

Aug 1983
J. M. DeMatteis, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

Diverging

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Captain America #284 Review by (February 14, 2015)
Comments: The Patriot, Jeff Mace, was a Golden Age hero who has a few WW2-era appearances. Roy Thomas’ classic retcon in WHAT IF? #4 established that Mace was the third Captain America, after Steve Rogers went MIA and William Naslund died. For more information see CAPTAIN AMERICA: PATRIOT in this library under Secondary Titles.

Review: A heavily character-based interlude between the usual super-stuff gives us a look at Captain America the man. Here he worries over his relationship with Bernie and questions whether he is doing any good. J.M. DeMatteis may have been the best Cap writer for this type of story and he does not disappoint here.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #284 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America, Nomad, and Nick Fury visit Dum Dum Dugan in the hospital as he recovers from the heart attack he suffered at the end of issue #282. Dugan is feeling sorry for himself and decides it’s time for him to retire. Fury shuts him up by telling him he is going to be Deputy Director of SHIELD. Leaving the room, Fury also proposes to make Nomad a SHIELD agent but Jack Monroe declines the offer, needing to find himself first….

 

As Cap and Nomad head home over the rooftops, they hear a call for help. In a nearby apartment a man with a gun is threatening a woman and children. The two heroes burst in and take the guy down but they discover that the man is her husband who occasionally goes a bit crazy under the stresses of his life combined with liquor. The wife begs them not to call the police. Cap agrees and asks her to let him know if she needs any help. Returning to their apartment, they change into civvies and attend a party thrown by Bernie Rosenthal. Steve chats with Sam Wilson and Josh Cooper--and then he is suddenly grabbed from behind. Instinct kicks in and he ends up throwing Sammy Bernstein, Bernie’s ex-husband, who was just clowning around. Jack, feeling out of place among strangers, is drawn to Arnie Roth who feels likewise lost.

 

After the party, Steve and Bernie settle in to watch his favorite film, YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, when Bernie says, “I love you” to Steve; he is about to reciprocate for the first time when a news bulletin interrupts. There is a sniper holding hostages at the site of the earlier domestic quarrel; Steve suits up and hurries to the crime scene….

 

Interlude: an elderly man in the hospital lies dying. His last request is to see Captain America before he goes. He is Jeff Mace, the WW2 hero the Patriot….

 

Cap races to the crime scene, his mind filled with the problem of being both an ordinary man and a superhero. The gunman on the roof is Tom Beehan, the mad gunman from before, only now he has a loaded gun and is firing at police and threatening to kill his wife and kids. Getting ten minutes to try for a resolution from the policeman in charge, Cap heads up to the roof where he tries to calm Tommy down. A police sniper takes a shot at Beehan but Cap leaps in the way and is knocked unconscious. Tommy is about to kill Cap when his wife insists that he shoot her and the kids first; Tommy can’t bring himself to do that so he puts the gun to his head…and Cap knocks it out of his hand….

 

Epilogue: Steve returns to his apartment building where he sits with Bernie. She lends him encouragement and he tells her he loves her. “I know,” she says.



Sal Buscema
Kim DeMulder
Bob Sharen
Mike Zeck (Cover Penciler)
John Beatty (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.


Plus: Arnie Roth.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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