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Captain America #292: Review

Apr 1984
J. M. DeMatteis, Paul Neary

Story Name:

An American Christmas

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Captain America #292 Review by (March 15, 2015)
Comments: First full appearance of Black Crow. The epilogue leads into the MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS epic limited series; the Avengers shown are Cap, Thor, Wasp, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Captain Marvel (Photon), Starfox, Scarlet Witch, and Vision.

Review: The plight of the American Indian is one of the country’s most shameful scandals—and Marvel Comics tried to address it with a Native superhero. They do a pretty good job of portraying the more mystical spirituality of the Indians—but the climax is left very murky: why didn’t Black Crow kill Cap? No idea, though I’m sure J.M. DeMatteis had something in mind that didn’t make it onto the page. An ambitious issue that doesn’t quite work. Nice try, though. PS The cutest moment is Bernie swooping down on Steve as the awesome Rosenthal Bird of Brooklyn Heights during their quiet evening at home.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #292 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

For a second time, Captain America and Nomad are attacked by a huge black crow which quickly flies off (first time was in issue #290). Later, Steve tells Bernie about it and they have a laugh together which turns into a romantic moment—interrupted by an embarrassed Jack Monroe….


Elsewhere, the crow returns to an apartment where it perches on a wheelchair and transforms into a man. Jesse Black Crow, Native American, who felt the shame of his peoples’ history, was crippled in a fall and had visions upon his bed that he was now the spirit of the Old America—and the only way to achieve cosmic balance would be to kill the spirit of the New America, Captain America…


Some weeks later, Steve and Bernie are doing Christmas shopping when a fog suddenly envelops them. Steve is attacked by the warrior Black Crow and nearly defeated as the enemy merely slices off a lock of his hair and flies off. The street scene turns back to normal….


On Christmas Eve, Steve and Bernie are hosting a holiday dinner for Arnie Roth, Ann Brennan, and Steve’s boss Arthur Bennett. Steve spies the black crow flying outside and excuses himself, followed by Jack and Bernie. On the Brooklyn Bridge, Black Crow rains lightning down on Captain America and paralyzes Nomad with a glance. Cap takes on his mystic foe and the battle leads them to the top of the tower where the Indian seizes his opponent and they plunge from the dizzying height. Cap uses his shield to slow his fall but is still injured when the hits the pavement. Facing his enemy, Cap staggers over and kneels before him. Black Crow raises Cap, embraces him, and then vanishes, the cosmic balance restored. Bernie falls into Cap’s arms and asks him to marry her….


Epilogue: An alien structure has appeared in Central Park. A team of Avengers enters one of the archways—and vanishes….

Paul Neary
Eduardo Barreto
Bob Sharen
Ed Hannigan (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


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Plus: Arnie Roth.

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