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Captain America #302: Review

Feb 1985
Michael Carlin, Paul Neary

Story Name:

“…And Other Strangers

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #302 Review by (June 1, 2015)
Comments: Part one of three. First appearance of Machete, the first to use that name; Zaran’s first appearance as a Cap villain, having been introduced in MASTER OF KUNG FU (vol. 2) #77. They will appear with Batroc through issue #362, “The Bloodstone Hunt.”

Review: Pretty cool story as Cap faces off with two new enemies, Machete and Zaran; baddies with new fighting styles have always been a strong suit of this title, especially in the 60s through the 80s and these guys are cool. Yeah, we know that neither one can outclass Cap but then again writer Michael Carlin never pretends that they can (and Cap is not portrayed as a superman); the action works on a different level as a test of one man against another—and against himself—for unknown stakes. As I said, pretty cool.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #302 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Two a.m. in Brooklyn Heights, Captain America walks up to a gas station to pick up his motorcycle which he left there for safekeeping with a trio of big fans of his. On his way home, a thrown knife bursts his front tire and Cap exerts himself to guide the damaged vehicle into a dump site, leaping clear as he does so. He is challenged by a mercenary who calls himself Machete, who hopes to finance revolution in his Latin American homeland with the money he is being paid. Cap launches himself at his foe but Machete’s spinning blades cut the straps on Cap’s shield and he loses it. The villain tries to take the shield but Cap is faster, recovers it, and outclasses his enemy in every way. Cap corners him so Machete hurls his blades cutting the electrical wires above and as Cap dodges, the baddie makes his getaway….


Back at his apartment, Steve Rogers repairs the severed straps on his shield while his fiancée Bernie Rosenthal brings the news that Dave Cox and Arnie Roth are starting to recover from their ordeal with the Red Skull (issues #292-300). Jack Monroe stops by and he and Steve head out to find Machete as Captain America and Nomad….


Elsewhere, Machete faces the leader of his new “Brigade” and is sent out for a second try at Cap with the weapons master Zaran at this side. They find Cap and Nomad and Zaran attacks, knocking out Nomad; Cap engages him in a duel of shield versus smaller and deadlier weapons. Nomad, recovering, knocks down Zaran with his disc but Machete takes him hostage. Zaran asks only that Cap allow them to leave. The hero agrees and Nomad is released as the villains vanish into the darkness. It is only then that Cap realizes they have taken his shield….


Back at their hideout, they turn the shield over to their leader: Batroc the Leaper….

Paul Neary
Dennis Janke
Ken Feduniewicz
Paul Neary (Cover Penciler)
Paul Neary (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Batroc the Leaper
Batroc the Leaper

(Georges Batroc)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Arnie Roth, Zaran (Maximillian Zaran).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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