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Captain America #307: Review

Jul 1985
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:

Stop Making Sense

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #307 Review by (June 14, 2015)
Comments: First appearance of Madcap. Madcap quotes Mister Rogers, Atom Ant, the Beatles (“Strawberry Fields Forever”), and Buffalo Bob Smith; Nomad sets his theme song to the tune of the one from ZORRO (1950s TV series). Other victims quote James Cagney (WHITE HEAT), the Seven Dwarfs (“Heigh-Ho”), Frank Sinatra (“Strangers in the Night”). The title is taken from a concert film of the rock group Talking Heads (for which Mark Gruenwald apologizes to David Byrne on the first page). Meanwhile, marvel at the deception on the cover: “A dramatic look back at the Invaders of World War II!” It’s a one-panel memory by Cap, nothing happens other than that we are reminded the Invaders existed; hardly dramatic.

Review: An unusual sort of villain: a philosophical criminal, Madcap, who wants to convince everyone that life is meaningless and absurd—and have fun while doing it. In this respect, he bears a bit of a resemblance to the Joker from THE KILLING JOKE—though not quite so sadistic. Madcap also serves as a forerunner to THE MASK and various other insane comics characters of the era. Plus his costume gives him a distinct look, while he affords the writer the opportunity to pack as many oddball actions and pop culture quotes as he can manage. We’ll find out his story in issue #309.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #307 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In London, Captain Britain drops off Captain America at Heathrow Airport so Cap can catch a flight back to the States. As he relaxes, he muses on how he is better known in Britain for his wartime adventures with the Invaders than for any contemporary deeds….


In Brooklyn Heights, Bernie Rosenthal stops by Steve Rogers’ apartment and finds Jack Monroe asleep in his Nomad costume. She suggests he go find a job and walks out. Jack ponders her words and realizes she’s right: he can’t keep sponging off Cap so he heads out to look for work….


In Manhattan a young man enters a costume shop and shoots the proprietor with a gun that fires bubbles; immediately the man starts laughing as he imitates a chicken. The assailant picks out a costume and departs.

Jack quickly finds a job as bagboy at a supermarket and starts work right away. Ironically at the same time, Bernie learns her glass shop may have to go out of business. The street outside of Jack’s supermarket erupts in madness as the fun-loving villain Madcap shoots people with his bubble gun, sending them into reckless and lunatic behavior. A policeman manages to shoot Madcap in the chest before succumbing to the effects of the bubbles. Surprisingly the baddie gets up and shrugs of a mortal injury and goes back to his riotous behavior. A rock crashes through the market window, slightly injuring Carmela, the cashier Jack has been flirting with. He heads for the door but the manager orders him back to work. Later, when the boss isn’t looking Jack dons his Nomad outfit and heads out to confront the villain. Nomad assaults Madcap but quickly learns that the lunatic can heal from any injury, no matter how severe, instantaneously. Madcap shoots the hero point blank with his bubble gun and Jack is soon bouncing around like a maniac but seeing his reflection in a window as half-Nomad/Half-Captain America, he begins to wonder about his own identity. The villain knocks off for the day and later when the spell wears off, Nomad goes looking for him but he discovers the police want Nomad as an interested party. Returning to the market, Jack is fired for taking off in the middle of the day. He stops by the hospital to see the injured Carmela and meets her boyfriend, wrecking his fantasy. Jack heads home disgusted—and unaware that Madcap is on the same train. At Steve’s apartment he packs his bags and leaves.


Epilogue: In another apartment, Black Mamba, Anaconda, and Death Adder are awaiting their boss, Sidewinder, and they are in an ugly mood…..

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Anaconda.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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