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Captain America #308: Review

Aug 1985
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:

The Body in Question

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Captain America #308 Review by (August 22, 2012)
Review: Every hero seems to have some lame villains in his rogues’ gallery: Spider-Man had the Kangaroo and the Hypno Hustler, Daredevil had the Matador, Human Torch had Paste-Pot Pete, and Ant-Man had…everybody. Even Batman was forced to deal with Crazy Quilt and the Ten-Eyed Man. And on first glance the Armadillo is Cap’s third-rate baddie, but wait…this guy is somewhat different. His lameness is what defines the character; instead of him being a comical speed bump for the hero, his background actually includes a lot of pathos. One feels sorry for Armadillo instead of wanting Cap to punch his face out (it’s Karl Malus who deserves as many beatings as he can get). More a victim than a villain, Armadillo sets this story apart from others and I found myself rooting for this lumbering hulk of an underdog. He will return in issue #316.

Comments: SECRET WARS II TIE-IN: story continues from SECRET WARS II #1; continues in UNCANNY X-MEN #196. Yes, Cap has no nose in the last panel on page 8; before you ask “How does he smell?” let it be known that a corrected panel appeared in issue #312. The Goliath in this issue is the villain Erik Josten, formerly Power Man, who took on the new identity in IRON MAN ANNUAL #7 and would go on to join the Thunderbolts under the name Atlas. Sidewinder’s scheme results in the formation of the Serpent Society, which will appear in issue #310. Oh, and Armadillo will return in issue #316.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #308 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America vaults over the rear wall of the West Coast Avengers compound in Los Angeles, dodging all of the traps and security measures as he reviews the last few issues and SECRET WARS II #1 for the benefit of the reader. He meets up with Hawkeye and Mockingbird and is given a tour of the sprawling estate. Cap asks to borrow a Quinjet to fly back to New York and Clint and Bobbi head off to attend a Hollywood premiere. While in the jet hangar, Cap hears the intruder alarm and goes to investigate. He encounters a huge figure with armored plates for skin who calls himself the Armadillo! The lumbering villain attacks Cap who fights back and soon discovers that his foe is very strong and near-invulnerable but not particularly quick (or smart). As a mysterious glowing figure watches from a distance, Cap moves from using his own abilities to fight the Armadillo to luring him into the gauntlet of traps around the estate, ending with the intruder being trapped in a titanium net. While immobilized, Armadillo tells his story: he was a petty crook whose wife Bonita fell ill. Unable to afford the medical treatments she desperately needed, the distraught man encountered Dr. Karl Malus who offered to cure her—at the price of the husband’s service. He agreed and was transformed into the hulking Armadillo and dispatched to recover the body of the villain Goliath which was being held in the Avengers’ compound. The story rings true so Cap releases him and takes him to Goliath. Armadillo had been provided with a shrinking solution so he could transport the sleeping giant back to Malus but the container was broken during the fight and the contents lost. Cap suggests he return to Malus for more and follows discreetly behind….

Interlude: In New York Bernie Rosenthal stops by Steve’s apartment and finds Jack Monroe has gone, taking all his things with him…

When Armadillo arrives at Dr. Malus’ lab, Cap confronts the mad scientist and arrests him, assuring the distraught Armadillo that his wife will get the medical treatment she needs.

Epilogue 1: As Cap goes to phone the police, the mysterious glowing figure which has been following him through the issue is revealed to be the alien Beyonder who decides to take on human form and creates a body using Cap’s as a template. Once this is done, he vanishes to the next installment of the crossover series.

Epilogue 2: in a New York City apartment Black Mamba, Anaconda, and Death Adder are awaiting their host, Sidewinder. They want their money from a previous job (in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #64-66), and not only does the mastermind gladly turn it over, he includes a bonus. Sidewinder then outlines a proposal for a new criminal organization….

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

Plus: Anaconda, Bernie Rosenthal, Beyonder, Black Mamba, Death Adder, Dr Karl Malus, Goliath (Erik Josten), Sidewinder.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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