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Captain America #309: Review

Sep 1985
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:

Nomad Madcap Cap…

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #309 Review by (June 21, 2015)
Comments: Advertising executive (and Steve’s boss) Arthur Bennett was last seen in issue #292. One of the maddened thugs sings the 1960s Spider-Man theme.

Review: The issue also allows Jack Monroe to take stock of himself and his mission so something good comes out of this, viz, the character’s departure just as his agonized self-questioning was beginning to get annoying. Don’t worry, he’ll be back in #324 for a visit then return for the “Cap No More” story arc before getting his own series—which actually hung around for several years.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #309 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Late one night, the lunatic villain Madcap skips along the Coney Island boardwalk and attracts the attention of a trio of hoods, looking for trouble. They accost Madcap and try to beat him up but the maniac merely shrugs off the instantly healing injuries and fires his bubble gun at them, turning them into capering clowns. Madcap returns to his disguised shack where he is greeted by…


Steve Rogers returns to his apartment and his fiancée Bernie Rosenthal—but remembers he is late with a work assignment. He phones his boss Arthur Bennett but Bennett doesn’t want to hear excuses and he has reassigned the job to another artist. Steve asks Bernie where Jack Monroe is; Bernie doesn’t know but shows Steve the newspaper reporting Nomad’s clash with Madcap (issue #307).


We learn where Nomad is as Madcap enters his shack to find the hero waiting for him. Nomad tells his erstwhile foe that he has thought over Madcap’s philosophy that life is absurd and has come to believe it. Madcap relates his origin: he was raised in a Christian family but on a church field trip, the bus was hit by a truck carrying dangerous chemicals for A.I.M. Madcap’s family and all of his friends died. He, the only survivor, found that the chemicals made him instantly self-healing. The incident drove him mad, as he concluded that the universe was governed by chaos so he donned a costume and set out to preach his nihilistic gospel. He invites Nomad to stay the night and the next day they will set out on their adventures….


Interludes: Klaus Voorhees—the Cobra—is rescued from prison by the teleporting Sidewinder. At a county fair, Princess Python is given a message by the Death Adder. Frank Schlicting—the Constrictor—is approached in a bar by Anaconda, with a job offer….


At the advertising agency, Steve meets with his boss and Bennett explains that Steve has the talent but he is unreliable. Steve is forced to agree with him as his first loyalty is to his other occupation. Steve quits and goes out in search of Nomad, checking with Sam Wilson and Nick Fury, who haven’t seen him. While exercising at Avengers Mansion he learns from Jarvis that Nomad was interested in amusement parks. As Captain America, Steve sets out….


At that time, Madcap and Nomad, in civilian clothes, eat at a diner and skip out without paying (Jack intends to go back later to settle accounts). They then put on their distinctive costumes and Madcap fires his Fun-Gun at passersby, sending them into absurd tizzies (with Nomad secretly trying to minimize damage and danger). Nomad plans to spring his trap and capture the loony but he now kind of likes him. Jack snatches away the bubble gun and turns it on its creator—but discovers the power is not in the gun but in Madcap’s hypnotic gaze. Madcap leads Nomad into the amusement park, as Cap arrives looking for them. Cap decides that Nomad needs to handle this on his own to gain confidence in himself as a crime-fighter. At the highest point of the rollercoaster, Nomad tries to wrap Madcap’s head in his cape to stop his hypnotic glare but the villain kicks the hero over the side. Nomad manages to catch himself and return to the top to seize the villain and tie him up. At this point, Nomad spots Cap. Jack explains how he is pleased that Cap saw him catch his first criminal but now he plans to go off and be his own man, instead of a sidekick. Cap sends him off with his blessing.

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


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