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Captain America #315: Review

Mar 1986
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:

The Hard Sell

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Captain America #315 Review by (July 26, 2015)
Comments: Porcupine last appeared in issue #285, where his defeat apparently led to his current despondency. MODOK appears briefly although he’s dead.

Review: And so the last of Porcupine: he was never a good villain but serves at last as a melancholy character study. It’s nice they let him sort of redeem himself in the end. Too bad he is overshadowed even here, falling between two appearances of Armadillo who is an even more poignant portrait of the villain-as-loser. Meanwhile I never know what to make of the Serpent Society: a villains’ union is a cool idea but there are always too many character when they are around, even though writer Gruenwald does manage to give them distinct personalities and powers in only a few lines of dialogue. So the issue is okay, not great and there’s some Sad Bernie stuff, indicating that she is not long for this title. That’s what happens with a change in writers; I’m just glad that when her time comes, they don’t kill her. Oh yeah, and that cover always gives me the creeps with Cottonmouth’s jaw unhinging like that. Gross!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #315 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

While an autopsy is being performed on the deceased MODOK (issue #313), members of the Serpent Society burst in, take down the staff and cart off the dead villain’s monstrous corpse. When he arrives to investigate, Captain America learns that snake venom has been found at the scene and tries to hatch a plan to stop the Society….


The Serpents deliver MODOK’s body to A.I.M. where Cobra is accosted by Alex Gentry, the Porcupine, who is trying to sell his battle suit and giving up being a bad guy; Cobra brushes him off, handing him their business card. Back at the Society HQ, Sidewinder is torturing Princess Python, who fled the battle with MODOK (again #313) through cowardice, an undesirable trait in a villain. Sidewinder meets with the gang to divvy up the reward but receives an unwanted call from Alex Gentry and hangs up (then demanding to know how Gentry got their number). Looking over his failed villain career, Gentry decides to sell the suit to the Avengers. A call to Cap’s hotline brings the Star-Spangled Avenger to his apartment. When Cap learns that Gentry has the Serpent Society’s phone number, he concocts a scheme….


Soon, a call to the Society that the Porcupine has captured Captain America brings Rattler, Cottonmouth, Diamondback, and Death Adder to a construction site. Diamond is reluctant to harm Cap but she is outvoted. Cap then springs his trap: he takes out the male members of the group while Diamondback goes after Porcupine. Cap beats his baddies but finds Alex Gentry dying, having accidentally impaled himself on his own quills. Cap calls him a hero. Later, Cap sits in a jail cell with the captive Serpents as Sidewinder teleports in for a rescue. Cap prevents that but the villain knows Cap will have to leave eventually. Cap vows to defeat him….


Epilogue: Alex Gentry is buried in the Avengers cemetery and his battle armor put on display in the Mansion as a tribute.

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


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