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Captain America #317: Review

May 1986
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #317 Review by (August 2, 2015)
Comments: The name of the villain team is a pun on “death throes,” the pain and struggle a dying person goes through; here they are literally throwing deadly weapons. Crossfire was introduced in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #52 as an enemy of Thing and Moon Knight; he returned in HAWKEYE #3 and 4 where his henchmen Oddball and Bombshell first appeared. The villain would go on to be a frequent enemy in Hawkeye stories. And though this looks like the end of Bernie Rosenthal, it’s only as a regular character; she will make quite a few guest appearances over the next several years starting in issue #323. Final appearance of Anna Kappelbaum with a brief cameo in issue #380.

Review: Cool cover: Cap and Hawkeye with each others’ signature accessory—with a Laurel and Hardy quote to underscore the oddity. In the story itself, the loan of the shield is a big deal, Cap trusting Hawkeye a great deal, which his buddy realizes. As for the rest of the tale, somehow the art isn’t up to the usual standard, looking a bit sketchier and the layouts a bit crowded. The writing is again top-notch with each of the villains getting a distinct personality, the action scenes not flashy but with the simple confidence both heroes have in their abilities. And the “bye-bye, Bernie” bits are kept from being too maudlin, just quietly sad. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mark Gruenwald was happy to see her go, since she, a “normal person,” had been stretched fairly thin as a hero’s love interest and there was nowhere to go with the character. Oh well, at least Ed Brubaker didn’t bring her back just to kill her off.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #317 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Criminal William Cross a/k/a Crossfire is being escorted into a courtroom when the team called Death-Throws step out of the crowd and use their weapons to spread tear gas and subdue the police. A short time later, Hawkeye and Mockingbird, are flying into town on the jet-cycle so Clint can testify against Cross when they see the commotion. Getting the details, the hero couple sets out to locate the fugitive and his gang….


Elsewhere, Steve Rogers is helping his fiancée Bernie Rosenthal move out of her apartment as she will be attending law school out of state. There’s a tearful farewell to Mrs Kappelbaum; Bernie’s dad is happy that she won’t be around Steve any more; Josh and Mike stop by to invite them to a going-away party. This all conspires to keep them from their own awkward farewell….


William Cross is at the hide-out of the Death-Throws gang; when it turns out that he does not have the money to pay them for their rescue, the gang gets a bit annoyed and they form a ring around Cross and begin tossing their dangerous weapons to each other to frighten him into cooperation. When they realize Cross really does not have the money, they begin brainstorming about other ways they can profit from their prisoner….


At the going-away party, Steve is approached by Clint and Bobbi who have no news about the missing Cross and his abductors. A message appears on Cap’s call-in screen inviting Hawkeye to a meeting at an abandoned railroad terminal to sell or trade Cross. Steve, reluctant to leave Bernie on her last night in New York, nevertheless suits up as Captain America and joins Hawkeye….


The heroes arrive at the rendezvous in a deserted railroad terminal. Anticipating an ambush, Cap loans Hawkeye his shield. Clint enters and the trap is sprung: a weighted net on the ceiling drops; Cap shouts a warning, Hawkeye ducks. Cap opens fire with bow and arrow; the good guys end up surrounded and told to drop their weapons—but the two Avengers merely swap to take out the villains. A battle ensues with the heroes (including a late-arriving Mockingbird) victorious. A baddie confesses that this was a scheme to capture Hawkeye and ransom him back to the Avengers….


Cap races home to find the party over and Bernie gone with only a note to say goodbye….

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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