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Captain America #318: Review

Jun 1986
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:

Justice is Served

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Captain America #318 Review by (February 23, 2012)
Review: A classic Cap storyline begins! After a long series of teasers though several titles we finally discover what it’s all about and Captain America is the one to hunt down the mad vigilante killer. It was a creative move to build up interest (though comic fans who didn’t read CAPTAIN AMERICA were cheated out of finding out what was going on) and unlike more recent ploys, one could enjoy the main story without having seen all the introductory pieces—or even any of them. True, Blue Streak is a less-than-stellar villain to focus part one on, but the arc as a whole isn’t hurt by it, thanks to Mark Gruenwald’s writing. Paul Neary’s journeyman art has no flashy moments but on the other hand his art never get in the way of the story or competes with it for attention. Cool stuff, more to come….

Comments: The Scourge of the Underworld was the center of a story arc spanning many Marvel titles in this period; brief subplots showed a master of disguise killing minor villains, followed by the cry, “Justice is served” starting in IRON MAN #194 when he killed the Enforcer. Scourge then showed up in THING #24 (killing the Miracle Man), SECRET WARS II #2 (Hate Monger), THOR #358 (Megatak), CAPTAIN AMERICA #311 (failing to kill Constrictor), WEST COAST AVENGERS (1985) #3 (failing to kill Kraven the Hunter), AVENGERS #263 (the Melter), THING #33 (Titania), FANTASTIC FOUR #289 (the Basilisk), AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #276 (the Human Fly), MARVEL FANFARE #28 (Hammer and Anvil), and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #278 (the Wraith). This three-part Cap story is the first extended story arc to feature Scourge as the primary villain. Blue Streak was introduced in CAPTAIN AMERICA #217 as one of the SHIELD Super-Agents and was revealed as a traitor in the pay of the criminal Corporation and captured by Cap in #229. Gary Gilbert was the first Firebrand, introduced in IRON MAN (1968) #27.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #318 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Death Adder of the Serpent Society has been tasked with delivering an unconscious Princess Python to the Circus of Crime for ransom. As he flies over the Bronx, his Serpent Saucer malfunctions and crashes into a large deserted building. Adder escapes from the disabled craft mere moments before it explodes, carrying his captive with him. He hides her in a safe part of the building and hails a taxi. He threatens the cabby into taking him for a ride, and the cabby keeps up some nervous patter—until he pulls a gun and shoots the serpentine criminal. Removing his rubber mask, the Scourge of the Underworld announces, "Justice is served."

The next morning at Avengers Mansion, Namor and Hercules are helping Captain America move back in. The Wasp welcomes him, and he tells her of his plans to travel around the country in a van specially customized for him by Wakandan technicians. Once they bring him up to speed on the new features, Steve Rogers heads across the country…

…where, at a nameless bar in Ohio known as a hangout for super-criminals, the villain known as the Blue Streak, in civilian guise, meets with Gary Gilbert, the former Firebrand. Gilbert tells him about the Scourge, a serial killer whose targets are costumed criminals and that he is trying to organize a network to track down and eliminate this killer. Gilbert invites Blue Streak to a meeting to be held at the bar two weeks hence. Blue Streak declines and walks out….

As Steve is tooling down the highway sometime that evening, he is passed by an extremely fast man on skates who is being pursued by a police car. He follows until he sees the police vehicle which had run off the road during the high-speed chase; he stops to help the injured officers and calls for help. When he is done assisting the rescuers, he continues on his trip. Pulling into a rest stop several miles away, he passes a man coming out of the restroom and recognizes him as the traitorous SHIELD agent Blue Streak. Steve confronts him; the Streak, fearing Steve may be the Scourge, tries to shoot him with his laser and succeeds only in destroying his own car. He ducks back into the restroom to don his armored skating outfit and emerges to find himself face-to-face with Captain America. He opens fire on Cap who disables one of the Streak’s skates with his thrown shield. The villain beats a hasty retreat down the highway and Cap pursues by motorcycle (kept in the rear of his van). A wild chase ensues along the twisting mountain roads, with Cap evading Blue Streak’s traps. Eventually Cap comes across the signs that the Blue Streak went hurling over a cliff. As he goes down into the ravine to search for him, the villain emerges from hiding up on the highway and gets away. Soon he flags down a passing truck, whose cheerful driver offers him a lift. Moments later the driver murders Blue Streak. "Justice is served."


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


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Blue Streak, Death Adder, Firebrand, Scourge (Scourge of the Underworld).