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Captain America #334: Review

Oct 1987
Mark Gruenwald, Tom Morgan

Story Name:

Basic Training

Review & Comments

5 stars

Captain America #334 Review by (March 2, 2013)
Review: “Introducing the New Captain America and Bucky!” Exciting cover hints by the aggressive attitudes of the new heroes that something isn’t quite right about them—and future issues will reveal just what. For now they are still in training and having to make the difficult decision to cut off their old manager Ethan Thurm from their new, better lives. John Walker is taking his responsibilities seriously (good) even adopting as his philosophy, “What would Cap do?” Yet we see his temper surface, along with a bit of recklessness in the battle with Hector and Jerry. The highlight of the issue is Cap’s training session with the Taskmaster, demonstrating how difficult it will be to fill the original’s shoes—and hinting of an underlying problem in having to make a deal with a villain to achieve heroic and patriotic goals. More to come!

Comments: Part three of The Captain saga which will run until issue #350. Lemar Hoskins becomes Bucky with this issue (soon to be renamed Battle Star). Steve Rogers does not appear in this issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #334 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

John Walker, the new Captain America, watches tapes of the original in action and wonders if he will ever master his expert moves. The head of the Commission on Superhuman Affairs and General Haywerth meet with Valerie Cooper about his progress; she explains that he has the ability and the attitude but no one to instruct him in the finer points of combat; the Commissioner has someone and has her carry on. Cooper then receives a call from Ethan Thurm on her private number….

The new Cap heads for training and runs into Lemar Hoskins, outfitted as the new Bucky, on his way to school. In the training room Cap is surrounded by dummies which pop up from behind barricades and fire rubber bullets at him; he is able to dodge and fling the shield but ends up destroying all his playmates. In the cafeteria afterwards, he and Bucky are ridiculed by the Blob, Pyro, and Avalanche. It gets worse when Valerie Cooper comes in and chews Cap out for giving her private number to Ethan Thurm who is harassing her. John did not give the number to Ethan figuring he found it while snooping through John’s papers….

Later Cap and Bucky spar with a team of soldiers wearing Guardsman armor, their first experience with powered foes. They don’t do very well but it is still better than their trainer expected. Later, John phones Ethan to warn him not to call again and they arrange a secret meeting at a bar. That night, an angry Ethan threatens to reveal the new Cap’s identity to the press unless he gets a million-dollar payoff and John nearly assaults him, but the more reasonable Lemar talks sense into him. On their way back to the base, Lemar suggest beating Ethan up but John nixes the plan as they would have to go through their buddies Jerome and Hector….

The next day, John tells Lemar he was right, they will have to handle the Ethan problem themselves because that’s what Captain America would do. In training, Cap is introduced to his new teacher—the Taskmaster. Thanks to his photographic reflexes, he is the only other person to have mastered the original Cap’s prowess with the shield, giving Cap a quick and impressive demonstration. After that the ex-villain settles down to the task of showing the new Cap how to handle the iconic shield.

Late that night, Cap and Bucky don Guardsmen armor and pay a call on Ethan Thurm at the bar, crashing through the wall. John snatches the sleazy agent away while Lemar fights Hector and Jerry but their unfamiliarity with the suits cause them to injure their pals worse than they anticipated. The next morning, Cap is brooding over what they did when Valerie Copper confronts him over the incidents. John Walker, doing what Cap would do, confesses to everything….

Tom Morgan
Dave Hunt
Ken Feduniewicz
Mike Zeck (Cover Penciler)
Bob McLeod (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Fred Dukes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(St. John Allerdyce)

Plus: Bucky (Lemar Hoskins), Captain America (John Walker), Commission on Superhuman Affairs, Ethan Thurm, Hector Lennox, Jerome Johnson, Valerie Cooper.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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