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Captain America #342: Review

Jun 1988
Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer

Story Name:

The Snake Pit

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #342 Review by (May 11, 2013)
Review: Kudos to Gruenwald and Dwyer for keeping a vastly overpopulated plot clear and easy to follow. Not much really happens but it’s fun and leads into a more audacious tale in the large arc. And Vagabond actually does something! On the first and last pages, no less!

Comments: Part eleven of The Captain saga which will run until issue #350.Slither was introduced in CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #4 as one of Magneto’s new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants; they went on to several appearances in DEFENDERS as Mutant Force before Slither shows up here alone. Oddly, his compatriots in Mutant Force will turn up in an unrelated subplot in the next issue. Copperhead, Rattler, and Rock Python also appear briefly. New Captain America John Walker does not appear in this issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #342 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

At D-Man’s Santa Monica estate, the wrestler-turned-hero is getting tossed for a loop by Vagabond, while teaching her some fighting moves. A jealous Nomad breaks up the session, throwing punches at the hapless D-Man until his girl shoves him into the pool. A strange spacecraft arrives overhead and The Captain—former Captain America Steve Rogers—leaps through the air and bounces off the diving board to reach the hovering craft. Inside he is met by emissaries from Wakanda who patch him through to their liege the Black Panther via video. T’Challa presents Cap with a new shield made of Vibranium and wishes him well in his new identity….

Meanwhile at the headquarters of the Serpent Society, Diamondback is protecting the poisoned leader Sidewinder from an attack by the traitorous Fer-de-Lance. Defeating her foe, she is surprised by another of the invaders, Coachwhip, and manages to use Sidewinder’s teleportation cloak to transport them both outside the mansion. Her message to Cap (last issue) gets through, and the hero asks the Wakandans to fly him and his team to the site of the trouble. There they rendezvous with Diamond and, after the new black costume is explained, she fills him in on the situation: Viper and her serpentine minions have invaded their citadel and are giving the Society members the choice of join or die….

Inside the mansion, Viper bites the hostile Black Mamba and Bushmaster with her venom-filled fangs, giving them an hour to change their minds before they die. The lady mastermind then orders the superfast Black Racer to search area hospitals for the missing Sidewinder, while her other gang members load canisters in a truck for removal to the dispersal point. At this point the heroes arrive and enter the building. As Falcon, Nomad, and D-Man take on Anaconda and a couple of other baddies, The Captain and Diamondback head deeper into the mansion. Pausing briefly to punch out Puff Adder, Cap locates the dungeon with the help of Diamondback and confronts Viper. Diamond rescues Asp and Cap has to choose between catching the villainess and saving the poisoned serpents. Being a hero, he chooses the latter. The mutant snake-man Slither is captured by D-Man and Nomad, while elsewhere Black Racer finds the ambulance carrying Sidewinder to a hospital. A lucky Vagabond manages to clobber the superfast baddie and save the day. Back at the citadel, Cap ponders what Viper’s sinister plot may have been….

Kieron Dwyer
Al Milgrom
Bob Sharen
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Rachel Leighton)

(Sam Wilson)

Plus: Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba, Black Racer, Bushmaster, Coachwhip, D-Man (Demolition Man), Fer-de-Lance, Nomad (Jack Monroe), Puff Adder, Serpent Society, Sidewinder, Slither, Vagabond (Priscilla Lyons), Viper (Madame Hydra).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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