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Captain America #353: Review

May 1989
Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer

Story Name:

The Great Bear

Review & Comments

Rating:
3.5 stars

Captain America #353 Review by (November 23, 2013)
Review: Continuation of the Soviet hero vs Soviet hero tale brings in a giant monster—always a fun way to spice things up, even if the Id creature is a direct swipe from FORBIDDEN PLANET. The puzzling bit is why Fantasia, who is spying on Cap, doesn’t see the monster when it first appears. There’s no hint that this thing can’t be seen by everyone. No matter, we get a nice tale that avoids any politics deeper than “The Commies can’t be trusted” and a cool look at the Russian equivalent of the Avengers (Red Guardian, Crimson Dynamo, Perun, Sputnik, and Fantasia are Commie Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Vision, and Scarlet Witch respectively).

Comments: Part two of a two-part story. First full appearance of the Supreme Soviets.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #353 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The three Soviet Super Soldiers critically injured by the Supreme Soviets (last issue) are pronounced dead by the doctor on Avengers Island. Captain America undertakes a diplomatic mission to Moscow with the ulterior motive of learning whether the assassination was ordered by the government. Late at night in his hotel room, he sees a giant black beast rampaging in the street. He attacks it but his blows do no good and it vanishes suddenly, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake….

Meanwhile, Lemar Hoskins—the former Battle Star—visits Custer’s Grove, Georgia, to investigate the mystery behind the death and disappearance of Captain America John Walker. He learns that Walker’s sister and her family, after claiming his body, moved away suddenly….

The next day, Captain America is escorted around the city by his opposite number, the Red Guardian. Suddenly the black beast appears and the two heroes fight it but the creature absorbs the Russian champion and fades away. Cap reports this to the authorities but they are suspicious of him. Then the creature reappears, heading toward the Kremlin, and the other Soviet heroes—Sputnik, Crimson Dynamo, Perun, and Fantasia—are called in to save the day. As they battle, Cap realizes that the monster is targeting the heroes and allows himself to be absorbed into it. There he finds the spirits of the dead Super Soldiers—Darkstar, Ursus Major, and Vanguard. The three are draining their enemies’ life force to restore themselves to life. Cap persuades them to let their killers live and the beast vanishes. Cap returns to the States to find the Soviet Super Soldiers recovering, believing their monstrous rampage in Moscow was all a dream.


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Kieron Dwyer
Al Milgrom
Bob Sharen
Kieron Dwyer (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
Plot: .

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Alexi Shostakov)
Ursa Major
Ursa Major

(Mikhail Uriokovitch Ursus)

Plus: Battle Star, Commission on Superhuman Affairs, Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko), Darkstar, Fantasia, Michael O'Brien, Mikhail Gorbachev, Perun (Lord of the Storm), Soviet Super-Soldiers, Sputnik, Supreme Soviets, Valerie Cooper, Vanguard.