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Captain America #363: Review

Nov 1989
Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer

Story Name:

Moon over Madripoor

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Captain America #363 Review by (September 26, 2012)
Review: Once you get past the incredibly bad cover (they couldn’t come up with a background?), this issue is pretty good. See, Crossbones has Diamondback and is using her as bait in a trap for Cap. This leads up to the first meeting between these long-running enemies—in a disappointing sequence that leaves all of the interesting stuff for the next issue. The star of the show is Diamondback and we see what a resourceful wannabe hero she is. In fact, one of the main things that makes her a fun character, besides her self-conscious mental banter, is Kieron Dwyer’s facial expressions in her close-ups. Diamond introduces a note of screwball comedy into a title whose star tends to be a bit reserved, let us say. Really too bad that Ed Brubaker decided to bring her back in 2012 and turn her into a generic woman SHIELD Agent. The Vagabond back-up story is well-done but doesn’t take off until next issue.

Comments: 1. The final page marks the first meeting of Cap and Crossbones. There is the obligatory cameo by Wolverine: Crossbones walks by him while complaining that the island is full of “wusses, weenies, and wimps.”




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #363 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Crossbones, who has remained in the shadows while dogging the parties to the Bloodstone Hunt (over the previous six issues), now has the unconscious Diamondback in his clutches. After everyone else has left the volcano area, he carries her to a fishing village where he seizes a boat and rows away. Diamond awakens in the boat and learns that they are going to Madripoor….

Captain America has arrived back at Avengers Island, wondering what became of Diamond back but having no cause to be concerned. He is puzzled to find he can’t get her out of his mind..…

Several days later in Madripoor, Crossbones arrives with his prisoner at a bordello where he is quite well-known. He ties her legs to a bed but when he uncuffs her hands, she pokes him in the eye and snatches up his crossbow. Crossbones distracts her by calling her Ratsel, a name from her past, and Diamond fires but her foe is not seriously wounded. The brute hurls the arrow back so that it lodges in the wall above her head and tells her she is bait in a trap for Captain America….

Crossbones contacts Cap with a message to meet him at the Brass Monkey Saloon in Madripoor if he wants to see Diamondback alive again. Cap is flown to the island by John Jameson and searches for the bar….

At the brothel after Crossbones has left for his meeting with Cap, Diamond appeals to a prostitute for help but Madam Xiona gags her, intending to force her to join the staff after the brutish bad guy is done with her. Alone, after some exertion, Diamond is able to reach the arrow in the wall over the bed and uses it to pick the lock on the handcuffs. She overpowers Madam Xiona and heads into the hall where she escapes the armed "girls" and knocks the burly Mister Phun down the stairs, escaping into the night….

At the Brass Monkey, Cap meets a stranger who leads him into the night where he meets Crossbones. The mystery man leads Cap on a chase which ends on a sampan where Cap puts his foot into an animal trap; Crossbones turns to face him with his crossbow at the ready….



Story #2

Vagabond: Malus Aforethought

Writer: Mark Gruenwald. Penciler: Mark Bright. Inker: Don Hudson. Colorist: Greg Wright.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

After her harrowing experience at the home of Power Broker Curtiss Jackson (over the last five issues), Priscilla Lyons, the novice crimefighter Vagabond, is relaxing in a diner. A bunch of thugs enter and request that she step outside for a word with their employer. Not liking their looks, she vaults over them and heads for the door but is caught anyway and taken to a limousine. There she meets Dr. Karl Malus, who demands that she describe in detail what happened to Curtiss Jackson. Learning the truth, Malus, who needs Jackson’s fingerprints to access his safe, demands that Vagabond obtain them for him. He gives her a plastic ball which will take a cast of his hand and if she fails, she dies. Malus locks a bracelet on her that contains a homing device and microphone so they can keep watch on her. Vagabond visits the hospital where Jackson is under police guard and, pretending to be his friend, she offers the grotesquely musclebound man her sympathy….


Kieron Dwyer
Danny Bulanadi
Bob Sharen
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
John Byrne (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Diamondback
Diamondback

(Rachel Leighton)

Plus: Dr Karl Malus, John Jameson, Michael O'Brien, Peggy Carter, Vagabond (Priscilla Lyons).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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