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Captain America #378: Review

Oct 1990
Mark Gruenwald, Ron Lim

Story Name:

Grand Stand Play!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Captain America #378 Review by (July 11, 2012)
Review: See issue #372 for a full review of the “Streets of Poison” arc.

Comments: Conclusion of the seven-part “Streets of Poison.” The Super-Soldier Serum regenerates in Cap’s body by issue #384. Battle Star story: part seven of seven. John Walker’s parents were murdered by the Watchdogs in CAPTAIN AMERICA #345.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #378 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The now de-powered Captain America rides into the night on his Sky-Cycle, determined to discover whether it is the drug or the man that makes him a hero. On the way, he conveniently summarizes the story arc for latecomers….

Meanwhile, the Red Skull and the Kingpin meet after hours at Yankee Stadium to work out an arrangement over their drug war. There can be no partnership between them because they despise one another. The Red Skull explains that his interest in dealing drugs is to undermine and destroy America, whereas the Kingpin rationalizes his involvement as a means of strengthening America by weeding out the weak (!). The Skull proposes that they settle matters by hand-to-hand combat, right here and now. The two villains strip to their shorts and are searched for concealed weapons. As their men form a ring around them, the Skull presses a secret activator in his heel and the combatants are enclosed in an unbreakable plastidome. The villains are evenly matched with the Kingpin’s weight and solidity a match for the Red Skull’s martial arts skills….

Meanwhile, Captain America has arrived in the stands, attracted by the lights from the supposedly deserted stadium. He is met by Crossbones who launches himself in an attack on his longtime foe. After some brutal slugging, Cap’s agility and training take over for the loss of his strength and he defeats Crossbones by yanking his head back by the ribbons on his mask and delivering a karate chop to the thug’s throat. As Cap is relieved that he can be Captain America without the use of a drug, the battle between the two villains has come to an end. Kingpin seized the Red Skull in a bear hug and fell forward crushing the Nazi villain to the ground; the Skull admits defeat and abandons his scheme to deal Ice in New York. Cap arrives just in time to miss his departing archenemy, and the Kingpin congratulates himself for saving the city from a madman. Cap returns to Avengers HQ and informs his friends that he will remain without the Super-Soldier Serum from now on….



Story #2

Grave Concerns

Writer: Mark Gruenwald. Penciler: Mark Bagley. Inker: Dan Panosian. Colorist: Nel Yomtov.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Battle Star regains his augmented strength as USAgent forces Dr. Malus to put him through the process again. The Agent refuses to cure the grotesquely muscled Curtiss Jackson until all the other depowered kidnap victims are restored. When the wrestlers have all undergone the process, a vengeful USAgent destroys the machinery, trapping Jackson in his unwieldy body. On the ride home USAgent tells Battle Star that he is no longer John Walker but goes by the name Jack Daniels and has severed ties with all his old friends for their safety. John followed Lemar to learn why the latter insists his parents are dead, since he writes to them regularly. Lemar tells him he will contact John’s sister to get the details…and the proof.

Thirty-six hours later, Lemar takes John to Custer’s Grove, Georgia, and shows him his parents’ graves in the local cemetery. John breaks down in tears and walks away alone….




Ron Lim
Danny Bulanadi
Steve Buccelatto
Ron Lim (Cover Penciler)
Danny Bulanadi (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Diamondback
Diamondback

(Rachel Leighton)
Kingpin
Kingpin

(Wilson Fisk)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

Plus: Battle Star, Dr Karl Malus, Jackhammer, John Jameson, Power Tools, U.S. Agent (John Walker).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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