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Captain America #396: Review

Jan 1992
Mark Gruenwald, Rik Levins

Story Name:

Trick or Treat

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America #396 Review by (May 15, 2016)
Comments: First appearance of Steven Levins as Jack O' Lantern; ultimately he is killed by the Punisher during Civil War. Blackwing is the son of Silvermane and was introduced in DAREDEVIL #118; eventually he forms a villain team called Heavy Mettle, appearing in NEW WARRIORS and DARK REIGN. These two will join the Skeleton Crew for a few issues.

Review: On the plus side, Cap and Thor battle a blob of goop then Cap takes on two new baddies by himself. On the negative: Mother Night agonizes over her love life to Machinesmith of all people (well, he's kinda sorta “people”) and John Jameson thinks he has a high-school crush—and blows it. The issue is okay as far as it goes, the art is nice for the most part. Too bad about the story weaknesses and especially the back-up story focusing on several characters we don't care about. And yes, I wrote the phrase “a giant flaming pumpkin.” 'Nuff said?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #396 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

On the orders of its creator Arnim Zola, Doughboy absorbs Captain America and Thor (Eric Masterson) into its gooey innards and floats off to drown them in a nearby lake; settling to the bottom, Doughboy bursts open from Mjolnir hurled by Thor. When it returns, it breaks the monster wide enough for the two heroes to escape....

Interlude One: Cutthroat is being trained by Taskmaster to replace the fired Crossbones as the Red Skull's muscleman. It isn't going well....

Interlude Two: John Jameson drops Rachel Leighton off at her class; on impulse he kisses her on the cheek. She is offended and stalks off, wondering what is going on....

Cap returns to Skull House to discover the building missing, all that's left is the basement. As he investigates, a pair of villains arrive, a new Jack O' Lantern and the bat-themed Blackwing. They too are surprised to see the house gone as they were hoping to loot the deserted manse. Cap challenges them and a battle breaks out....

Interlude Three: The Red Skull is interrupted in his negotiations with Viper by a call from Arnim Zola, asking where to relocate Skull House. The villain just tells him to bring it here (i.e. the Skull's Rocky Mountain hideout)....

After dodging bats and blasts, Cap wards off a bomb tossed by Jack O' Lantern and suddenly the ground cracks open and Cap is plunging into the mouth of a giant flaming pumpkin....

Leaving her computer class, Rachel hails a cab but Crossbones is waiting inside and snatches her....

2. “Where to Begin” 2.5/5

Writer: Mark Gruenwald. Pencils: Larry Alexander. Inker: Dan Panosian. Colors: Dan Slott.

Synopsis: Asp, Black Mamba, and Impala break into the deserted Serpent Society headquarters, hoping to find the whereabouts of Snapdragon and learn what happened to traumatize Diamondback on the cruise ship (issue #388). They find the power off, rendering the computers useless. Unbeknownst to them, their entry triggered an alarm at Avengers Mansion and Peggy Carter dispatches the nearest Avenger, Sersi, to investigate. Sersi, annoyed that she had to leave a party for this, challenges the interlopers. Impala hurls a spear and the Avenger turns it into a bunch of flowers—then changes the B.A.D. Girls into snakes. She reports back to Peggy, who wants to know who they are; grudgingly, Sersi restores Black Mamba to her human form (naked) and demands answers....

Rik Levins
Danny Bulanadi
Christie Scheele
Rik Levins (Cover Penciler)
Danny Bulanadi (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Asp.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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