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Captain America #397: Review

Feb 1992
Mark Gruenwald, Rik Levins

Story Name:

Shot in the Dark

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America #397 Review by (May 21, 2016)
Comments: The Red Skull's force bubbles were introduced in TALES OF SUSPENSE #89.

Review: Another okay action issue, sadly corrupted by Mother Night's and John Jameson's romantic agonies. As for the back-up story, this is it, the whole B.A.D. Girls, Inc. storyline went nowhere, Asp, Black Mamba, and Impala aren't seen again until #411, and after that, they are no longer associated with Captain America (in fact, #411 is Impala's last appearance anywhere). Was there a point to all this? Looks like someone's plans fizzled out.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #397 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America is dropping into the maw of a giant flaming pumpkin—but it's just a hallucination caused by Jack O'Lantern as he and Blackwing fight the hero in the basement of the vanished Skull House. The two baddies decide to kill Cap as the Red Skull watches on a monitor with Viper. The Skull summons Mother Night and orders her to recruit these two villains for the Skeleton Crew. She dashes off and tells Cutthroat to suit up for a mission....

Cap tries to defend himself as best he can while fighting off the effects of the hallucinatory gas. Suddenly, a force field surrounds the house. The two baddies decide to make themselves scarce. Back in his senses, Cap discovers a vent leading to catacombs beneath Skull House, likely the same route the baddies took....

Back at Avengers Mansion, John Jameson berates himself for making a pass at Rachel....

Back in his recreation room, the Red Skull gives Viper a look at what he does for fun: he enters a device called the Wheel of Sorrow where he subjects himself to increasing levels of electrical current to build his strength. Skull asks Viper to control the voltage he will endure; she turns it up all the way....

Cap catches up to Jack O'Lantern and Blackwing in the sewer. He easily takes them down and contacts Thor to come meet him. As he hauls is prisoners back to the manse, Scourge of the Underworld appears and shoots the unconscious bad guys. Cap pursues and hurls one of Jack's gas bombs and he discovers that Scourge was an illusion conjured up by Mother Night, who now believes herself to be under attack by a seven-headed serpent, all bearing the face of Viper. Cap takes her into custody and heads back to Skull House where Thor awaits. Jack and Wing have gotten away but Cap considers it a victory because with Mother Night discovered alive he can be certain the the Red Skull is too...

Epilogue: Crossbones binds Diamondback in an abandoned subway station where he wants all the info she can furnish on Captain America....

2. “Snake-Off” 2.5

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

Synopsis: At Serpent Society headquarters, Sersi questions the B.A.D. Girls as to why they have broken into the building. They explain their mission and Sersi, eager to get back to her party, lets them go—though they have to ask her to power up the Serpent Saucer for them. The trio gets dressed again, and they take the Saucer to the next logical person to know the whereabouts of Snapdragon: Superia.  

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


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