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Captain America #420: Review

Oct 1993
Mark Gruenwald, Rik Levins

Story Name:

Skull Sessions

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America #420 Review by (February 4, 2017)
Comments: Blazing Skull was originally Jim Scully, hero of the short-lived SKULL THE SLAYER; he started “blazing” in QUASAR #45-46 and then showed up here. After this he regained his normal appearance and showed up in HAWKEYE Vol. 3. Cap previously faced the full Night Shift in issues #330-331. Under-the-radar pun: Blazing Skull refers to Grimm's magical choppers as “eldritch cleavers,” invoking the name of 1960s radical and activist Eldridge Cleaver, for no reason.

Review: I read the eight issues of SKULL THE SLAYER and enjoyed them very much (still in my basement so maybe I'll give them another look sometime) so it was a surprise to find that protagonist here in a completely different guise. His battle with Cap is nicely done as is the entire issue, too bad a) it's the general comic book cliché that two heroes on first meeting have to fight and b) the issue is singularly pointless as Cap is only following up on an offhand distraction by the villain. The nice thing about a monthly comic book is that you can get away with this every so often so I'm not going to hold a grudge over it. If I were doing a comic book, I'd try to toss everything I had into the mix so as to meet deadlines. But that's just me. This issue is pretty good, despite being a wee bit superfluous.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #420 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America leads a SHIELD assault team in an attack on the Red Skull's secret Rocky Mountain hideaway, the location having been revealed by the captive Viper. As Nick Fury and his team engage the villain's guards, Cap enters to discover that the Skull has already fled. Soon Quasar arrives, having pulled the Skull's deadly satellite out of orbit and down to the ground. Cap is frustrated but Fury has a long shot lead....

In Los Angeles, the Blazing Skull (a dude whose glowing green bones show through the skin) is giving a beating to Digger of the Night Shift, wanting information. Skull is interrupted by the arrival of Captain America: Cap wants to know Blazing's connection to the Red Skull, and Skull suspects Cap of being another one of the Night Shift in disguise, so they fight in the alley for a few pages. Then the real Night Shift arrives, at least the Brothers Grimm, Needle, and Misfit. Suddenly the two wary good guys are facing a quartet of genuine baddies and a melee breaks out. Cap easily takes down Misfit and Needle, then he and B-Skull slam the two Brothers Grimm into each other. And Digger surrenders quietly. Cap and Skull sort things out and depart.

Epilogue 1: Red Skull tells Machinesmith that he had leaked the rumor of the Blazing Skull being one of his operatives to throw his enemies off the trail....

Epilogue 2: Cap receives a call from Giscard Epurer, telling him that his old ally Nomad, Jack Monroe, is in a psychiatric ward in Florida, under the care of Dr. Faustus....

Continued in NOMAD (Vol. 2) #18.

Rik Levins
Danny Bulanadi
George Roussos
Rik Levins (Cover Penciler)
Danny Bulanadi (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)

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