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Captain America #428: Review

Jun 1994
Mark Gruenwald, Dave Hoover

Story Name:

Policing the Nation

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #428 Review by (April 15, 2017)
Comments: “Fighting Chance, Book 4.” First appearance of Americop. Arnie Roth, a childhood friend of Steve’s (and one of the first gay characters in Marvel comics) was introduced in CAP #268. Angela Golden a/k/a Golddigger was introduced as one of Superia’s Femizons in CAP #389. Kono was introduced in MARVEL FANFARE #11. Lou “Dead Ringer” Dexter looks much different than he did in the three previous issues. Another disguise? The diner hold-up is said to be in both Kentucky and Virginia—unless it is two different (though similar) incidents. Rachel's chosen pseudonyms for herself and Zack Moonhunter are (La)Verne and Shirley, after the 1970s sitcom.

Review: The second of four trilogies in the “Fighting Chance” arc takes us in a different direction. The patriotic hero in this portion is Americop, a faceless Judge Dredd type of character whose justice is not tempered by mercy, or even humanity. His weakness as a character stems from that: we never see him as a real person, his identity, background, and underlying motives are all tied into the “Dirty Harry” trope of frustration with criminals getting off lightly, he is a plot device rather than a person, a straw man version of the tough “law and order” defender. And Cap outshines him, of course; any hero with a face would. So Cap is motivated to stand by his ideals because it always works that way. The real interest of this trilogy is Diamond's growing panic over having (possibly) killed Snapdragon, which will have consequences.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #428 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In Maryland, a couple of punks in a stolen car (and with a kidnap victim in the trunk) are pulled over by a high-powered police pick-up. When the officer demands to see his license, the driver shoots him in the face and zooms off. The cop, who was protected by a heavy visor, draws his own weapon and fires, disabling the car and bringing it to a crashing halt. The officer then summarily executes the two hoods….

At a police station in Manhattan, Captain America and Diamondback watch as Lou "Dead Ringer" Dexter is interrogated by Lieutenant Marc Stone of Code: Blue (last seen in issue #426). Dexter explains his mutant power is the ability to assume the form of dead people and as a demonstration he transforms into Snapdragon. Diamondback is unnerved by the sight, since she believes she may have killed Snapdragon (in CAPTAIN AMERICA #412). She rushes in and demands to know where Dexter found the body. He tells her New Orleans before Cap removes her from the room. She vows to head south to clear up the mystery….

In Kentucky, the armored policeman enters a truck stop for a meal. He becomes suspicious when the sees that there are cars in the parking lot but the diner is empty. He calls out and a nervous waitress enters from the kitchen to tell him the place is closed. The cop vaults the counter and enters the kitchen with gun drawn, to find the staff and customers held at gunpoint by a trio of crooks. Announcing himself as Americop, he quickly subdues the perpetrators and proceeds with his original mission, questioning the diner people about some missing children….

Captain America learns that Super-Patriot’s body was not found in the burned out building (last issue) but at least he was able to convince Rachel to take Zack Moonhunter with her to New Orleans. Back at headquarters, Cap discovers his old friend Arnie Roth visiting. He is accepting Cap’s offer to coming back from Florida to mind the costume store which is the front for Cap’s HQ. Word comes in that a man in a blue-white-and-red outfit has killed three hold-up men in Virginia. Thinking it may be Super-Patriot, Cap heads out there via sky-cycle….

In New Orleans, Rachel and Moonhunter ask around after Sheoke Sanada (Snapdragon’s real name) and a bartender tells them no, but calls Angela Golden to tell her that someone was asking about her….

Near a highway, Americop comes upon a gang of gun smugglers and tries to arrest them but they open fire on him. He bombs their truck with a grenade and calmly judges the crooks guilty and executes them. Cap hears the gunfire and heads to the scene. The two heroes with conflicting views of American justice confront one another and Cap stops Americop from shooting down a helpless criminal. The rogue cop accuses Cap of obstructing the law and threatens to shoot him if he tries it again….

At the bar, Rachel and Zack are approached by a glamorous blonde who introduces herself as Angela Golden and offers to take the pair to see Sheoke Sanada. In the limo Rachel and Zack are gassed and unable to escape before they are overcome. Arriving at their destination, a mansion on the bayou, they are removed from the car by a huge Japanese man….

Cap tries to punch out Americop, calling him a self-appointed vigilante with a warped sense of justice. The baddie draws a nightstick and swings at Cap, who unfortunately has an attack of muscular pain and is unable to dodge the blow. Americop draws his gun but the arrival of the real police prevents him from killing Cap and he lets the hero off with a warning before departing. Cap decides to wait for the authorities like an honest man, choosing to remain steadfast to his ideals as the situation becomes tougher….

Dave Hoover
Danny Bulanadi
George Roussos
Dave Hoover (Cover Penciler)
Dave Hoover (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Rachel Leighton)

Plus: Americop, Arnie Roth, Code: Blue (Code Blue), Dead Ringer, Fabian Stankowicz, Golddigger (Angela Golden), Kono, Moonhunter, Super-Patriot.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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