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Captain America #429: Review

Jul 1994
Mark Gruenwald, Dave Hoover

Story Name:

The Beaten Path

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Captain America #429 Review by (April 15, 2017)
Comments: “Fighting Chance, Book 5.” Damon Dran first appeared in DAREDEVIL #92. Rachel’s first pair of pseudonyms are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, taken from Shakespeare’s HAMLET; the second set Nancy and Sluggo, are from the American comic strip NANCY.

Review: And we begin with Cap's ideals (reasonably) getting him into trouble; why should the police believe a guy dressed as Captain America has to be the real thing? The guy from issues #425-427 wasn't. And the Americop story takes an unexpected turn, as he defends a gay couple from harmful bigots; with 'Cop's strong conservative caricature one would think he would be anti-gay but no, he opposes hate crimes as well, regardless of the victims. So this guy isn't completely a cartoon; his ideals make sense at least in one point. Anyway, he starts to recede into the background as Diamondback moves to the fore (and Cap heads in her direction—literally—as well) with her scruples confusing her and her mission. And Zack Moonhunter is revealed to be more comedian than hero, funny sidekick to Diamond. Cap's illness makes itself known in a cool sequence that reminds us what is tying these 13 issues together. Darren Dran and his compatriots come to dominate the tale and come off as a bit more interesting than Americop; of course, it's because Dran aspires to be a James Bond villain (or Fu Manchu clone) and 'Cop is just a less satirical Judge Dredd. Watch where this goes in the next issue.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #429 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As Captain America finds himself in police custody, the chief suspect in the murders committed by Americop, he begins to wonder whether cooperating with the authorities was really a good idea. The sheriff doesn’t believe he is really Captain America so Cap uses his one phone call to contact Peggy Carter, who calls the White House to vouch for him. This gets results….

On his investigation into the trail of missing children, Americop stops at a strip mall for some pizza. While he is in the parking lot, he sees a gang of teenage punks harass and beat up a pair of gay men. The vigilante reacts violently, beating them, and to ensure that their future hate crime victims have plenty of time to escape, he shoots each punk in the kneecaps….

In New Orleans, Rachel (Diamondback) Leighton and Zack Moonhunter awaken cuffed up inside a cage in a bayou mansion. They are interrogated by the huge Japanese Kono, who wants to know why they are interested in Snapdragon, slicing off handfuls of Rachel’s hair when he doesn’t like the answers. Rachel claims to be an old friend trying to verify the rumor that she is dead. Kono is called away and replaced by the tougher Golddigger. After the villainess leaves, Rachel slips a laser diamond out of her pants cuff and uses it to free herself. When Golddigger returns, the two knock her out and escape, hunting for a phone. They call Peggy Carter who relays the message to Cap. The hero calls off his search for Americop and heads for the Big Easy….

At the mansion, Rachel and Zack enter an upstairs bedroom where they find a creepy, emaciated man who introduces himself as Damon Dran. Rachel explains about her search for Snapdragon, and Dran introduces Kono as her brother. She holds a diamond dagger to Dran’s throat and demands answers. Dran is not impressed and knows she is bluffing. Zack meanwhile has discovered that several other henchmen are waiting outside the doors. Cap arrives downstairs and finds Golddigger locked in the cage. She spins a tale of being a madman’s prisoner and he releases her; she immediately kicks Cap in the crotch and summons a muscleman to take him on. Cap is disgusted with his amateur reactions. Upstairs, Rachel finds she is unable to defeat the powerful Kono, who suspects she killed his sister. To jar her memory he holds her head underneath the waters of Dran’s whirlpool bath and only Zack’s thunking the brute on the head with a statuette saves her. Dran summons more henchmen….

Downstairs, Cap feels the strength return to his muscles and is able to defeat the bruiser. At this point, Americop crashes through the wall in his cruiser and tells Cap he is on the trail of missing children. Damon Dran appears at the top of the stairs, his men holding the unconscious Rachel and Zack. The villain orders them to surrender. Americop refuses…


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


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Americop, Damon Dran, Diamondback (Rachel Leighton), Golddigger (Angela Golden), Kono, Moonhunter, Peggy Carter.