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Captain America #443: Review

Sep 1995
Mark Gruenwald, Dave Hoover

Story Name:

Twilight's Last Gleaming

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Captain America #443 Review by (August 4, 2017)
Comments: The creative team of Mark Gruenwald, Dave Hoover, and Danny Bulanadi leave the title with this issue; Gruenwald reviews his 137-issue run on the letters page. The titles for issues #438-443 are lines from the American National Anthem. Final regular appearance of Fabian Stankowicz; his last call is in the AVENGERS ANNUAL for 1999. Jesse Black Crow, last seen in #440, makes his final appearance in CIVIL WAR #6-7. Nefarius, originally Moonstone, appeared in issues #169-175 and with a name change in #379. Hiram Riddley and his mother first appeared in issue #313. The Avengers appearing here are Black Widow, Crystal, Giant-Man (Hank Pym), Hercules, and Quicksilver (plus Jarvis). And according to Cap's countdown, Bernie is in court at 4 AM.

Review: Once we get past that goofy-looking Cap on the cover this issue serves as a nice farewell to Mark Gruenwald as well as Cap. The issue has a melancholy tone, as Cap's narration lets us in on his hopes and dreams—and his fear of failure. Exposing the insecurities of an iconic character like Captain America may be treading on dangerous ground but Gruenwald has it all under control. He is not afraid to bring in Hiram Riddley, who has lost his faith in Cap and Cap has nothing to say to him. The issue is moving—and a bit too enigmatic in its conclusion. Of course Cap will be back in the next issue—gulp, won't he? We'll see.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #443 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America, weighed down by his armor, crashes down into an alley while chasing Nefarious. The Native American mystic Black Crow helps him up—and informs him that he has had a vision that Cap will die in 24 hours. The hero decides to leave Nefarious to the Avengers while he wraps up personal business. Returning to his Brooklyn Heights HQ he calls a meeting of his staff. After retrieving some papers from his room, pausing briefly to brood over Sharon Carter, he tells his crew that he is about to die and he presents them with the documents that will allow them to continue his emergency hotline....

Wondering if he has ever made a difference in a villains' life, Cap visits Crossbones in prison, warning him about the Red Skull's latest scheme and wanting to know if there is any redeeming good in the bad guy's heart. Crossbones laughs in his face and Cap departs....

Looking up other friends, Cap sees that Bernie Rosenthal is busy in court; a call to Sam Wilson finds the Falcon burdened with his own troubles. Cap stops by the hospital to see Arnie Roth and his childhood pal dies while he is in the room. A visit to young fan Hiram Riddley is even worse; Hiram has lost all faith in his hero after his mother was shot by a carjacker and left comatose....

Cap heads to Avengers Mansion to be told by Jarvis that all of the other Avengers are out. Soon Peggy Carter informs him that he has a visitor. It's Batroc the Leaper and he is trapped by one of the Mansion's defenses. Batroc wants Cap's help in tracking down the serial killer of heroes; Cap is able to tell him the case has been solved (last issue). Batroc knows there is something wrong with Cap and reaches out to him. Cap invites him in and they talk for hours, Cap revealing his despair that he hasn't changed anything. Cap goes upstairs to bed and when Jarvis comes in to wake him, Cap seems to be dead. He summons the Avengers and they discover that his armor is empty, the window is now open, and there is a bird flying away. No one knows what this means....

Dave Hoover
Danny Bulanadi
Ashley Posella
Dave Hoover (Cover Penciler)
Dave Hoover (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Batroc the Leaper
Batroc the Leaper

(Georges Batroc)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)

(Edwin Jarvis)

Plus: Arnie Roth, Bernie Rosenthal, Hiram Riddley.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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