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Captain America #451: Review

May 1996
Mark Waid, Ron Garney

Story Name:

Man Without a Country Chapter Two: Plan "A"

Review & Comments

5 stars

Captain America #451 Review by (September 6, 2017)
Comments: Part two of four parts.

Review: And here we learn that the loss of his Captain America identity strikes him to the core in a way that being fired in favor of John Walker could not. And then it turns into a spy thriller and superhero action tale, because it's still a comic book. And a terrific one it is, as Cap hurls himself into the action with less restraint than he normally would-the aerial scenes are great. Steve is uncomfortable in a unmarked Cap costume even with a plasma shield and Sharon, still bitter after all of these years, is little help even though she still believes in him. But it's Cap who knows what to do, how, and when. Though they can strip him of his uniform he is still a master tactician.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #451 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

Sharon Carter returns to the upscale London hotel where she and Steve Rogers are hiding. She knows Steve would never divulge any of the privileged information he's been given. She knows that he'll come up with a plan to clear his name.

As she opens the door, she finds Steve sitting in the floor with his back against the wall. He is staring intently at the object in front of him. This happens to be a room service tray containing a hamburger with potato chips. A small replica of the American flag from 1776 has been added for decorative purposes. It's this last part which has put him in this frame of mind.

Sharon has never seen him like this and is uncomfortable. Once she realizes the source of the problem, she puts the tray out of sight in order to get him to focus. She convinces him to try on a less nationalized costume she has purchased. He puts it on and realizes immediately that its his old costume sans stars and stripes. He is not amused.

Sharon then encourages him to select some weapons for their upcoming mission. Steve isn't interested in using any type of firearm. Guessing correctly that he would choose (D) none of the above, she provides him with an alternative. She attaches a device to his wrist that generates a circular cool-temperature plasma field that will protect him from small armaments. An energy-based shield. She warns him not to break it as "The Rat" will want this prototype back. She will not comment further on that subject. When asked Sharon admits that she sold the pogo jet she used to follow him to London and is using that money to fund this operation.

With that Steve regains his focus and tells Sharon that their first stop is Moldavia. Machinesmith has built an Argus Anti-Aircraft cannon from the information he somehow extracted from his mind. Sharon's attention becomes focused when he mentions "Machinesmith". Later on the train to Moldavia, Steve asks her to explain her concern about Machinesmith. She confesses that the Red Skull brought him in when they were reviving him. She doesn't know exactly what transpired, but Steve does. He's sure that Machinesmith leaped directly into his mind and pulled out the information about the Argus.

Suddenly they are attacked on the train by Machinesmith's four assassins. They defend themselves until they are near their objective and jump off the train. Carter comments that they're in for a long walk to Moldavia. Rogers asks her to trust him. After a brief run through the woods they come upon an American Air Force base. His plan is to get her to hack into their network and pull as much information as she can about the location of the Moldavian Argus cannon. Their window becomes smaller as Machinesmith's operatives have found them and are in pursuit. They arrive on base and reluctantly fight the soldiers who engage them. When the assassins arrive, an alert is sent out to all those on-base to provide assistance. This leaves the F-15 jets unattended. Not willing to look a gift horse in the mouth, Rogers and Carter steal one of the jets and head toward Moldavia.

Upon arrival, Sharon asks Steve what he plans to do. He responds that they'll enter the free-fly zone and become the next target of the Argus. Once engaged, the computers should be able to pinpoint the exact location of the Argus. Sharon freaks out and asks if he's lost his mind. They soon find themselves under attack from the weapon they are trying to locate.

Tense minutes pass but as Rogers predicted, the on-board system has pinpointed the location of the Argus. Before they are able to make use of this information, their fighter jet is blown out of the sky.

Ron Garney
Scott Koblish
John Kalisz
Ron Garney (Cover Penciler)


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