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Captain America #78: Review

Sep 1954
?, John Romita

Story Name:

His Touch Is Death

Review & Comments

1 stars

Captain America #78 Review by (April 28, 2010)
The cover says “How much suspense and action can you stand?” Not this much apparently; this was the final issue of the series. a) The Commies believe this Cap is the same one who has been around all along. Electro is no relation to the Spider-Man villain of that name; c) text story. The villain's name, von Unterdrerd, looks like a typo but it isn't; d) Final appearance of Human Torch until FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #4; final appearance of Toro until SUB-MARINER #14, June 1969; e) final appearance of 1950s Cap until CAPTAIN AMERICA (Vol. 1) #153.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #78 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
To destroy Captain America, the Russians create a huge electrically-charged creature called Electro; his only weakness is that he needs to recharge every 24 hours. The monster is sent to New York where Cap and Bucky are guests of honor in a patriotic parade. A billboard lights up announcing "Captain America dies today!" and then Electro attacks. Cap leads his enemy into a museum exhibit on energy where the villain is clobbered by the workings of a giant typewriter. He manages to shock Bucky and has the boy hero at his mercy when Cap releases a flood of water from a dam display, electrocuting Electro. Outside, the billboard now reads "Captain America lives."

Story #2

The Green Dragon

Writer: ?. Penciler: John Romita. Inker: John Romita.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Steve and Bucky are in Korea, standing guard outside the meeting place for the peace talks. They spot a shadowy figure sneaking away and attempt to arrest him but the spy gets away, leaving behind a button with a picture of a green dragon. They learn that a list of names of American sympathizers among the Chinese was stolen by members of the Green Dragon, a secret society that worships the legendary monster that according to folklore, will rise again when China’s people are in need. Changing to Captain America and Bucky, they sneak into China to the location of the huge dragon statue the spies worship. Leaping inside they bring the dragon to life and it destroys the enemy organization. Cap then gets a shock: he thought Bucky was controlling the mechanism, but the boy hero was unconscious the whole time. The dragon really did come to the aid of its people!

Story #3

Just One Hour

Writer: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

FBI Agent Don Freeman is told that one of a group of foreign officials visiting New York is secretly Hitler’s spymaster von Unterdrerd on his way to contract fugitive Nazis in South America. Don must identify and arrest him without causing an incident. The chief complications: no one knows what von Unterdrerd looks like, and he only has an hour to make the identification before the group departs. Learning that the visiting dignitaries are astronomers, Don disguises himself as a reporter and interviews them. The only one of the scientists who is fooled by his trick question confusing meteors and meteorites is unmasked as the villain.

Story #4

Playing With Fire

Penciler: Dick Ayers. Inker: Dick Ayers.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Believing that American POWs are still being held in North Korea even though the war is over, the Human Torch and Toro enter to country on a search-and-rescue mission. They fight their way past guards and tunnel into a secret compound where they discover US prisoners. Torch and Toro free the Americans and send them off to safety while they fight a rear-guard action, preventing the Korean military from pursuing. On reaching safety, the heroes and the ex-POWs salute each other and go their ways.

Story #5

The Hour of Doom

Writer: ?. Penciler: John Romita. Inker: John Romita.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The new idol of millions of American boys is sportsman Chuck Blayne; what no one realizes is that Blayne is a Communist spy sent to subvert the nation’s youth by becoming a powerful influence. At a session of the UN, Blayne stands up and denounces the organization, calling international cooperation a failure and advising submission to a stronger power. To prove his point he has planted a bomb in the building. Steve and Bucky, on their way to hear Blayne speak at the UN are surprised to see him under arrest. Changing into their hero costumes, Captain America and Bucky learn what is going on and make a thorough search of the building, finally discovering a bomb in the ventilation system. The next step is to demonstrate that Blayne is a Red agent, to bring boys’ adoration of him to an end. Cap puts Blayne in front of the bomb and as the time ticks down he breaks down in fear and reveals that there is a second bomb in the main clock. Cap jumps up and exerts his strength to prevent the hands from moving together until Bucky can dismantle the bomb. Blayne is humiliated on television and Cap proved the hero.

John Romita
John Romita
John Romita (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)

(Thomas Raymond)

Plus: Bucky (Jack Monroe), Captain America (1950s Version).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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