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Captain America #9: Review

Sep 1998
Mark Waid, Andy Kubert

Story Name:

American Nightmare, Chapter One: The Bite of Madness!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #9 Review by (May 23, 2012)
Review: A cool start to the four-issue arc with a lot of action (Cap vs the Rhino? I’m there!) and a loosening of Steve and Sharon’s characters as they engage in some uncomfortable semi-romantic banter (and Sharon steals a peek at Steve’s derriere). Cap’s crowning moment of awesome comes when he fires a hot rivet gun at this foe; it doesn’t do much good but boy is Cap cool in both look and attitude. New artist Andy Kubert tailors his style to resemble Ron Garney’s a bit so the transition isn’t distracting at all. Cutest moment: Sharon watching Steve clowning with the Ramirez kids with a look of shock, confusion and…fear? Second cutest: Ogling construction workers reacting to Sharon’s dirty look with pure unalloyed terror. Most awkward: the Rhino crashing into Cap’s new shield and bouncing off while the hero remains unmoved. Must be the energy-storing construction that makes the shield stronger than the legs supporting it.

Comments: First appearance of Cap’s photon shield. First appearance of the Ramirez family. Revelation: Clint Barton taught Steve to juggle.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #9 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

Random public figures have begun acting irrationally. Superstar baseball player Jack Patterson snaps and starts assaulting fans. He is tasered by local police and arrested. He is not the first public figure to snap in recent days. General Ulysses Chapman's public disclosure of an ongoing mission's parameters (last issue) are likely to result in a court martial.

When Captain America learns of these incidents, he is puzzled. Chapman would never disclose classified information in such a callous manner. He is also troubled by the recent expulsion of Warbird from the Avengers for her alcoholism [Avengers (1998) #7].

After convincing Mr. Genuardi, a local store owner, to give a new "modern" apartment building a chance to integrate with the old neighborhood, he makes his way to his own apartment building. The Avengers Foundation kept paying the rent and moved his personal possessions to a secure storage facility during his absence [Following the battle with Onslaught – Onslaught: Marvel Universe #1]. He arrives intending to wait on the movers to deliver his property only to find the Ramirez family occupying his apartment. The father – Luis – is out of work and the family of five were homeless for a time before finding this unoccupied apartment. Luis sincerely apologizes for breaking into his home but explains that they literally had nowhere else to go.

Later that night Sharon Carter arrives at Steve Rogers’ apartment and finds him entertaining the Ramirez family. She asks to speak to him in private needing his assistance in a "work matter". Once they are in another room, Sharon gives Steve an upgraded energy-based shield similar to the one he used while he was in exile [Captain America (1968) #450]. He puts on his uniform and goes for a late night "jog" with Sharon to be briefed on their upcoming mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. In this case it's to uncover the reason that public figures are behaving erratically.

Once the mission briefing is complete, Cap and Sharon stop at a construction site owned by a friend of his, a real estate developer named Michael Ranier. He wants to speak to both him and the foreman about the possibility of Luis Ramirez working with their crew in exchange for one of the new apartments. The foreman accepts, but surprisingly Ranier snaps and tells them that he refuses to do anything for the unfortunate. Sharon notices that Ranier is in a trace while ranting about how people try to take advantage of him.

A clearly insane Ranier has made arrangements to prevent anyone from benefiting from this latest project and hired the Rhino to destroy his own building after Ranier bailed him out of jail [Sensational Spider-Man (1996) #31]. Cap distracts the Rhino while Sharon evacuates the site.

Cap holds his own for a while but the Rhino brings down dozens of metal girders, it momentarily deafens him. He is unable to hear Sharon's warning that the Rhino is charging him. Left with few other options, he decides to test his new energy shield. Luckily for him, it's every bit as strong as his traditional one [Lost in Captain America (1998) #2] and sends the Rhino hurtling in the opposite direction.

Undaunted, Rhino continues to trash the site, eventually succeeding in bringing down the building. Cap and Sharon find themselves buried under the rubble while trying to rescue the last construction worker.

Andy Kubert
Jesse Delperdang
Chris Sotomayor
Andy Kubert (Cover Penciler)
Jesse Delperdang (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Warbird (Carol Danvers).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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