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Captain America #15: Review

Feb 2006
Ed Brubaker, Mike Perkins

Story Name:

Red Is The Darkest Color

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #15 Review by (May 6, 2011)
Comments: Only Crossbones and Sin appear directly in the story; every other character is seen only in flashback or on film. The story of Sin’s birth is in CAPTAIN AMERICA (vol. 1) #298. The account of her aging and de-aging is told in CAP #290 (her first appearance, as Mother Superior) and #294-300. Her appearance with the Sisters of Sin was in Cap #355-357.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #15 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Having liberated Synthia Schmidt from the government facility where she was kept, Crossbones tries to reverse her brainwashing. First he shows her film of the Red Skull battling Captain America, while praising the Nazi villain’s vision—then reminds her she is his daughter. He slaps her around trying to force her to fight back, to be the Sin she used to be, "the Synthia Schmidt I knew…she didn’t even feel pain...’cause it was practically all she ever knew." Flashback to her birth: the Red Skull, enraged that his child is a worthless girl, prepares to toss the infant into the sea. Susan Scarbo (later Mother Night) pleads for the child’s life, insisting that any progeny of the Skull is destined for greatness. Scarbo volunteers to raise the child as nanny, indoctrinating her with the Red Skull’s values and ensuring that she suffers through her childhood like her father. Crossbones tosses her into a cell and asks her why he would go through all this trouble if she were any ordinary child….

In the cell she has a flash of memory of killing a SHIELD doctor who tried to subdue her—by biting through his throat. She tries to convince herself it is all a dream….

Later, Crossbones has her throw knives at a picture of Captain America, hoping again to unlock her memories. He explains that when the Red Skull was dying, he had Synthia aged into an adult with his Deus Machina and she served him as Mother Superior. Captured by SHIELD, she was de-aged to a teenager after which she escaped and was one of Mother Night’s Sisters of Sin. The burly villain explains that the Red Skull was eventually resurrected in a cloned body but he would still be disappointed by his daughter. This angers Synthia so that she manages to hurl a knife directly into the center of the target. He drags her off by the hair and offers her a choice: if she would be set free, she must kill a captive taken by Crossbones for this occasion. When she refuses, Crossbones shoots the man. Appalled, Synthia leaps at the thug and he knocks her to the ground, satisfied with her reaction.

She awakens to the deadly feeling of Crossbones ducking her head in a tub of water, while taunting her in order to break the SHIELD conditioning. She vanishes into a dream world of the Red Skull telling Captain America she will always be a failure…because she was born a girl. When she again awakens, she leaves the cell and appears in Crossbones’ bedroom, holding a knife to his throat. He knows that she is finally back to normal and they make love….

Mike Perkins
Mike Perkins
Frank D'Armata
Steve Epting (Cover Penciler)
Steve Epting (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

Plus: Mother Night, Sin (Synthia Schmidt).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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