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Captain America (1968 series) #341

May 1988
Mark Gruenwald

Story Name:

Break-In

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

By Peter on May 5, 2013

Comments: Cover is a homage to DAREDEVIL #43. Part ten of The Captain saga which will run until issue #350. Lemar Hoskins becomes Battle Star in this issue, a decision made by Marvel after readers pointed out the same arguments made to Lemar in the story. First appearance of Hector Lennox and Jerome Johnson as Left-Winger and Right-Winger, respectively. Sole appearance of Dawn Lovett, who is given a full name despite her relative unimportance to the story. Future comics writer Scott Tipton has a letter on the letters page.

Review: An unusual structure marks this issue: instead of intertwining the three plots, they are kept as separate stories so as to not lose the focus of each. Cap’s confrontation with Tony Stark wraps up the previous plotline for now; the Serpent Society leads into the next arc while the new Cap stuff moves us ahead on the bigger story at hand. And it all works, especially the Serpent section which brings us up-to-date on the criminal team and features Diamondback, one of my favorite characters! The grim revelation of the middle tale will lead to tragedy soon enough, though….


 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Late one evening, Tony Stark returns to his Pacific mansion accompanied by the attractive Dawn Lovett—and finds Steve Rogers, the former Captain America, waiting for him. After hastening the departure of an angry Miss Lovett, Tony tries to apologize for their clash at The Vault last week (IRON MAN #228); a bitter Steve returns the shield Tony made for him—by hurling it at Tony’s gut. Then Steve reveals that Iron Man’s interference at the high-security prison led to the escape of several convicts—and that he intends to arrest Tony for his actions. Tony hurls the shield back and dashes into the next room to emerge as Iron Man. Cap, not intimidated by the sight of the Silver Centurion (as was Tony’s hope), attacks. Iron Man easily breaks his holds while protesting that he had valid reasons for what he did. Cap will not listen so his ally gives him a mild blast of his high-density beam to paralyze him. Tony gives his word that, once his mission is accomplished, he will return and explain everything to Steve—then jets off. Steve decides to forego any further action, giving Tony a chance to keep his word….
Elektra

Story #2

Free Speech

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The new Captain America, John Walker, finds that his partner Bucky, Lemar Hoskins, has adopted a new costume and a new identity—Battle Star. He made the decision after an older African American guard at The Vault suggested that he should not be following in the footsteps of a white kid sidekick and he should become his own man. Plus he explained that "Buck" is a derogatory term for a black man in some parts of the country. Cap likes the change and they head to the ceremony where they will make their formal debut….

A huge crowd is gathered at the Washington Monument and Captain America is introduced. He takes the stand and explains how the original cap has retired and he has been chosen as his successor; Cap then introduces Battle Star as his partner—but a hovering helicopter attracts his attention. Seeing two costumed figures emerge from the craft, the heroes ask the crowd to evacuate calmly. The two interlopers drop to the stage and introduce themselves as Right-Winger and Left-Winger—and reveal Cap’s secret identity as John Walker. Recognizing them as their old partners Jerome Johnson and Hector Lennox (respectively), Cap and Battle Star attack and the two new villains, bitter at having been betrayed by Walker and Hoskins, fight furiously. Cap tries to explain that it was the government who rejected them after a background check (issue #333) but the two Wingers will not listen. The Secret Service arrives to arrest the two but they have achieved their goal of upstaging the new Captain America at his big debut….




Story #3

In Our Midst!

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

At a meeting of the Serpent Society, leader Sidewinder welcomes the four new recruits rescued from the Las Vegas jail—Fer-de-Lance, Puff Adder, Black Racer, and Copperhead. He explains that the Society is a trade union for criminals and offers them probationary membership. Diamondback shows Fer-de-Lance to her room and, once she is gone, the new villainess activates a signal beacon which summons her real leader, Viper, to the room. Viper enters the apartment of Black Mamba, Sidewinder’s paramour, and zaps her with a ray gun. Donning Mamba’s French maid outfit (!), she is able to enter Sidewinder’s bedroom and bite the distracted mastermind on the neck, filling him with her venom. He pulls away and grabs his teleportation cloak and vanishes. He appears in Diamondback’s room appealing to her for help; she administers anti-venom just as Puff Adder bursts through the door looking for them. Sidewinder manages to transport them both to the communications room where he passes out. Checking the monitors Diamond discovers that the house has been invaded by enemies—and there is only one person to turn to for help. She dials Captain America’s hotline….


Mark Gruenwald
Kieron Dwyer
Al Milgrom
Bob Sharen
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America
Iron Man
Iron Man

Plus: Battle Star, Black Mamba, Captain America, Diamondback, Fer-de-Lance, Left-Winger, Puff Adder, Right-Winger, Serpent Society, Sidewinder, Viper.