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Captain America Annual #10: Review

Jan 1991
D.G. Chichester, Mike Manley

Story Name:

Call of Duty (Part 3 of The Von Strucker Gambit)

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America Annual #10 Review by (June 5, 2016)
Comments: Issue includes pin-ups: a two-page spread of the Serpent Society by Mark Bagley and a group portrait of the Skeleton Crew by Kieron Dwyer and Al Williamson. b) Part three of “The Von Strucker Gambit;” the first two parts were in DAREDEVIL ANNUAL #7 and PUNISHER ANNUAL #4; oddly for a crossover, the three heroes never meet—or even become aware that the other two are involved in the same case. Story takes place between CAP #386 and 387; Romulus was introduced in NICK FURY AGENT OF SHIELD (1989) #22 along with Baron Strucker's reborn Hydra; she would appear off and on in that title for about two years. c) John McIver, the big brother Bushmaster, was also known as Powermaster after being enhanced by something similar to the Super-Soldier project; he became an enemy of Luke Cage, leading to Cage's team-up with Iron Fist. Quincy returns in the “Fighting Chance” story arc in CAP #435-437. d) The story's flashbacks recap the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA #307-315 and #380-383; e) The Nomad story falls between his four-issue miniseries and his ongoing title.

Review: Another annual? What an ugly cover; I can't tell what is going on. Now I love Hellboy but Mike Mignola's art does not readily lend itself to the standard superheroing. So after a typical recap of Cap's origin we have the main story, part three of “The Von Strucker Gambit” with Cap fighting a genetically enhanced warrior and a bounty hunter. The art isn't particularly attractive and the twist that the whole thing was a charade to update Hydra files on Cap, DD, and Punisher (see what they had to do in the days before Google?) is exceedingly lame. But the tale earns points for that remarkably poignant ending where we learn Romulus really wants to be cured. The Bushmaster and Sidewinder tales are okay, especially the latter, but only if you consider the doings of the Serpent Society personnel to be interesting. And the Nomad story is also a trifle designed to link his miniseries and his ongoing; the story of the mother and daughter is more interesting than Nomad's deeds but he's the one who gets a series. Sigh.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America Annual #10 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

1. “The Origin of Captain America

Creators unidentified.

Synopsis: Brief rehearsal of Cap's origin, with portrait of the regular cast by Ron Lim.

2. “Call of Duty” (Part 3 of The Von Strucker Gambit) 3/5

Writer: D.G. Chichester. Pencils: Mike Manley. Inks: Rick Parker. Colors: Ed Lazzelarri.

Synopsis: [At the beginning of the 3-part story, three genetic experiments escape from Hydra's labs and Baron von Strucker dispatches a trio of bounty hunters to recapture or destroy them. The first pair of hunter and hunted encountered Daredevil, the second met the Punisher and those two parts were resolved.]

Captain America takes the call to head to a genetics lab where a sinister figure has broken in. He arrives to find the feral Cassandra Romulus, tearing into a guard. Cap fights her off but must abandon the chase to apply first aid to the wounded guard. This gives her the chance to enter the lab's morgue and make off with two severed hands before escaping. Nick Fury arrives, anxious to capture Romulus for her part in the deaths of 1500 SHIELD agents....

Cap consults a Dr. Fishman to analyze some tissue residue Romulus left on Cap's shield. It indicates that she is part of a Super-Soldier project on Hydra's part—and the stolen hands would be part of a cure. They do not know that Romulus is perched outside the window, listening to their conversation—until a bullet fired by Hydra bounty hunter Dakini propels her through the window and into the room. She pleads with Dr Fishman to make her human again while Cap heads out after Dakini. The hero and his quarry end up sparring while hanging to a wire—which Romulus cuts sending them to the alley below. Romulus, with the cure Fishman gave her, appears and brutally injures the bounty hunter; Cap offers her the chance to use her cure and get her life back. Fury is outraged that Cap would let her go but he ignores the SHIELD boss and rushes Dakini to the hospital....

Epilogue: Romulus returns to Baron von Strucker at Hydra HQ and here it is revealed that the whole hunt for the genetic experiments was part of a larger gambit to update Hydra's data banks on Captain America, Daredevil, and Punisher. Strucker praises Romulus or her convincing act of wanting to be cured and he destroys the antidote; meanwhile we realize she wasn't acting....

3. “Brothers” 2/5

Writer: Mark Gruenwald. Pencils: Don Heck. Inks: Rick Parker. Colors: M. Hands.

Synopsis: In jail, Bushmaster of the Serpent Society (arrested in CAP #385) looks back over his life: Back on the island, young Quincy McIver grew up in the shadow of his delinquent older brother, John. When they grew older, John got Quincy a job with a gang, unloading cocaine from a ship; they were caught and Quincy, attempting to swim away underwater, lost all four limbs to a police boat propeller. John, now calling himself Bushmaster, walked out of Quincy's life forever. Shortly thereafter, Quincy was approached by Seth Voelker of Roxxon Corporation, offering him a set of prosthetic limbs to replace his lost ones. Quincy jumped at the chance but after surgery he was horrified to discover they had given him a serpent's tail instead of legs. Now he considers himself a freak and when his lawyer enters to tell him he's free, Quincy has no idea where to go or what to do....

4. “Forgive Us Our Trespasses” 3/5

Writer: Mark Gruenwald. Pencils: James Brock. Inks: Don Hudson. Colors: Nel Yomtov.

Synopsis: Learning that King Cobra will stand trial for his crimes, Seth “Sidewinder” Voelker muses on their history: how he founded the Serpent Society, building a strong criminal union, how the others betrayed him, leading to him turning the reins of the organization over to Cobra, how he saved Diamondback from execution for treason by the gang. Now he fears the Serpents' reprisal and debates whether to set them free. On impulse he teleports into the Vault and frees Cobra, transporting him outside. Unable to take him any farther he considers them even. Then Cobra debates matters in his head and decides that the safest alternative is to surrender to the Guardsmen and return to prison, vowing revenge against Sidewinder....

5. “Worth Fighting For” 3/5

Writer: Fabian Nicieza. Pencils: Larry Alexander. Inks: Tim Dzhon. Colors: Nel Yomtov.

Synopsis: Trudging through the snow in the Canadian north, Nomad (Jack Monroe) is pursued by wolves. It looks bleak until another figure arrives, frightens off the wolves with a shotgun and drags the unconscious Jack to a cabin. We learn that the rescuer is a woman, a single mom with a young son Billy. While they are ministering to Jack's needs, they discover baby Bucky in a carrier on his chest. When he awakens, they exchange stories, Jack on his way to Seattle, the woman on the run after killing her abusive husband. Jack notes that he, she, and the wolves were only protecting their own. They don't know if they can trust Jack but they send him off with supplies and a map.

Story #2

Call of Duty

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #3


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #4

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #5

Worth Fighting For

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Mike Manley
Rick Parker
Ed Lazellari
Mike Mignola (Cover Penciler)
Mike Mignola (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)

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