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Captain America Annual #7: Review

Jan 1983
Peter Gillis, Brian Postman

Story Name:

The Last Enchantment

Review & Comments

Rating:
2 stars

Captain America Annual #7 Review by (December 21, 2011)
Review: Once you get past that generic cover which says nothing more than, “Captain America’s in this comic” (which you already suspected from the title), it’s hard to say what you’ve got. Seems to be the origin of the Cosmic Cube and it ain’t as cool as we thought a story centering on a device that grants godlike powers to its wielder would be. First, there's the title “The Last Enchantment” which would tend to promise unicorns, wizards and butterflies. Then we get Super-Hippie (a/k/a Aquarian) who was a lot more interesting when he was Wundarr (essentially infantile Superman) but now specializes in groovy, like, mysticism, man. And then the Cube falls into the hands of an A.I.M. splinter group (how do we know they’re rebels? Simple, powder blue bucket-headed costumes instead of yellow), led by one of the lamest and most insecure villains Marvel ever offered: Bernard Worrell (a baddie named Bernie?) who comes across like the guy who got picked on in high school now trying to be a bully. Then the Shaper of Worlds shows up, half robot Skrull, half-tank, and explains how he was once a Cosmic Cube until he grew up. But finally we learn that the all-powerful Cosmic Cube is some sort of egg with self-esteem issues, who needs kindness and nurturing to optimize its full potential. Seriously, dude, Cosmic Cubes need love too. Far freakin’ out, man. And this was published in 1983 when the country was marching to the Reagan beat. Sigh. Well, to paraphrase Edward D. Wood, Jr. their next one would be better.

Comments: The Cosmic Cube hatches into the being known as Kubik in AVENGERS #289. Characters seen only in flashback: MODOK, Red Skull, Rick Jones, Thanos, Drax the Destroyer, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Skrulls, Kree.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America Annual #7 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Within a heavily guarded chamber inside the Project Pegasus research facility, the dormant Cosmic Cube suddenly flares into life….

In another galaxy, this is detected by powerful beings, normally enemies, who must unite to prevent the destruction of the universe. One of them readies to travel to Earth to investigate….

In rural Ohio, the alien mystic Aquarian (formerly Wundarr) becomes aware of the change in the Cube and flies to seek it out….

A renegade faction of Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.), the criminal scientific organization, locks on to the emission of the Cube, which they had long sought, and makes preparations to seize it. Their aircraft begin an all-out siege of Project Pegasus; the defenders hurriedly send out a call for help, which is picked up in New York by Captain America. The only Avenger available, Cap takes a Quinjet to the area, and detects Aquarian calmly walking through the nearby woods…carrying the Cosmic Cube. Cap approaches him and demands the Cube, despite the cosmic hippie’s claims that all is well and that the Cube itself asked him to carry it off. Cap seizes him and Aquarian drops the Cube, which is picked up by the A.I.M. ship which had been waiting for Aquarian to relinquish it. Cap pursues in his Quinjet while Aquarian has his own way to catch up. Cap follows A.I.M. to their secret base, flies past the outer defenses, and enters, crashing through the scientists until he barely reaches the Cube—then it vanishes into an opening in the floor. Cap then faces a cadre of armored guards with beam weapons and must defend himself with his shield—until the Aquarian suddenly appears and rescues him….

In a hidden chamber, the leader of this A.I.M. faction, Bernard Worrell, reminds his colleagues of the history and significance of the Cosmic Cube (unknown force trapped by MODOK in a cube, stolen by the Red Skull, lost then rediscovered by Thanos, apparently destroyed by Captain Mar-Vell, located and stored at Project Pegasus). Now Worrell plans to restore the Cube to its full power and use it to make a perfect world…. At this point Cap and Aquarian burst in and Worrell wields the Cube as a weapon to launch energy bolts. The anguished Cube reacts—and creates an advanced world of technology with Worrell floating above it like some neon god. When Cap and the Aquarian defy him, he attacks but his bolts cannot penetrate the mystic’s null-field. However, Worrell controls the entire new world, so the whole city becomes a weapon he wields. He has the floor and walls assault the heroes but the attacks are nullified by the Aquarian—so Worrell teleports the mystic to the mountains of Tibet. Alone, Cap carries on but the near-omnipotent scientist teleports Cap’s bones out of his body, leaving him a limp bag of muscle and sinew (yuck!) and turns Cap’s shield into a crab monster to feed on the hero—but he is unable to kill Cap. Cap senses that Worrell is actually afraid of the Cosmic Cube, so manages by sheer force of will to reverse the changes and confront the villain. In a panic Worrell commands the Cube again but it morphs into a tentacled blob that reacts with fear, sending shock waves through the New Earth and even piercing the mind of the Aquarian on the other side of the world. Lashing out with hate it changes Worrell into a lizard monster and the world now resembles a scene from the scientist’s nightmares. Cap appeals to Worrell to fight the turmoil in his brain but he can’t. The Cube-blob grows bigger and clobbers Cap. The Shaper of Worlds appears out of nowhere and comforts the panicked Cube, then restores reality to the way it was. Shaper reveals that the Cube is about to hatch…he goes on to explain how the Skrulls first developed a cosmic cube, which developed a twisted personality. It destroyed much of the Skrull galaxy before maturing into the Shaper of Worlds. Later the Kree wanted to create a cube but were forbidden to do so by the Supreme Intelligence, who implanted the knowledge of the cube in Rick Jones. Now at the crucial time the Supreme Intelligence has sent the Shaper to collect the Cube and nurture it until it hatches to insure that it will never become a destructive force. He was unwittingly aided in his mission by the Aquarian and Worrell who kept the Cube safe from super-villains. Now the Cube apologizes to its human hosts and the Shaper vanishes with it.


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Brian Postman
Kim DeMulder
Bob Sharen
Brian Postman (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Shaper
Shaper

(Shaper of Worlds)

Plus: A.I.M., Aquarian (Wundarr), Wundarr.