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Daredevil #283: Review

Aug 1990
Ann Nocenti, Mark Bagley

Story Name:

The American Nightmare

Review & Comments

3 stars

Daredevil #283 Review by (July 4, 2012)
Review: Odd issue. On the plus side, including Captain America in a story about the warping of the American Dream makes perfect sense. Secondly, Bagley’s art—while not as entertaining as his terrific ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN work—is very nicely done, especially the chaotic fight scene in the garage. On the downside, it looks like the Lucid Dreaming part of the plot, you know, the center of the story, is shunted to the sidelines, and for what? Not one but two left-wing tirades by Captain America. These rants are out of character for Cap, even when he’s hopped up on Ice (he doesn’t say anything like this in his own comic at this time), but they are clearly a case of the author using a character as a platform for her own views. And we all know how that turns out, right Cerebus fans? Cap recovers the American Dream in the end but who knows about Ann Nocenti?

Comments: Coda to Daredevil’s four-part trip to Hell, which was in #279-282. This issue falls between CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #373-374 (more or less), part of the classic “Streets of Poison” story arc, wherein Cap was exposed to the street drug Ice, accounting for his erratic behavior in this issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Daredevil #283 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Immigrant inventor Victor Cieszkowska stands on a rooftop overlooking the town square. He is wrapped in an American flag and announces that this is what he thinks of the American Dream. He then hurls himself forward into space as Daredevil and Captain America stand helplessly below….

A day earlier, Daredevil took an abrupt leave of Number Nine, Gorgon, and Karnak, his companions on a trip to Hell, and walked toward the nearest town where his senses picked up a disturbance. Captain America is in the same town, following up a lead on the drug traffic in New York, a lead which did not pan out. A fan presents him with a political magazine as a gift but it only prompts Cap to launch into a tirade critical of America’s foreign policy and the drug war. He is soon distracted by a display in the city square: inventor Victor Cieszkowska is demonstrating his latest accomplishment, the Harmony Car, a flying vehicle that runs on recycled garbage. As Victor flies home through the streets, Cap spots Daredevil swinging after the car and decides to investigate.

At home, Victor is having a Lucid Dream, creating a new invention—until he is woken up by a phone call. The Immigration Service informs him he is being deported as an illegal alien—despite having a green card. Then he gets a letter from the IRS claiming he is under investigation for not paying taxes. Then a cop arrives to search his home for drugs. Daredevil is watching from a nearby tree (oddly in plain sight) and detects not just that Victor is telling the truth but also that the cop is carrying cocaine, intending to plant it in the house. By this time Captain America has arrived and the two heroes confront the phony cop about his lack of a search warrant; the man mumbles some threats and excuses and beats a hasty retreat. At this moment, Victor is summoned by his wife to see a TV news story on his flight—in which it is denounced as a hoax. Later that night, Cap expresses his disappointment over the widening wealth gap in the US and the efforts of the oil companies to prevent an energy-efficient car like Victor’s to exist; DD becomes concerned about the normally calm hero’s uncharacteristic venting. Cap ends his rant by wondering why he still wears the country’s flag. Victor’s wife Nora approaches and tells the heroes that Victor is subject to Lucid Dreaming—that ideas come to him in his sleep and nothing is written down: if the Harmony Car is destroyed it can’t be rebuilt. Just then, a gang of hired thugs invade the garage (apparently unaware that two superheroes are sitting on the front porch) to smash the vehicle. DD and Cap fight them off but in the close-quarters melee, the car is damaged beyond repair. Nora enters with a note from Victor to meet him downtown….

….Victor, wrapped in an America flag, hurls himself from a high building in the town square, in full view of his wife, Daredevil, and Captain America. Suddenly in mid-air he pulls off the flag—and flies off in the jetpack which he has invented. Cap catches the falling flag and renews his love for his country.

Mark Bagley
Tom Morgan
Richard Rasche
Mark Bagley (Cover Penciler)
Al Williamson (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)

Plus: American Dream.

> Daredevil: Book info and issue index

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