Comic Browser:


Captain America #143: Review

Nov 1971
Gary Friedrich, John Romita

Story Name:

Power to the People

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Captain America #143 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Special double-sized issue. First appearance of Rafe Michel.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #143 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Captain America, the Falcon, Sharon Carter and Nick Fury return to New York in the hover-carrier’s life-craft. They take a secret underground train back to SHIELD HQ where Fury summons the agents to a debriefing. Cap and the Falcon head on home to get back to their normal lives. Steve dons his police uniform and goes to the station house where Sgt. Muldoon chews him out for being late. Moments later, the Commissioner calls Steve into a meeting with Rev. Garcia, who asks the heroic cop to help out at his Harlem boys club. Meanwhile, Sam returns to his office to be met by Leila, who resists his flirtatious ways and demands he prove his commitment to his people by attending a People’s Militia rally with her. That night at the rally, Sam gets into a confrontation with the angry group leader Rafe Michel, who considers him a traitor to his race. As the meeting begins, a masked figure appears onstage to incite the group to burn down the Harlem slums. When Sam tries to talk some sense into the crowd, he is beaten senseless, his life saved only by Leila’s intervention. Later as Steve and Sharon heads for the boys club, they see a badly beaten Sam thrown from the back of a truck. Steve vows that Captain America will find out who is behind this. Changing quickly into his hero outfit, Cap heads to the boys club where he finds Militia thugs preparing to torch the place and launches into action. The battle is witnessed over a secret camera by the sinister masked leader, who reveals his ultimate goal is to destroy Captain America, symbol of all that he hates. At Sam’s office, Leila arrives to nurse the injured hero back to health (after rudely ejecting Sharon); the two continue their argument about the best way to help the black cause and Leila leaves in a huff to meet up with Rafe. As the Falcon, Sam heads to the boys club where the police have surrounded the building and the radicals inside have Cap and Rev. Garcia at bay. The arrival of the Falcon breaks the stalemate but the heroes must rush outside to prevent the outbreak of a citywide riot. They persuade the radicals to give them time to prove that violence is not the way, and head off to the People’s Militia headquarters.  Breaking in, Cap and Falcon overpower the leader’s bodyguards and unmask the villain as…the Red Skull! As the walls slide down to trap the heroes inside, Cap blocks it with his shield long enough for Leila and Rafe to escape. They attack the Red Skull but find he is wearing electrified body armor. He stuns the heroes with shocks, giving himself time to get away, but pausing to set off a trap: a deadly laser reflecting back and forth across the metal walls. As the beam gets tighter and tighter, Falcon manages to call Redwing on the other side of the wall and get the bird to shut off the laser and open the door (smart bird). The reach the outside in time to see the Red Skull taking off in an aircraft. Back in Harlem, the confrontation has ended peacefully, with the radicals learning they were dupes of the Nazi villain, though they assure the Commissioner that there will still be a need for the People’s Militia. The racial incident causes a rift between Cap and the Falcon, and the latter takes off to meet up with Leila (as Sam) in order to sort out their romantic feelings for one another and face the division caused by their politics. Cap can only look in and wonder if he is losing another partner.

John Romita
John Romita
(Unknown artist)
John Romita (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

Plus: Leila Taylor, Rafe Michel.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

Share This Page