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Captain America #159: Review

Mar 1973
Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

Turning Point!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Captain America #159 Review by (March 14, 2010)
Conclusion of a three-part story. The Eel and Viper are revealed to be brothers. The clues in the story pointed to the Commissioner as the Cowled Commander; Muldoon’s inner thoughts in issue #157 would seem to contradict his guilt.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #159 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Steve Rogers returns to consciousness to find himself bound in an empty room with Sgt. Muldoon and Bob Courtney accusing him of being a traitor. Muldoon vows to force Steve to confess that he is behind the framing of several police officers on corruption charges. When the cops leave the room, Steve breaks the ropes binding him with a burst of his newfound strength, changes to Captain America and makes his getaway. Cap hears the sound of police sirens and follows them to the Diamond District where the crime wave is in full swing, with the Scarecrow, the Plantman, the Porcupine and the Eel looting jewelry stores. Cap finds himself fighting off the Eel’s electro-blasts, Plantman’s clutching vines and Scarecrow’s vicious ravens. Suddenly, the Falcon arrives with Viper as a prisoner and joins the battle. A blast from the Eel knocks the Falcon cold and as Cap rushes to catch his plummeting partner, the villains take off. The heroes pursue but their path is blocked by the sudden arrival of the Commissioner’s limo which allows the baddies to get away. Muldoon and Courtney arrive as do Sharon and Leila; all offer to help but Cap won’t allow it. He and Falcon swing off following Redwing’s lead but the cops and the women follow anyway. Redwing leads the heroes to the villains’ hideaway and drop in on them through a skylight. Plantman creates a carnivorous flower that overpowers the two. Cap and Falcon awaken in a sealed room with the Cowled Commander addressing them over a monitor, revealing he has also captured their friends. He orders the room filled with deadly gas but Cap uses his new strength, created by a reaction between Viper’s poison (previous issue) and his super-soldier serum, to rip an exit in the wall. The two heroes escape and clobber the villains and the Cowled Commander is unmasked as…Sgt. Muldoon! The old cop confesses that, out of frustration with what he perceived as softening attitudes toward crime, he started a crime wave to inspire the citizens to demand a return to the old tougher ways (and also planned to use Steve Rogers to divert suspicion from himself). Cap frees the captives and turns the villains over to the police.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Sal Buscema
John Verpoorten
Stan Goldberg
Sal Buscema (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)

Plus: Coweled Commander, Eel (Leopold Stryke), Leila Taylor, Plantman (Samuel Smithers), Porcupine (Alexander Gentry), Scarecrow (Ebenezer Laughton), Sergeant Muldoon.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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