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Captain America #264: Review

Dec 1981
J. M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck

Story Name:

The American Dreamers!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #264 Review by (May 25, 2014)
Review: Very enjoyable issue develops its alternate timelines well, with each shift moving to a cool new setting (though Nazi America has been overdone). Cap keeps steady on his feet as he navigates the changes and saves the day in the end. And did you notice the irony of a story whose point is that no one can force his beliefs on another ends with the author declaring who deserves death for their opinions? Moral relativism can only go so far!

Comments: Appearing in alternate realities: Bucky Barnes, Iron Man, Giant-Man, Sam Wilson/Falcon, the X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, unidentified others). Villain Morgan McNeil Hardy was introduced in SPIDER-WOMAN #33 and will return as the Forever Man in AVENGERS #218.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #264 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

At an abandoned hotel in Upstate New York, four people, eyes wide and staring, are hooked up to a complex device in the basement, and they are dreaming dreams….

Diplomat Captain America returns from negotiating the unification of North and South America for President Kennedy… Wait, what? Yes, this is an alternate world where Cap survived the War intact and works for the six-term John F. Kennedy. Bucky is still alive and heads up the Avengers and reminiscing with Cap about their adventures, Bucky mentions their defeat of Ultron and his android assassin Vision—yet something seems strange, Cap has vague memories of having known the Vision and talking to him. A young woman suddenly appears on the television to tell him to search his memory to reverse everything…but he fights off the weird feelings. Later Steve is with his pal Congressman Sam Wilson, who was never the Falcon and they stop a hold-up//suddenly everything shifts and Sam Wilson is an uneducated shoeshine boy in a Jim Crow America where black people are routinely abused//then there’s another shift and Steve and his pals are all kids again in a world without grownups. The mystery woman tries to contact him again—but boy Steve ignores it. As they run though an alley, the scene shifts again//to a Nazi-dominated USA where he sees Blacks, Jews, and mutants in chains being herded to their doom. Resistance leader Captain America, leaps out and frees the mutants so Cyclops and Beast can join him and Falcon against their captors—then Falcon is shot down by a guard. Bullet holes over Cap’s head spell out a message imploring Cap to come to the Waldheim Hotel….

We then learn that the realities are controlled by Morgan MacNeil Hardy, who, having failed with his agent Turner D. Century to turn the world back to the idyllic days of his childhood, recruited four latent psionics and locked them in his Telepathy Augmenter to alter reality. The subjects were a racist, a kid, an elderly Nazi sympathizer, and a bright young woman who rebelled thus summoning Captain America. As he rushes toward the hotel in a Nazi craft, Cap finally understands what the shifting reality is about. Inside he confronts Hardy, denouncing him for trying to force a warped concept of morality on everyone else. The villain response by erasing Cap from the reality he is creating—along with most of the citizens of the United States. The psi-energy proves too much for Hardy and his brain blows out (apparently) killing him. The kid and the young woman are safe but the racist and the Nazi turn out to have had their brains fried by their own hatred. Cap and the two survivors are the only ones who will remember this.

Mike Zeck
Don Warfield
Mike Zeck (Cover Penciler)
John Beatty (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Scott Summers)

(Sam Wilson)

Plus: Morgan McNeil Hardy.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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