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Captain America #313: Review

Jan 1986
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:

Mission: Murder MODOK

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Captain America #313 Review by (July 12, 2015)
Comments: First meeting of Cap and Diamondback. First appearances of Hiram Riddley and his mother Holly; they return in #321 and Hiram alone in #332; For some obscure reason, Holly is listed as one of “the women in Captain America’s life” in issue #350. MODOK’s corpse is animated in IRON MAN #205 and he is fully resurrected a decade later in AVENGERS #386–388 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #440-441.

Review: Logic prevails and Cap’s hotline is shown very quickly to be too much work for one person, even glass-blower/prospective law student Bernie Rosenthal. There is a lot of talk setting up an all-new, all-different Teen Brigade which should now fade quietly into the background as the hotline plays its part in future plots. The strange part of the issue is the death of MODOK, apparently intended to be final (same as Red Skull a few issues earlier). It’s effective but somehow a little too low key (a fight with the Serpent Society in a closed mall?) for such a bizarre villain. And we see the first stirrings of Cap and Diamondback becoming an item, though it would be about five years before something comes of it.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #313 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Serpent villains Bushmaster and Diamondback explore an undersea A.I.M. base in search of the long-missing MODOK—and they find him. The mutated monster is recharging his powers when they attack; MODOK manages to mount his flying chair and bursts out through the ceiling. Bushmaster hooks onto him but the mutant blasts Bushmaster’s cyborg arms off and he falls into the sea….


Captain America checks up on his new nationwide citizen’s hotline and Bernie Rosenthal has a complaint: the response is too overwhelming for her alone to keep up with. Cap discovers that someone is trying to tap into the computer system; Cap puts a trace on the signal….


MODOK crashes down in rural New Jersey and finds a hiding place in the back of a toy company truck. Meanwhile, Diamondback reaches the Serpent Saucer and contacts Sidewinder with the news that they have found their quarry. Sidewinder gets in touch with the rest of the Serpent Society and they begin to rendezvous in the area….


At that time, Cap arrives in Montclair, New Jersey where he has traced the hacker’s signal. He finds single mother Holly Riddley and her teenage son Hiram. Hiram introduces himself as a major Captain America fan and demonstrates how he has been using his PC to monitor and organize calls to Cap’s hotline. While looking over Hiram’s reports, Cap discovers that the Serpent Society villains are converging not too far away. Cap heads to the scene where the serpents have tracked MODOK to a mall. Cap runs into Princess Python who wants nothing to do with the Society now that they are facing such a dangerous foe as MODOK. Cap persuades the mall management to evacuate the place, citing a gas leak. Soon the Serpents are battling both MODOK and Cap; Diamondback gets into a position to poison Cap but is halted by her attraction to the man. Cap arrives just in time to see Death Adder sinking his poisoned claws into MODOK. Cap overpowers the serpents and watches helplessly at MODOK dies.


Epilogue: Cap offers Hiram and his friends the job of monitoring the hotline.

Paul Neary
Al Williamson
Ken Feduniewicz
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
Al Williamson (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


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