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Captain America #316: Review

Apr 1986
Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary

Story Name:

Creatures of Love

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Captain America #316 Review by (August 22, 2012)
Review: The poor, sad bad guy returns and Gruenwald is intent on making him a tragic hero—but there’s only so tragic a dude who looks like a giant armadillo can get. That’s the key to this story’s success: restraint. Instead of hitting us between the eyes with Armadillo’s sorry marriage and the twists of fate that have conspired against him, we are kept at a bit of distance—first by his own absurdity, then by the clear focus on Cap, trying to protect the people while helping a schnook. So the issue turns out much better than it would have if Gruenwald had tried to convince us this was an opera-level tragedy. Other interesting aspect: Cap is disappointed by wrestling, which he finds too theatrical for his taste and nothing like actual combat.

Comments: Sequel to issue #308. Surprisingly, Armadillo returns quite a number of times, especially in Thunderbolts and Avengers titles. Bernie, who earlier figured out Cap’s secret identity, should have no trouble pegging Clint and Bobbi as Hawkeye and Mockingbird (especially by the end of the story), but nothing is mentioned. Bernie was established as a wrestling fan in issue #271. Cover reads: “Marvel 25th Anniversary.”


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #316 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hawkeye and Mockingbird are in New York and decide to pay a surprise visit to Captain America. Meanwhile, Steve Rogers is having an intense conversation with his girlfriend Bernie Rosenthal; she has decided to enroll in law school—in Madison, Wisconsin. Steve is upset that she is leaving, especially since she explains that she feels overshadowed by his dominant personality (not to mention his job) and needs to be by herself for a while. As they cuddle, they are interrupted by Clint and Bobbi. After an awkward first few minutes, the two couples go out on a double date….

Meanwhile at a Manhattan hotel, the giant armored Armadillo, formerly a villain but now a star on the Unlimited Class Wrestling circuit, arrives for a match. He is accompanied by his lovely wife Bonita who persuades him to stay home and rest while she goes out on the town with her bodyguard (or whatever) Ramon….

When Steve sees in the news that the Armadillo is in town, the two couples arrange to attend his match the following evening. The former villain wins his bout, and Steve dons his Cap outfit and heads backstage to wish his former foe well. There the huge wrestler explains that his wife has been cured of her illness and that she suggested he remain in his mutated form to earn money wrestling before being changed back to normal. Bonita arrives and Cap recognizes her as a woman he saw kissing another man outside. Cap feels awkward but doesn’t know what to say so he leaves. Later Bernie, Clint, and Bobbi, tell him he did the right thing….

The next day, as Steve and their friends Josh and Mike help Bernie pack for her move west, a report comes over the radio that Armadillo is on a rampage downtown. Cap heads to the scene to find the huge cuckold plowing through a SWAT team. Cap tries to talk the enraged Armadillo out of his mayhem but it is difficult protecting bystanders from the fallout while dodging the creature’s attacks. Armadillo begins climbing the Empire State Building, planning to jump off. Cap climbs up with him, trying to play marriage counselor at the same time. Hawkeye arrives on his jet cycle, distracting Cap long enough for the Armadillo to leap from the high perch. When Cap gets back to the ground, he finds the Armadillo has made a massive crater in the street—but is still alive. Cap calls an ambulance and tells the poor fool that things will get better.

Paul Neary
Dennis Janke
Ken Feduniewicz
Paul Neary (Cover Penciler)
Paul Neary (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

Plus: Bernie Rosenthal, Josh Cooper, Mike Farrel.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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