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Captain America #337: Review

Jan 1988
Mark Gruenwald, Tom Morgan

Story Name:

The Long Road Back

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #337 Review by (March 29, 2013)
Review: So the newly anointed Captain has his first mission and runs into snags that his successor won’t: no one knows who he is. Mark Gruenwald gives Cap more food for thought in hammering out a philosophy of super-heroic civil disobedience while pitting him against four of the plethora of snake-themed baddies from the Marvel line. Competent tale is nothing special—for the epic story arc it’s in—and the chief surprise is the casual murder, underplayed in accord with the Comics Code which robs it of any impact. Seriously, the snakes are murdering the guards and I didn’t realize this until it’s explicitly stated later. Plus again I must ask, why is Vagabond in this comic? Gruenwald, having written her into the story for no apparent reason (other than to remind the readers she exists?) finds excuses to keep her out of the way—by having her take a nap while the men are talking, then showing her meekly submitting to Cap’s ordering her away from the battle because he can’t be sure she’s combat-ready. Diamondback would have sneaked in anyway—but then Diamondback would have been in the issue so she could sneak in anyway.

Comments: Part six of The Captain saga which will run until issue #350. First appearance of Steve Rogers as The Captain. Cover is a homage to AVENGERS #4. James Bond, loosely resembling Sean Connery, can be spotted at the casino.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #337 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Falcon, D-Man, Nomad (Jack Monroe), and Vagabond arrive in Washington (State) searching for the missing Steve Rogers. They discover his van in the crevice in the back road and see that Steve and his motorcycle are gone. D-Man exerts all his strength to toss the van out of the hole and the group decides to wait there knowing Steve will return sooner or later….

Meanwhile in Las Vegas, four disguised figures enter a casino, kill a guard and head to the basement. From there they emerge in costume as four serpent-themed villains, Fer-de-Lance, Copperhead, Puff Adder, and Black Racer. They strike down the guards and take several VIPs hostage, forcing the manager to open the vault for them….

Back in Washington, Cap’s ex-partners are sitting around pondering what Steve should do next (and helpfully summarizing the issues for readers) when Steve arrives on his motorcycle. He recounts his battle with Brother Nature (last issue) whom he has just dropped off at a hospital. Steve tells them he has decided to adopt a new identity to continue his mission; D-Man, knowing that a court injunction bars him from wearing red, white, and blue, offers him a similar costume in red, white, and black. Steve also tells them of his decision not to war against his own government….

In Vegas, the serpent criminals have their loot and are trying to leave the casino when they run into a company of armed guards. They retreat to an elevator which takes them to a penthouse where they inform the authorities they have hostages….

Steve and company hear of the incident on the radio and take a plane to Vegas where, suiting up, they offer their services to the local authorities. The police, not recognizing any of them—especially The Captain in his new costume, reject the suggestion. Cap decides to defy the authorities and take action anyway: he has Falcon fly them up to the penthouse where they crash through the window. As Cap, Nomad, and D-Man take on the deadly villains, Falcon flies the hostages to safety. After the battle, the police threaten to arrest the four heroes; Cap decides to abide by the penalty, as they did indeed break the law—but this leaves him thinking that once a person decides to disregard the law, hw will he know when he’s gone too far?

Tom Morgan
Dave Hunt
Gregory Wright
Mike Zeck (Cover Penciler)
Bob McLeod (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)

Plus: Black Racer, Copperhead, D-Man (Demolition Man), Fer-de-Lance, Nomad (Jack Monroe), Puff Adder, Vagabond (Priscilla Lyons).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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