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Captain America #339: Review

Mar 1988
Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer

Story Name:

America the Scorched!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #339 Review by (April 11, 2013)
Review: Here’s something we don’t see any more: a tie-in issue that can be read independently of the main mini-series. Little background about the “Fall of the Mutants” event is necessary to this story and what little there is is easily supplied in a couple of panels (X-Men are supposedly dead, Apocalypse is causing havoc. That’s it.). Otherwise this is a nice little issue, marred only by some heavy-handed brooding by Steve Rogers. Famine makes for a good baddie and she actually gets a bit of characterization here. And again Vagabond sleeps her way through an issue! This woman seriously needs to find a better showcase for her abilities (like her backup tales in issues #363-64).

Comments: Part eight of The Captain saga which will run until issue #350. Tie-in to the “Fall of the Mutants” event which was running through the X-Men titles at this time. Epilogue follows IRON MAN (1968) #227 and the story continues in #228 (though the comic says #238. Oops.), part of the classic “Armor Wars” story arc in Shellhead’s book. No idea how a metal dog flies without any visible propulsion system; must be some sort of comic book technology.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #339 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As a reward for defeating Marvel Girl (in X-FACTOR (1986) #25), Apocalypse unleashes his Horseman Famine on the American Midwest. Mounted on a stainless-steel beast she flies over farmland sending blight on the crops and slaughtering animals and humans with her withering touch.…

Elsewhere, Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, is in the throes of a recurring nightmare: he dreams that he is in the chambers of the Commission on Superhuman Affairs, battling a gigantic bureaucrat. With a word, the villain causes Cap’s shield to vanish then strips him of his uniform, all the while denouncing him as a failure and an embarrassment to the ideals he claims to serve. Red tape springs from the giant’s hands, tangling, then completely engulfing Steve. He manages to tear the face off his foe to reveal…President Ronald Reagan, which is another mask hiding the face of…Steve Rogers, his real enemy. At this Steve awakens on the plane which is taking him, Falcon, D-Man, Nomad, and Vagabond back to Washington State to recover their vehicles (having flown to Las Vegas in #337). On the way they hear a report of the menace destroying farmland in Kansas and immediately plot a course for the Midwest….

At Fort Meade, Maryland, the New Captain America (John Walker) and Bucky (Lemar Hoskins) will face no repercussions for killing Professor Power (last issue). They run into Blob, Pyro, and Avalanche, who are gloating over reports that the X-Men are dead. The two heroes are summoned to a meeting with their boss Adrian Sammish and assigned to battle the monster terrorizing the Midwest….

Famine continues her deadly trek across the nation, even destroying two military helicopters dispatched to bring her down. Suddenly, the Falcon lands behind her on her mechanical steed and yanks her off, flying to the ground—but she manages to unleash her powers on him, filling him with hunger and causing him to waste away; an attack by Nomad and The Captain stops her attack on the winged hero. As D-Man leaps on her beast and is taken for a wild ride, Nomad engages Famine while The Captain sees to the injured Falcon. D-Man brings down the beast by punching out its control panel but Nomad is having a tougher time; he uses his acrobatic skills to avoid an attack by the villainess but his luck soon runs out and he falls victim to her withering ray. Making sure that the Falcon is in no immediate danger, Cap rips the grille off a nearby tractor and employs it as a shield to get close to Famine, finally seizing her but she cries out to her master and is quickly teleported away. Cap and D-Man rush their emaciated compatriots to a hospital. When the new Cap and Bucky arrive on the scene, they find nothing amiss….

Epilogue: Two weeks later, Steve Rogers visits Tony Stark at his Los Angeles headquarters. Steve had requested a shield from Stark Enterprises (in IRON MAN #227) and Tony presents him with an adamantium version. Steve tests it and finds it an acceptable substitute for his old one—and believes his recurring nightmare will not be back. He thanks Tony for the new shield—provided free of charge—but with an ulterior motive. Tony is secretly planning an action against the US government and wants Steve on his side….

Kieron Dwyer
Tony De Zuniga
Gregory Wright
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Bob McLeod (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Fred Dukes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(St. John Allerdyce)

Plus: Bucky (Lemar Hoskins), Captain America (John Walker), D-Man (Demolition Man), Famine, Nomad (Jack Monroe), Vagabond (Priscilla Lyons).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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