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Captain America #343: Review

Jul 1988
Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer

Story Name:

Slippery People

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #343 Review by (May 18, 2013)
Review: The paths of the two Captains America diverge, heading toward the coming clash: John Walker the official Cap is increasingly the tool of the government—which Steve Rogers foresaw—while it is the renegade Captain who is on the trail of terrorists threatening the nation. For now, Walker is giving his bosses the benefit of the doubt (while Battle Star puts things into a leftist perspective). Wait for issue #345 for things to really go off the rails. Meanwhile, the story suffers from a major implausibility: and no, it isn’t that Cap survives a long fall by putting his new shield under him and bouncing. It’s Vibranium, an element that exists only in a comic book, just go with it. No, the real head-scratcher is why Cap and the Viper, leaving a speeding ship several minutes apart, land on the ground within twenty feet of one another. A cool story, especially with Cap’s “no problemo” attitude toward being shot down by his friends.

Comments: Part twelve of The Captain saga which will run until issue #350. First appearance of the Resistants who were introduced in CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #4 as Magneto’s new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants; they went on to several appearances in DEFENDERS as Mutant Force. Original member Slither is absent from the group but appeared in last issue and this in the unrelated Viper plot. First appearance of Quill, who is lying about being a mutant to avoid arrest; he will be a member of the Resistants when they return in #346.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #343 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The new Captain America (John Walker) and Battle Star have been ordered to Cleveland, Ohio to apprehend a mutant rebel against the Registration Act. The frightened young man fires quills from his body at the two heroes and seeks to hide in an alley. Fearing death he fires another salvo at his pursuers, wounding Battle Star. Cap loses his temper and rips down the fire escape the fugitive was climbing and covers him with a heavy metal door. The boy, still a teenager, protests that he isn’t a mutant but gained his power in an accident. Cap says he is only following orders and handcuffs the kid, while Battle Star wonders if they are becoming flunkies of a government looking for new minorities to oppress….

At Serpent Society headquarters, The Captain (Steve Rogers) and Diamondback are pursuing the fleeing Viper. She makes it to a Serpent Saucer and takes off. Cap gives a mighty leap and catches the vehicle’s landing gear. Sensors warn Viper that something is obstructing the wheel; on the vidscreen she sees a hero whom she recognizes as Captain America in disguise and speeds up to dislodge him. Cap manages to stay on but the pursuing Falcon is left so far behind that he doesn’t see his partner hanging off the ship. Falcon is picked up by the rest of the team in a second Serpent Saucer, flown by Diamondback. While in pursuit, Nomad tortures the captive Slither for info on the villain’s scheme, over D-Man’s objections….

Elsewhere, the copter carrying Captain America and Battle Star is assaulted by several armored villains on a floating rock. They announce themselves to as the Resistants and demand the captive mutant be turned over to them. When the heroes resist, the villains attack the copter and disable it, carrying the captive boy with them….

Meanwhile, Viper contacts her minions to carry out her plan; in Washington D.C. Copperhead leads Boomslang and a reluctant Cobra in dumping a chemical in the city’s water supply….

Meanwhile, Nomad is leading the pursuit of Viper’s craft and asks about weapons; Diamondback suggest heat-seeking missiles and a pair are fired. The fleeing ship is destroyed and Viper manages to teleport down safely. The Captain, however, must trust in his new shield and the Vibranium absorbs the impact when he hits the ground. He engages in a fight with his foe and she bites him with her poisoned fangs but they break on his chain mail; he then presses a certain nerve to render her unconscious. When the team arrives, they are shocked to discover that Cap was on the ship they shot down; he’s not bothered, though. Falcon is dispatched to warn the authorities that Washington’s water supply has been poisoned (which they learned from Slither)….

Elsewhere, Captain America and Battle Star stand amid the wreckage of their copter with the pilot dead. Cap vows revenge against the Resistants….

Epilogue: at the White House, President Ronald Reagan wakes up late at night and has a drink of water….

Kieron Dwyer
Al Milgrom
Bob Sharen
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Rachel Leighton)

(Sam Wilson)

Plus: Battle Star, Boomslang, Captain America (John Walker), Cobra (Klaus Voorhees), Copperhead, D-Man (Demolition Man), Nancy Reagan, Nomad (Jack Monroe), President Ronald Reagan, Resistants, Slither, Viper (Madame Hydra).

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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