Pro-Registration Captain America? (Captain America #346)

What I Remember:

Not a lot. This book features John Walker as Captain America and was towards the beginning of Mark Gruenwald’s 10-year run on the title. After Steve Rogers resigns, not wanting to be a government pawn,(sound familiar?) John Walker takes over as Captain America and these books follow his struggle to live up to his predecessor. I believe this book has the new Cap taking on the Freedom Force, as the cover says from the pages of The X-MenI recall it being quite the blood bath. Let’s see how it holds up.

Vital Stats:

Captain America #346 “Ambush”

Writer: Mark Gruenwald

Penciler: Kieron Dwyer

Inkers: Al Milgrom

Colorist: Bob Sharen

Letterer: Jack Morelli

Editor: Ralph Macchio

Editor In Chief: Tom DeFalco

Publisher:Marvel Comics

Publication Date: October 1988

Cover Price: 75¢

Re-Collection Price:$1.25 (for a debatable Very Good condition.

 

What Happens?

Looks like Captain America has been taken in by Boss Hogg

Looks like Captain America has been taken in by Boss Hogg

We begin with Captain America sitting in a jail cell, nursing battle wounds. Battlestar, his sidekick, and a representative from the Commission on Superhuman Activities are there to bail him out. Captain America, in a fit of rage, massacred the Watchdogs, the terrorist group that murdered his parents. The committee now has to decide whether to fire Walker or keep him on as Cap and cover the incident up.

I feel like Dick Cheney would love this Captain America

I feel like Dick Cheney would love this Captain America

Meanwhile a rebel mutant group, the Resistants, is about to free another anti-registration mutant as he are transported to the Vault. The Vault was a precursor to the Raft prison from today’s comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A rag-tag group if I do say so myself, porcupine guy?

A rag-tag group if I do say so myself, porcupine guy?

Battlestar is reassigned to the Freedom Force, a group of mutants that are capturing those resisting the Registration Act. While Battlestar gets acquainted with his new team Walker is getting chewed out and relieved of his shield until the decision is reversed by a mysterious higher-up, who is bathed in red light.

This guy is a precursor to  The X-Files'  Cigarette Smoking Man  

This guy is a precursor to The X-Files' Cigarette Smoking Man 

The Freedom Force, which is the perfect name for a group assigned to capture non-compliants, is planning to stage the trial of Quicksilver in order to draw out the rebels. The only problem is that they don’t have Quicksilver in custody, luckily there is a solution:

As though her team thought that Mystique's power was being blue.

As though her team thought that Mystique's power was being blue.

Unbeknownst to the Freedom Force, John Walker, Captain America has been re-instated as Captain America and is stationed outside the “trial.”

How does one read the word balloon out loud, "Question Mark?"

How does one read the word balloon out loud, "Question Mark?"

When the rebels take the bait the run into Captain America: Mutant Smasher!

"Cap Smash!"

"Cap Smash!"

He rips through the team like a man possessed until Battlestar gets him under control. In the final panel we learn that Walker missed his parents funeral for this mission.

 

Continued After Ad:

A classic ad.

A classic ad.

Worth Re-collecting?

Yes, John Walker was a replacement hero and it’s interesting to see how he struggles s compared to the original. He’s a rageaholic and a government pawn, something Rogers would never be. It’s also interesting to see the government sponsored Captain America siding with registration, something that 20 years later the original Captain America is famously not in favor of.

It’s also is interesting to see how the idea of hero registration has been played around with in different forms before the stories that we all know.

I’m really interested in collecting more of Gruenwald’s lengthy run, which I think is largely forgotten due to it ending during the Onslaught fiasco, amid low sales.

It’s a shame that Gruenwald died so young I would love to see what contributions he would make in the past 20 years to the Marvel Universe and even the movies.

Next week:

One of my favorite covers in my collection.

One of my favorite covers in my collection.

We stay in the late 1980’s but jump over to DC where Batman tracks a dumpster killer in Batman #414! See you next week! 

Back Cover: 

Same as last week. Anyone ever have a Candilicious?

Same as last week. Anyone ever have a Candilicious?