CAPTAIN AMERICA #128-129 (1970): Cap has PTSD

Cap deals with his greatest enemy…Ennui!

Actually, the feeling of having to act–to do something, anything–is a common symptom of PTSD. A craving for action, a belief that things are not okay and something must be done, a compulsive fear of standing still…This is done very well.

This is actually a story ahead of its time.  Captain America can’t wear his costume because he’s upset about Bucky and can’t ride motorcycles any more because the last time he did it was with Bucky, and it brings back the memories of his death.


He wanders the streets and wrestles with the public’s perception of him.

Seeking to “get over it,” he buys a bike, goes after a Wild-Bunch-ish gang, and beats the snot of them. 

Then, he’s happy and free again.


Yeah, it’s a simplistic approach to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it’s important to remember that PTSD didn’t even exist when this comic was made–it wasn’t a recognized disorder until years later.  This was written when boys were coming back from Vietnam emotionally destroyed, and movies like Coming Home were considered groundbreaking.

And there’s a brief check in with Red Skull.

2 thoughts on “CAPTAIN AMERICA #128-129 (1970): Cap has PTSD”

  1. What’s he crying about??!! At least the room was furnished!! I’ve had to live in a lot worse dumps than that!! Why is he in so much pain-?? Where does this adventure fit into Avengers chronology-?? Is he supposed to be on vacation from the Avengers-??? He talks about wanting to get out of Fun City “before he goes bananas”- where does he think he’s gonna go-?? Idaho-?? Iowa-?? Kansa-?? Not much call for Captain America in THOSE places! He really WOULD “go bananas” in an area with no need for superheroes!! No, no- Los Angeles or Miami, MAYBE- but the Big Apple ISN’T the hub of the Marvel Universe for no reason! Buying a motorcycle was the right idea. I remember when I bought mine, riding it at least seemed to make all my problems go away, at least for a while. Motorcycles aren’t for everyone, of course, but for real men like me and ol’ Winghead, they are better than therapy! As the girls at Hooters like to say, “Fire your therapist and come to Hooters, on a motorcycle!” Finally, this story carries one of my all-time favorite lines from Cap: Antagonist: “Okay, flag-man- this is the pay-off!!”, to which Our Hero responds, cooly: “It IS……for YOU!” Well put!! “B+”- I agree!


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