CAPTAIN AMERICA #179-186 (1974-1975): Cap becomes Nomad

Steve has resigned from being Captain America. Of course, nobody wants him to quit.  Falcon keeps trying to convince him to put the costume back on.  

A weirdo in a yellow suit (Yellow Arrow!) keeps attacking Steve Rogers in his civilian identity.

It turns out, it’s Hawkeye in disguise, trying to manipulate Steve back into being Captain America.

It’s also an obvious nod to DC’s Green Arrow.

Anyway, their efforts work–but now how they planned. Steve becomes Nomad, The Man Without a Country.  I’ve read that the Nomad identity was actually Steve Englehart’s girlfriend’s idea.


Mostly, this arc has Nomad fighting the Serpent Squad. But before fighting snakes, he takes on a cock.

Gamecock! It’s his first appearance and, shockingly, it will not be his last.

Nomad has a bit of trouble with his cape while fighting Serpent Squad…

Ever notice how few major Marvel guys wear capes?

The Serpent Squad wants the Serpent Crown, so Namor gets involved. Also, it’s the first time Madame Hydra takes the name Viper.  She does so by killing the “real” Viper character who used to work for her. It’s a little diversion in the overall adventure.  It’s nice to see Marvel letting Englehart really tell a decompressed story that has plenty of time and room to breathe. Much like his work on The Celestial Madonna saga in The Avengers, this is a long story with multiple conflicts, heavily plotted.

Mark Gruenwald gets a letter printed in #181, and he’s a future Captain America writer.  That’s neat.

Also in #181, Namor doesn’t recognize Cap in his new costume.

And, of course, it ends with him back in the old duds.  What finally convinces him is a bunch of copycat vigilantes in Cap suits decide to carry out his name and one gets the crap kicked out of him.


Then there’s a really weird retcon of Falcon’s origin where he was a street hood named “Snap” Wilson turned into Falcon by Red Skull.  Not sure why it’s here–it feels tacked on.

After he undoes Steve Rogers’ big quit, Steve Englehart himself quits. It’s time. This is not a great arc. Great idea, but not a great story. It also doesn’t help that Frank Robbins picks up the art for several issues. Not a fan.

1 thought on “CAPTAIN AMERICA #179-186 (1974-1975): Cap becomes Nomad”

  1. How can you bestow an “A” to a series run with such atrocious artwork-?? You are often much harsher on other series runs which deserve it much, much less. But you’re right about the Falcon/”Snap” Wilson retcon. It was totally stupid and unnecessary. The Falcon, like many other characters Marvel has destroyed in ill-advised attempts to “improve” them, ( the Beast, the Angel, et. al. ) was simply perfect the way he was originally designed by Stan Lee back in ‘Captain America’#’s 117 and 118. Simply no need for all this ridiculous ‘Cosmic Cube’/’Red Skull’/”Snap” Wilson nonsense. Really!


Leave a Comment