CAPTAIN AMERICA #216-221 (1977-1978): 1st Texas Twister, Blue Streak and Animus

Captain America #216 was a reprint of the old Strange Tales story where we saw the first fake Captain America, which sets us up for an arc about Steve Rogers trying to figure out who he really is.

Sadly, there is a glut of fill-in writers (including Don Glut–see what I did there?), so we don’t get the kind of cohesion that could make a story like this work.

As part of his investigation into himself, Cap talks to people who knew the various other Caps across history, and Iron Man cockblocks him.

Instead of an inward-looking, character focused story, though, we get a new SHIELD team and a battle against The Corporation–a villainous group with a name that’s about as interesting as the overall concept of yet another shadow group infiltrating SHIELD (again).

The new SHIELD team is ridiculously stupid, and not in a good way. There’s Blue Streak, who wears roller skates.

A hot chick named Vamp (who will turn out to be a double agent for Corporation code-named Animus).

She has a super-powered belt.

And there’s Texas Twister, who is basically Whirlwind.

And rounding out the team is Marvel Boy. He’s based on a 1950s Marvel character, so there could have been some interesting parallels with Captain America’s own search for identity. But don’t get excited. I said “could have been.” In the future, Marvel Boy becomes Quasar.

They train with Cap and Falcon.

And then it’s on to a giant Cap robot built by Nazis.

Cap fights the big robot, and then becomes friends with him. 


I’m not kidding.

He’s called Captain Ameridroid. And it kinda looks like he’s in love with Cap.

Along the way, there are major revisions to his origin and history, including that he was exposed to a Nazi nerve gas that put him into suspended animation (not being frozen by an iceberg), and we learn that he has super strength again, and that there’s a bizarre connection to Captain America film serials.

And speaking of bizarre, Steve Gerber writes part of this story. He has Cap fight the Lincoln Memorial. No, not “at” the Memorial. He actually fights the Memorial.


In this issue, in fact, we’re told that instead of being a Brooklyn boy, he’s now from Maryland. Instead of a poor, working class boy, his father was a diplomat and he had a brother who died in Pearl Harbor.

We learn later, much later, that these are all fake memories.  This is basically the beginning of a period that rebooted Cap but did so in a way that made no sense at all–and Roger Stern would correct it all much later during his run, and especially in Captain America #247.

And remember that sexy gal, Vamp, who I told you was actually a villain named Animus? This is what she looks like:

She has mind-powers, which is part of why Cap’s brain is all messed up.

There’s also a cowboy interlude. Cap loses his head wings for a panel.

Here’s his conclusion after all the self-searching…

This is all very odd, very dumb, and, for the most part, very ignored nowadays. It was very hard to read and I’ve done a lot of generalizing to get through it quickly.

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