CAPTAIN AMERICA #248-249 (1980)

In the ’70s and ’80s, heroes rode busses and lived in a world with “normal” people.  We don’t get much of that any more at Marvel.


For example: This story marks the first appearance of Bernie, Steve Rogers’ girlfriend to be.  Sure, it’s no “Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!” but for a girl who is going to be dating the classic all-American male, it fits nicely.

She was one of my favorite side characters.

Stern does a good job at making Steve Rogers, for one of the few times in the history of this comic, a relatable character capable of handling scenes entirely without reference to his super hero side.

On the action side, Captain America investigates a suspicious farm…

Where Dragon Man attacks Captain America, and John Byrne draws the Hell out of it.

Machinesmith, behind the scenes, keeps creating (or in this case reviving) robots to fight Cap.  Cap finally tracks Machinesmith down to his lair, where he fights a whole bunch of superbots.

SHIELD is also on the case, and tries to get Cap to back off the case–but Captain America actually seems to tease his old war buddy Nick Fury.

I don’t remember him using sarcasm in any other comic.

Cap finally gets fist-to-face with Machinesmith, who, it turns out, is also a robot.

And he’s built better than SHIELD’s Life Model Decoy tech.

The “real” ‘Smith is already dead, with his consciousness housed in a computer, that gets destroyed in the battle–thus ending the life of Machinesmith.  Except, of course, that a machine-housed consciousness can’t really die.  Anyway, he seemed to die way back in Daredevil #55, and in this story we get an explanation of how he was saved  from death by his own creations.

Also, we see his robots being inserted into other storylines as a retcon–nicely done.

And also, here’s why Cap beats Batman:

“No amount of preparation…”  That’s all Batman is about.

This is such a tremendously good run–way too short.

Roger and John’s run on Cap is one of the top 10 Roger Stern comics of all time.

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