CAPTAIN AMERICA #269 (1982): 1st Team America


The run by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck is one of the best Captain America runs in history.  This issue is the debut of toy tie-in team Team America, but even that lameness can’t damper the greatness.  Much.

Part of what made this run so interesting was DeMatteis’ attempt to give Steve Rogers a full and meaningful “secret identity” life.  I could, frankly, have lived without the introduction of his neighbor Josh Cooper—the token black man who replaced Sam Wilson because, I assume, Wilson had too much baggage (it’s hard to focus on civilian life when your best pal is Falcon).  But Bernie Rosenthal, his Jewish girlfriend, is a solid addition to the cast.

As for the main event of the issue, Cap and Team America appear together at a stunt show, where we learn that Cap is a better stunt biker than they are.  That seems a little unnecessary—how could he possibly be good when he never practices at all?

Anyway, the Team and Cap fight a giant yellow robot created by Mad Thinker, who also has robots of Mark Twain, Abe Lincoln, Shakespeare, Plato, Confucius, Machiavelli, Nietzche, and Albert Einstein.

Thinker wants smart people to think with, but he hasn’t figure out how to make the robots have independent thoughts.  Kind of an interesting idea.  They don’t play with it too much.  And frankly, it’s a little strange in a world where The Vision, Ultron, Life Model Decoys, and Jacosta run around doing all kinds of independent actions.

Thinker also explains that he’s only a criminal because he gets bored easily.  I kinda like that.

In the end, the mysterious black-clad Marauder biker shows up and they defeat Thinker and then Nick Fury comes in and cleans up.

All things considered, this could have been terrible and it wasn’t.  That’s a solid win.

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