Captain America #281-283 (1983): 1st Nomad

With her own book cancelled, Spider-Woman’s dangling plot threads have to be resolved elsewhere.  So, it’s here. She even gets a right-hand cornerbox on the cover.

It’s weird seeing Zeck draw her—his characters have broad shoulders and massive upper bodies, and Spider-Woman is supposed be lithe.

She’s been looking for Viper, who she thinks is her real mommy, but she learns Viper is not her mommy after all. 

Simultaneously, Jack Monroe, who served in the 1950s as a Bucky to that decade’s Captain America, has been frozen in stasis and was recently released by SHIELD.


This means Cap now has a Bucky to pal around with.

They fight Constrictor, who is now employed by Viper, and Cap gets captured by Hydra.  They mess with his head about daddy stuff, making him hallucinate and believe his dad is still alive.

At one point Cap and Constrictor get a bit…Kinky.

I suppose that’s in the grand tradition of Spider-Woman being a bondage comic?  Since she guest stars here?

They drug Cap. Meanwhile, Bucky and Bernie get to know each other.

Bucky looks for help from Sam Wilson, who is done being Falcon and wants to be a Congressman.

It’s an odd exchange, where Bucky calls Sam “black man” and Sam recalls how racist Bucky was in the 1950s.  It’s odd because other than this exchange, Bucky is portrayed as a redeemed soul looking to be a hero—we don’t see him acting like a racist anywhere else.

Monroe takes on the Nomad identity, then he and Cap pursue Viper.

Nomad kills her.

In the end, Nomad kills Viper by shooting her hot air balloon.  I know it’s not cool to kill, but if you’re a supervillain making a getaway like the Wizard of Oz did, you get what you deserve.

Interesting parallels here between Spider-Woman looking for mom, Bucky looking for his mentor, and Cap dealing with father stuff.  Unfortunately, the Spider-Woman stuff is nonessential to the Cap story, which is really about Nick Fury giving Jack Monroe Captain America’s old Nomad gear and having this new Nomad go rescue Cap from Hydra.

Still, cool to have Nomad back!

Also, it’s worth noting that Bernie is one of the best side-characters of her time.  This little scene where Steve gets insecure thinking she slept with fake-Steve during the previous arc is so sweet and cute.

And finally…

A bit of “get to know the creators” trivia from the letter page.

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