CAPTAIN AMERICA #316-317 (1986): Bernie and Cap Break Up; 1st Death Throws

Marvel was all into wrestling and suicide stories in the 1980s.  Armadillo, who wears a trenchcoat disguise…

… is now a pro wrestler, but when he finds out his wife is cheating on him he goes ballistic, beats up some cops (dude, what did they do?) and then tries to kill himself by jumping off a building. 

But his armor saves him.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird help out with this, and in the next story Cap helps them fight a team of guys who all throw things (balls, knives, discs, etc.) called The Death Throws.


There’s actually much more about Hawkeye here than Cap.

But they do double date, and we learn Captain America can break dance.

At the end of the night, Steve makes a juggling reference.

That’s called foreshadowing and it brings us back to the Death Throws gang.

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They all throw stuff. There’s some familiar characters there, and some new ones. Like Ringleader (in the bottom left corner, above), who uses rings. Why didn’t they just use The Ringer? And Tenpin, who uses bowling pins.

And Knick Knack. Who seems to be able to throw anything.

Hawk and Cap switch weapons for the fight, for reasons that make no sense at all.

These are just a couple of bad issues.  But there is a really powerful moment where Bernie Rosenthal, Cap’s fiance, finally realizes she will never be able to live with a super hero.

Now that’s good writing.

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