We continue to take a well-deserved breather from crossover event tie-ins (and very long posts!) with this focus on a single issue of Captain America—although to some extent it feels like an aftermath to “Acts of Vengeance” with Magneto prominently featured on the cover (as he was in the last issue, albeit for very different reasons). But all is not what it (or he) seems…
After several pages of Crossbones and Machinesmith searching for their boss, the Red Skull, and (correctly) suspecting Magneto’s role in his disappearance, we first see Cap arriving at Avengers Park, where the progress on rebuilding Avengers Mansion was put on hold for a battle with the Mandarin and the Wizard in Avengers #313.
It’s nice to see Alicia getting recognition outside of the Fantastic Four book!
Harboring the same suspicions as his two foes, Cap is intent on looking into Magneto’s whereabouts as well. After letting Peggy know to expect a call from Eric Masterson—Thor’s mortal form at this time—about the mansion, she happens to get a news update about Magneto.
Dispensing with the parachute at last, Cap drops in on Magneto attacking the Resistants, a group of mutants he originally put together back in Captain America Annual #4 (not #5 as it says in an editorial note), which reinforces our hero’s doubts about this being the true Master of Magnetism. (The reader knows the truth: Earlier in the book we saw Crossbones and Machinesmith planning to draw Magneto into the open using a robotic duplicate the latter controls.)
Cap wastes no time claiming jurisdiction, after which he tries to force his way through the fake Magneto’s forcefield…
…before proving this is not his first experience with getting around an impenetrable dome.
Once through, Cap introduces “Magneto” to his shield, the ease of which surprises him, before the two begin to fight.
Cap’s questions only increase as the battle continues, until he finds an opening (thanks to a Resistant)…
…at which point things just get weird, especially when Machinesmith gets cocky.
Cap uses some kickboxing moves to get the better of “Magneto”…
…and finally realizes the true nature of his sparring partner, putting two and two together.
Note his continued skepticism about the Red Skull he met in issue #350 being the real Johann Shmidt. Of course, we know he is, from the back-up story in that issue, but Cap is still unaware (although not for long).
Captain America (vol. 1) #368, March 1990, “Red Twilight”: Mark Gruenwald (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Steve Buccellato (colors), John Morelli (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Collected in: Captain America Epic Collection: The Bloodstone Hunt