These are the first two issues of Jack Monroe’s first miniseries, which followed a short tale in Captain America Annual #9 (which wasn’t covered in the post on the issue). There, the former Bucky of the 1950s, who later adopted Steve Rogers’ short-lived Nomad identity, decided to abandon Captain America’s noble mission and methods altogether and become (even) more pro-active in his fight against crime—which basically means he’s going to be (even) more violent, including carrying a shotgun on his back. (Somewhere, Batman just nods.) As we see in this miniseries, that naturally draws the attention and Cap and the US government, who would seem to have another Punisher on their hands.
In fact, Cap shows up just a few pages into issue #1, after Jack has broken into a private company named Cyberoptics looking for clues into a the shooting of a woman who works there. After getting the information he needs, Jack runs into a security guard, and his thoughts while dispensing with him reveal his current state of mind.
“I like hurting people even if they didn’t do anything wrong.” Oh joy.
Another guard chases him out of the building, over a wall… and into a shield. Guess who?
Jack elaborates a bit on his thoughts above once he and Cap start to talk, beginning with Cap vouching for him to the authorities and graciously giving him a chance to explain himself.
But Jack only feels patronized and antagonizes Cap, who then asks about his new weapon, which Jack claims he needs to even the fight.
Cap isn’t buying it, of course…
After Cap explains why he happened to be there, Jack makes a similar argument that Rage recently made in Avengers #326: that he’s looking after the “little people” Cap and the Avengers ignore while they tackle global threats (which, of course, are also of interest to the little people).
Naturally, Cap’s worried about Jack, whose internal response seems to acknowledge that he may go too far, even for himself.
After a deadly confrontation with the ne’er-do-wells involved in the case he was investigating—including a government agent, whose role is still unknown—Jack is a prominent topic of discussion at the Super-Powers Commission of the National Security Council, featuring many of the figures involved in replacing Steve Rogers with John Walker in Captain America #333.
In issue #2, while Jack continues to work his case, we are introduced to Andrea Sterman, the psychiatrist the Commission hired to investigate Jack. Sterman usefully surveys his history for us, including what I believe are new details about his early background before meeting William Burnside, to whose Captain America he would become Bucky (as we know from Captain America #155).
I’m very interested in what philosophical ideas he was taught! (And the other stuff too, sure, whatever.)
Next, she summarizes Captain America #282, when Jack first debuted as Nomad—at Nick Fury’s suggestion, I must note, so blame him!—and Captain America #324-325, Jack’s first “solo” adventure, before proposing what may end up being a false dichotomy for her final analysis.
Making her final presentation before the Commission, she seems hesitant to commit to either option, but in the end she opens door #2…
…and so the Commission goes after Jack, starting in issue #3. (And you’ll never guess who they enlist to go after him!)
Nomad (vol. 1) #1, November 1990: Fabian Nicieza (writer), James Fry (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Joe Rosas (colors), Rick Parker (letters). More details at Marvel Database.
Nomad (vol. 1) #2, December 1990: Fabian Nicieza (writer), James Fry (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Joe Rosas (colors), Rick Parker (letters). More details at Marvel Database.
Not yet collected.
ALSO THESE MONTHS: Captain America #379 (November 1990), Spectacular Spider-Man #170 (November 1990), Avengers #326 (November 1990), West Coast Avengers #64 (November 1990), Captain America #380 (December 1990), and Avengers #327 and Thor #427 (December 1990)
NEXT ISSUES: Nomad #3-4 (January-February 1991)