Nomad #3-4 (January-February 1991)

These two issues finish up Jack Monroe’s first miniseries in style, after his actions in the first two issues, which involved intervening in the illegal drug trade—and interfering with a government undercover operation to the same end—attract the attention of the Super Powers Commission, who commission a psychiatrist to evaluate Monroe.

In issue #3, they reveal their conclusion, as well as whom they want to implement it.

Above, Gyrich reveals how little he thinks of Captain America… so it makes sense they’d have Valerie Cooper address Cap later in the issue, and she’s much straighter with him than the others likely would have been, appealing to his affection for Jack and telling him what the alternative is if he doesn’t want to find him himself.

As you can imagine, issue #4 has most of the action this post, starting in Alaska as Jack jumps off a Russian ship, only to run into Arctic Action Cap™.

Did I mention that on Jack’s back is a baby he rescued from a blackmailer and chose not to return to her mother, who is also a blackmailer—a baby he gave a domino mask and named Bucky (because of course he did). Cap lays down the law for Jack…

…and Jack interprets it in an unreasonably extreme manner, but Cap assures him he just wants to bring him in. (And that’s before he sees the baby.)

Jack and Cap trade blows for a page, with Cap having the final “word” at the end.

Cap tries to reason with his former partner, who decides to play dirty instead.

The police show up, but instead of deterring Jack, they seem to spur him on to attack Cap again…

…but no, that won’t work twice.

The gang’s all here: Gyrich, Cooper, and General Haywerth, as well as Andrea Sterman, the psychiatrist who worked up Jack’s profile in issue #2. Jack panics, pointing his gun at Cap before dropping it…

…and surrendering, but the Commission hands him over to others who end up being the bad guys he’d been chasing. Sterman accidentally sees this, and she hurries to find the one person she trusts to help.

Cap uses an odd strategy to get from the cliff he and Sterman are on down to the base… does he use the shield to bounce off the ground and scale the fence? But if the shield absorbs the impact, his arms would have to propel him… oh, never mind. (Comics!)

Cap finds Jack, and their reunion is not exactly heartwarming… but Cap does let Jack know that he doesn’t see things as simplistically as Jack thinks he does. (Does Jack even read this blog?)

After breaking him out, Cap tells Jack that the way he pursues his goal is just as important as the goal he chooses… maybe even more important. (In other words, the ends don’t justify the means, as he tells Tony Stark again and again and again.)

They find Baby Bucky and leave her with Sterman, and Jack ducks Cap’s question about the name.

Jack’s inner monologue shows he’s learning the same lessons Cap has learned several times since emerging from the ice… and his words to Cap shows he might be learning another lesson from him as well. (Or else he’s just playing nice for now.)

He also shows that he still finds new things to admire in his mentor…

…which I hope include the incredible kick below (as well as the succinct, Batman-ish quip that accompanied it).

Despite their best efforts, Cap and Jack find themselves surrounded, and General Haywerth reveals how expendable he thinks Cap is. (How well did replacing him go for you last time, hmm?)

Jack takes the gun from the Russian soldier and finds himself in a spot to solve all of his problems, and even though Cap urges him not to do what it looks like he’s going to do… he does.

Jack sprays the entire room with gunfire—for any entire page no one wants to see—with Cap and Sterman safe thanks to the shield, but while he’s doing it he is fully aware of what he’s become…

…and Cap shows an extraordinary degree of sympathy, considering the massacre he just witnessed, if only because he believes in Jack and trusts him to find his own path to redemption. (And possibly also because the authorities that would take Jack in might be as corrupt as the ones they dealt with here.)

Jack leaves Bucky with Sterman, and starts his way on that path.

Will he get there? After a short tale in Captain America Annual #10 (without Cap), he has an ongoing series starting in May 1992, lasting 25 issues, most of them featuring little Bucky… so for her sake, I sure hope so!


ISSUE DETAILS

Nomad (vol. 1) #3, January 1991: Fabian Nicieza (writer), James Fry (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Joe Rosas (colors), Rick Parker (letters). More details at Marvel Database.

Nomad (vol. 1) #4, February 1991: Fabian Nicieza (writer), James Fry (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Joe Rosas (colors), Rick Parker (letters). More details at Marvel Database.

Not yet collected.


LAST ISSUES: Nomad #1-2 (November-December 1990)

ALSO THESE MONTHS: Avengers #328 and Avengers Spotlight #40 (January 1991), Captain America #381-382 (January-February 1991), Namor the Sub-Mariner #10-11 (January-February 1991), and Avengers #329 (February 1991)

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