This post is a bit of an oddball, covering two multi-issue guest appearances of Captain America, neither of them greatly significant or fitting into the regular Captain America posts (especially with Cap absent from Avengers for a while). But Guardians of the Galaxy has some nice moments between Cap and an admirer, and Excalibur… well, let’s just jump in.
We’ll start with Guardians of the Galaxy—keep in mind this is the OGOTG from Earth-691 in the 30th century, who were featured in the “Korvac Saga,” not the contemporary group with the raccoon and the tree. (As it happens, we’ll see a tree guy in Excalibur, but not that tree guy.) The guy on the cover of issue #30, and featured below, is Vance Astro, who serves as Major Victory with the Guardians in the future (with Cap’s shield), and whose earlier self serves as Marvel Boy (soon to be renamed Justice) with the New Warriors in the present day (and will join the Avengers in a few years’ time).
Here (in 1992), Vance is in a bind, wishing he could get some advice from his hero, whose virtues he clearly recognizes. (Could it be this blog or my book survives in the 30th century?)
His idol just happens to be home and, as always, is willing to help.
Most of the action comes in issue #31, which starts with Cap and Vance enjoying a training session with their shared best friend.
After they show each other some tricks, Cap praises the younger man…
…who shares his appreciation before they both grab for the shield, at which point Doctor Buzzkill breaks in with words of danger and ruination.
But it’s OK now, because he did some magic. (Whew.)
Oh goody, now he’s explaining it… and giving Cap a chance to reminisce about old times (by mentioning a toy still widely available).
That horrible possibility having been prevented by the master of false humility, Vance finally gets a chance to explain his predicament to Cap—essentially the “killing baby Hitler” hypothetical, but on the level of an entire race of beings.
Instead of focusing on that issue, though, Cap addresses Vance’s questions about leadership, stressing the need to stick together, talk things out, and accept the group’s democratic decision—even though this backfired spectacularly in the recent Operation: Galactic Empire event.
Vance is convinced to rejoin his teammates, but has no idea how… so let’s lean on another mystical doctor type for help.
In issue #32, Cap and Vance sit down with Doctor Strange and his servant
Wong Rintrah, but the good doctor is hesitant to help Vance given the danger involved…
…until Vance flatters him, that is.
While Strange prepares to take Vance to his team, the Red, White and Blue Duo say their goodbyes, with Cap reminding the younger man that, as great as the shield is, it doesn’t make the hero.
So he made himself a mix CD, cool.
Meanwhile, in Excalibur #59, three members of the mutant team—Captain Britain, Meggan, and Shadowcat (Kate Pryde)—are in Wakanda, meeting with Black Panther, when the king introduces a couple special guests.
This Iron Man is not Tony Stark but James Rhodes, which (as usual) is being kept secret, Tony having “died” and Rhodey taking over (in what would become the War Machine armor) in Iron Man #284. They’re not keeping the secret very well, though, as we see from Cap’s thoughts below.
During dinner the collected heroes are attacked by a creature calling himself Icon, whose voice T’Challa recognizes as belonging to a Dr. U’Mbaya (and is definitely not to be confused with this Icon, who would not debut for a few months yet). Icon transforms all the humans in the area to tree creatures like him—although not necessarily with his predilection toward self-deprecation—and demands that King T’Challa abdicate. Preparing to fight, and not recognizing Captain Britain in his secret identity, Captain America gives him a “step aside, son,” and Britain accepts it.
Icon’s “minions” (not as cute as these minions) surround Cap, Rhodey, and Black Panther…
…to be joined in Excalibur #60 by Kate and Meggan, just time to hear Cap tell Icon “no,” for the best reason, when he demands respect or subservience.
Icon is willing to sacrifice his minions but T’Challa is not, realizing they are innocent hostages, so he agrees, and Cap explains to Kate why they must stand down.
Eventually, though, they do fight back, with Cap counseling caution and Rhodey pondering who or what “Excalibur” is (no doubt remembering this classic flick).
Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 1) #30, November 1992: Michael Gallagher (writer), Kevin West (pencils), Steve Montano (inks), Evelyn Stein (colors), Ken Lopez (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 1) #31, December 1992: Michael Gallagher (writer), Kevin West (pencils), Steve Montano (inks), Evelyn Stein (colors), Ken Lopez (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 1) #32, January 1993: Michael Gallagher (writer), Kevin West (pencils), Steve Montano (inks), Evelyn Stein (colors), Ken Lopez (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Not yet collected.
Excalibur (vol. 1) #59, December 1992: Scott Lobdell (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils), Jon Holdredge and Raymond Kryssing (inks), Dana Moreshead and Michael Thomas (colors), Michael Higgins (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Not yet collected.
ALSO THESE MONTHS: Captain America #409-410, West Coast Avengers #88, and Soviet Super-Soldiers #1 (November-December 1992), Infinity War #6 and Quasar #40 (November 1992), Punisher – Captain America: Blood and Glory #2 (November 1992), Punisher – Captain America: Blood and Glory #3 (December 1992), Captain America #411 and Thor #458 (January 1993), and Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #43 (January 1993)