Captain America #422 (December 1993)

Captain America #422 is very much a “day in the life” story, touching on a number of aspects of Captain America’s routine, including touching base with various members of his supporting cast (as well as tangling with the “nut job” on the cover). Most important, we start to see hints of the next big challenge the Sentinel of Liberty will need to face in a few months.

The issue opens with a pair of anonymous thugs shooting up the statue of Cap in front of Avengers Mansion to send him a message—one that he won’t get until later, because right now he’s jogging with his old friend Dennis Dunphy, now leading the subterranean community of Zerotown (since issue #418).

But before he can visit Dennis’s new digs, though, Cap gets a call from Peggy Carter about the destruction of his statue, which prompts some much-needed advice from Dennis. (Spoiler alert: He won’t take it.)

Even though Cap didn’t stop to lecture the noisy youths above, someone else is more than happy to oblige—and he is far less polite or patient than Cap would have been.

Meet Blistik, a walking-and-talking parody of broken windows policing—and I’m sorry, but “Blistik” sounds like a salve to treat blisters.

At the mansion, Cap meets up with Avengers security officer Michael O’Brien to survey the damage to his statue, but when shots ring out again, Cap shields his friend before chasing the gunmen (lamenting drive-by shooting in general, despite the very personal nature of this one).

Before long, however, Cap starts to tire—and not for the last time.

Luckily, this is New York City, where there’s always (or usually) a ride available.

Cap is usually diligent about paying for his cab rides (or at least offering to), but we can excuse him this time after he catches sight of Blistik attacking the van.

After Cap pulls the injured men out of the van (and recognizes them as some of Faustus’s men from the last issue), he returns to the mansion and tries to get some rest, but the Avengers chairperson has a personnel issue to discuss.

Whether it’s the stresses of the day (same as any other day) or his recent exhaustion, Cap has had it, and starts to question how he handles his personal life before he remembers his girlfriend, currently recuperating in a Wakandan hospital (following the events of issue #417).

Peggy wakes Cap up later with news about Rachel, for which he seems very grateful.

Unfortunately, the excitement makes it impossible to get back to sleep, so he wonders who he can talk to—preferably not a former lover interest who would likely ask about his current one.

Yes, the same Fabian whom Black Widow mentioned earlier, who has been plagued recently by thoughts of uselessness and irrelevance—and who left an ominous note for Captain America.

He seems surprised—surprisingly so, in fact—to find Fabian atop the Brooklyn Bridge, being ordered to leave by none other than Blistik, who accuses Fabian of being a public nuisance.

Yes, that’s definitely what’s he doing there: disrupting traffic. <epic eye roll>

Of course, Cap understands what Fabian’s actually doing there and asks him to come along, which would seem to solve Blistik’s problem, but he’s not pleased…

…not pleased at all.

Cap’s recent spells pick an inconvenient time to return, but his determination is still rock-solid.

He chalks up his condition to poor sleep, but doesn’t have time to think about it once he finds Blistik trying to push Fabian off the bridge (as if that wouldn’t create a “quality-of-life infraction,” Mr. Urban Avenger).

Blistik may have one positive quality: He’s just as shocked to see the shield fly vertically as we are. (And how about Fabian, making the save?)

Cap doesn’t exactly seem tormented about having to incapacitate Blistik; in his defense, the guy sure was obnoxious. (Kidding, I kid.)

When Cap finally has a chance to ask his friend what he was doing at the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, Fabian admits he considered ending his life because he didn’t want Cap to have to fire him after his latest mishap at the mansion. But Cap assures him that would never happen…

…and then suggests they both need a change, clearly making young Fabian’s day (and getting himself back to Brooklyn at last).

If you are thinking about ending your life, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.


Captain America (vol. 1) #422, December 1993: Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), George Roussos (colors), Joe Rosen (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in: Captain America Epic Collection: Fighting Chance.

PREVIOUS ISSUES: Captain America #421 and Nomad #19 (November 1993)

ALSO THIS MONTH: Avengers #369, West Coast Avengers #101, and Uncanny X-Men #307, and Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #4 (December 1993)

NEXT ISSUE: Captain America #423 and Marvels #1 (January 1994)

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