Avengers #370-371, Captain Marvel #2, Marvels #2, Thunderstrike #4, and Plasmer #3-4 (January-February 1994)

This is a catch-all post, gathering a handful of minor appearances of Captain America over these two months. We start with his very minor role in a two-part fill-in Avengers tale, followed by Monica Rambeau’s second Captain Marvel comic (coincidentally, this post appearing one week after her excellent new miniseries as Photon began), the second issue of Marvels (featuring early line-ups of the Avengers), an issue of Thunderstrike featuring Cap’s former Avengers teammate Eric Masterson, and a couple issues of Plasmer, a wild Marvel UK mini. (Feel free to sing this to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” if you’re so inclined.)

Avengers #370 opens with Vision announcing an emergency in Deviant Lemuria, which would normally fall under the jurisdiction of the West Coast Avengers, but they are no more, prompting a passive-aggressive (or just plain aggressive) question from the Black Knight that seems to startle Cap (perhaps because it wasn’t entirely his idea).

Dane keeps it up after they arrive in Lemuria and discover the distress call was naught but a trap, although Cap is more hesitant than some to jump to that conclusion.

Mr. Handsome above is Brother Karygmax, who traps the Avengers with his “brain-mines,” and revels in his bounty, paying Cap a fine compliment in the process. (He would deny it, of course, if not for the whole brain-mine thing.)

Sersi escapes and finds the former Deviant leader Kro, who assembles a team of his own and storms Karygmax’s hide-out… but Cap is more ready to recognize traps now.

Cap is understandably absent from most of the action in Avengers #371, but suffice it to say that Kargymax uses the captured heroes to resurrect the Deviant priest-lord Ghaur, whose plan for conquest ultimately fails… the important thing for us is that Cap gets his shield back.

Upon their return, Cap reasonably assumes Dane would have preferred to take extreme measures against Ghaul, as has been his stated preference of late

…but Dane was thinking about something entirely different. (That doesn’t mean Cap wasn’t right, though!)

In Captain Marvel #2 (according to the indicia, even though the cover says #1—the previous issue did come out in 1989), Monica seeks out some information about the Sons of the Serpent (who first appeared in Avengers #32), and finds the Gymnastic Avenger working out on the rings before launching into his floor routine.

Cap A is very happy to see Cap M, and wastes no time trying to lure her back onto the team with some sincere praise.

As they access the Avengers files on the Sons of the Serpent, Cap makes his feelings about the white supremacist group abundantly (and eloquently) clear.

In Marvels #2, taking place in the early 60s, Phil Sheldon reports on the emergence of the Silver Age Marvel heroes, as well as the return of a Golden Age legend (and his buddy Namor)…

…in the double-page spread below.

We can zoom in on the lower left-hand corner and see the awe Cap inspires in people seeing him for the first time, as well as those who remember him—and served with him—in the World War II era.

Below, we see a different angle on the end of Avengers #16, in which Cap introduces his Kooky Quartet…

…and finally, the wedding of Sue Storm and Reed Richards (from Fantastic Four Annual #3), with Cap in attendance along with dozens of other famous faces. (I just might have a signed print of this page hanging in my home.)

Yes, “without a hitch,” only because Reed used a machine—one that the Watcher definitely didn’t point out to him, because how could he, he can’t intervene, nope—to turn back time so no one remembered Doctor Doom’s orchestrated onslaught of all the villains of the Marvel Universe on the wedding.

In Thunderstrike #4, Eric Masterson and Captain America are going at it for reasons unknown; this seems a bit too antagonistic for a normal training session. Cap’s criticisms are a bit more harsh than his usual mentorship while Eric was an Avenger as Thor, and seem particularly motivated; perhaps he summoned Eric to touch base on recent behavior. Regardless, it makes for an enjoyable few pages, including Cap teaching some judo lessons and using the word “rubes.”

After taking issue with Eric’s speed, Cap cites recent incidents, and Eric falls back on a familiar tune titled “Judgment Call,” in the key of C, which stands for “Cap isn’t buying it.”

Cap seems to imply that Eric is still an Avenger, although we haven’t seen him in the book for a while—perhaps he was never excused after the Odinson took his identity back and Eric became Thunderstrike (in Thor #459)? (Or did the Terminatrix Objective episode earn him renewed membership?)

Cap puts the acrobatics he was practicing in Captain Marvel #2 to good use below, but it seems only Eric’s reversion to mortal form saved him from getting the axe (literally)…

…as well as saving Eric from meeting the mighty shield face-first. The important thing is they part as friends, with Cap’s final thought referencing the fatigue he began feeling in Captain America #422.

Finally, in Plasmer #3, Cap is reunited with Jack Smithers, a hero of both World Wars, and together they help Plasmer (the impressed one below) fight the evil “British Sleepers.”

Plasmer even goes as far as to use Captain America’s gravitas to needle Captain Britain (who was been fighting alongside her since issue #1).

Soon, they join in battle against the Sleepers, one of whom calls Cap a “star-spangled Napoleon” (?). (Crazy talk indeed.)

Eventually, they are joined by the Silver Surfer, although it’s unclear if Cap is referring below to a jersey from American football or the British version (or should I say Argentinian?).

In Plasmer #4, the collected heroes fight Aftermath, the third Sleeper, with whom Cap tries to negotiate…

…to little effect, although in the end the heroes are victorious. (Plasmer, however, has not been seen since.)


ISSUE DETAILS

Avengers (vol. 1) #370, January 1994: Glenn Herdling (writer), Geof Isherwood (pencils), Al Milgrom and Kevin Yates (inks), Chris Matthys (colors), Bill Oakley (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Avengers (vol. 1) #371, February 1994: Glenn Herdling (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Chris Matthys (colors), Bill Oakley (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in: Avengers: The Gathering Omnibus (and eventually in Avengers Epic Collection: The Gathering).

Captain Marvel (vol. 2) #2, February 1994: Dwayne McDuffie and Dwight Coye (writers), Mark Bright (pencils), Dennis Jensen, Barbara Kaalberg, and Mark McKenna (inks), Carlos Lopez (colors), Brad K. Joyce and Loretta Krol (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in: Captain Marvel: Monica Rambeau.

Marvels #2, February 1994: Kurt Busiek (writer), Alex Ross (art), John Gaushell (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in: Marvels.

Thunderstrike (vol. 1) #4, January 1994: Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Mike Rockwitz (colors), Janice Chiang (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Not yet collected.

Plasmer #3, January 1994: Glenn Dakin (writer), Pasqual Ferry (pencils), Sean Hardy (inks), Sophie Heath (colors), Caroline Steeden (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Plasmer #4, February 1994: Glenn Dakin (writer), Pasqual Ferry (pencils), Sean Hardy (inks), Sophie Heath (colors), Caroline Steeden (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Not yet collected.


PREVIOUS ISSUES: Avengers #368-369, West Coast Avengers #101, X-Men #26, and Uncanny X-Men #307 (November-December 1993)

ALSO THESE MONTHS: Captain America #423 and Marvels #1 (January 1994), West Coast Avengers #102 (January 1994), and Captain America #424 (February 1993)

NEXT ISSUES: Avengers #372-375 (March-June 1994)

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