CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON #157-159 (1973)

What a great splash page.  Everything from the little box explaining the Latin for Marvel’s younger or less-educated readers to the little box on the left urging readers to vote.  Just terrific.  Also, I’m thrilled to see my two favorite writers of the 1970s working together on a story.

As for that story: Captain America is waylaid on his way to the police station at the request of the Commissioner by two street hoods who claim to work for “The Cowled Commander.”  He makes short work of them, meets with the commish, and then a bomb explodes in the police station.  Falcon goes to see what happened, and meets a new villain…

He’s a guy who marketed children’s toys.  That’s not critical to the story at all, but it’s the kind of weird little detail that writers like Englehart and Gerber love to throw in.

After Cap and Falc defeat Viper, the rest of the Cowled Commander’s soldiers show up…

 

I love Cap’s rogues gallery. It’s as weird as Spider-Man’s.

During these battles, Captain America is hit with Viper’s poison, and it interacts with the Super Soldier Serum in his blood and gives him super strength.  I kind of always assumed he had super strength, but I guess this is a change to his power set.

There’s a pretty complex mystery about the identity of The Cowled Commander. In the end, it’s Sargent Muldoon-the guy who asked Cap to go undercover as a cop and investigate corruption on the force.  Nicely done.

Also: A letter from future Marvel letterer Tom Orzechowski.

Creators: Steve Gerber and Steve Englehard, with Sal Buscema on art.
Grade: B-

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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