Captain America #308 (1985): Secret Wars II, and 1st Armadillo

Mark Gruenwald: Two issues, two new creations (Madcap and Armadillo).  True, they never really caught on like a Lee/Kirby creation, but it’s pretty impressive for a new guy to try twice in a row.  Here’s the origin.

Marvel’s really trying to promote the West Coast Avengers.    They’re all over Iron Man, and now Captain America has a brief interaction with them.  First, Cap tries to break through security.  There’s a neat sequence where he foils their base’s defense systems—but I have to wonder why the defenses are programmed to allow a guy like Cap through.

And then he gets a tour.

Then he gets a job offer.

A job AND Hawkeye’s woman is leering at him.

Anyway, after that it’s a pretty solid battle against The Armadillo,.

But wait!  Wasn’t this supposed to be a Secret Wars II tie in?  It said so at the end of Secret Wars II #1, and the cover has a little dogear promo for it! Yes, it is, but thankfully that doesn’t happen until the end of the issue—so we get a full and “real” Captain America story as part of Mark Gruenwald’s overall run.  In other words, it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the series.

At the end of the issue, Beyonder decides that Cap’s behavior during the Armadillo battle was so inspirational that he wants to be Cap.

That’s it!  One page of tie-in, and it has no impact on the regular story.  And when it comes to an event/miniseries that is as lame as Secret Wars II, that’s something to be grateful for!

At the end of the issue, a brief appearance by Serpent Squad–a preview to the next story.

Creators: Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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