1981 · The 80s

November 1981: Captain America 266 – Or, why is Nick Fury topless again?

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Synopsis: Captain America 266 was written by David Anthony Kraft, with art by Mike Zeck and John Beatty and opens with Captain America and Spider-Man falling from a flying island. (Yup, a flying island) after failing to stop a bad guy called S.U.L.T.A.N. (Systematic Ultimate Lawless Takeover of All Nations, no seriously, that’s the name he picked for himself) also there is director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division) Agent Nick Fury who is hanging shirtless from a missile aimed at Washington DC and fired by Sultan.  Sultan chases after the falling Cap and Spidey and sends his biotrons to kill Cap, who disarms and steals a jet pack from them, saving him and Spidey and then going after Sultan, who is doing his usual monologuing to his mindless robot biotrons before Cap and Spidey burst in and start fighting.

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Meanwhile Nick Fury has managed to get inside the rocket he was tied to and learns that there isn’t actually a payload on that missile and the flying island (seriously cannot believe I wrote that) actually contains the nuclear bomb that Sultan threatens DC with, the same one that Cap and Spidey are fighting Sultan on. The idea is that Sultan will blow up DC to get America to back down and submit to him. Captain America points out that it’s never worked before and in 1941 united Americans into joining the second world war. Sultan suffers a fall and dies, as he falls a small device flies off him and heads away. Cap and Spidey notice all the biotrons stop and decide that it’s best to get out of dodge and using the stolen jet pack land on the ground, only to be attacked by Sultan and more biotrons. Just then, there is a massive explosion in the distance, while Sultan tells Cap is Washington DC being destroyed.

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It turns out the device from earlier, was a back up of Sultan’s brain and it flies to a new completely robotic body. There is another fight and while Spidey deals with the biotrons, Cap faces Sultan in a viscious fight, which ends when Cap blocks Sultan’s finger blasters, causing a fatal feedback. The module thing flies off the robot, only to be shot out of the sky by a returning Nick Fury, (Still shirtless) who explains that the explosion was S.H.I.E.L.D. shooting down the island, nowhere near DC and that Sultan didn’t actually have a nuclear device, the damage was going to be caused by the flying island, called Thunderhead crashing into it. The crisis averted, the three head home.

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Notes: Flying islands, deus ex machina endings, mid fight soliloquies. This was pure 80’s comics silliness and I enjoyed it. It was a less complicated era, where it didn’t need to make sense, it just had to be a fun story. It opens with heroes falling, missiles flying and a villain about to win, you were pulled right into the story, right away and it was fun. Kraft had the voices down well, the overly sanctimonious Cap, the wise cracking Spider-Man, the always having a plan Fury and even the over the top villain. The art was Byrne-esque, but very much early Zeck and the flights were frenetic and over the top. The whole thing was fun and ridiculous and should be enjoyed just for that reason.

 

Next time: Noir without Fear

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One thought on “November 1981: Captain America 266 – Or, why is Nick Fury topless again?

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