Captain America 249 (September 1980)

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The Dragon Man cliffhanger really does not resolve well. All Stern can think of to get it over with promptly is for Cap to throw his glove in Dragon Man’s eye.

Then Dragon Man heads off to confront Machinesmith and Cap tags along. This sequence, from the cliffhanger resolution to Machinesmith’s hide-out, is visually fantastic. Stern doesn’t even cloud it over with narration or exposition, we just get to see the Byrne and Rubinstein art.

Unfortunately, the Machinesmith stuff is far less satisfying. Three quarters of the issue is Cap fighting a robot (or a piece of a robot) only to discover another robot waiting to attack him.

The final resolution, coming after two flashbacks revealing Machinesmith’s tortured past (Daredevil beat him up amongst other things), has a very sci-fi feel to it. Stern inexplicably closes this sequence with some awkwardly patriotic thought balloons.

But the art’s great.

CREDITS

Death, Where Is Thy Sting?; writers, John Byrne and Roger Stern; penciller, Byrne; inker, Joe Rubinstein; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Jim Novak; editors, Bob Budiansky and Jim Salicrup; publisher, Marvel Comics.