Bronze Age Beginnings

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Captain America #147

Cover date: March 1972

Writer: Gary Friedrich

Artist: Sal Buscema

Inker: John Verpoorten

Cap and Femme Force have raided a Hydra Base near Las Vegas to rescue a captured Sharon Carter. While Femme Force mops up sundry Hydra goons, Cap confronts The Supreme Hydra who seemingly fries Sharon. Cap, driven to a murderous rage, unmasks The Supreme to reveal that he is...The Schemer!

No, me neither. Apparently he last appeared in Spidey #83-85, and with that reveal comes another. The man masquerading as Howard Hughes (sorry, Harold Howard), father of The Supreme Hydra/The Schemer, and in control of Hydra, is none other than The Kingpin!

I think we need some explanation, so cue some flashbacks.

After the events in Spidey #83-85, The Kingpin had some kind of breakdown thanks to his son’s, erm, scheming, so to make amends his son joined Hydra (don’t worry, he has a plan). After rising to the position of The Supreme Hydra he kidnaps his old Dad and subjects him to some experimental shock treatment. Luckily (!) The Kingpin survives the remedy and his son makes his Mom promise that she’ll never reveal who was responsible for curing him, and, oh yeah, to also make sure that his Dad takes over Hydra.

Phew! Got all that?

Meanwhile, Sam Wilson is on his way to Las Vegas at the behest of Nick Fury.

Anyway, The Supreme escapes from Cap and makes his getaway in a rocket, so Cap follows with a jet-pack strapped to his back all the way to Las Vegas, where The Supreme lands his rocket craft on top of a hotel owned by Harold Howard. Cap follows him up to Howard’s penthouse, and is met by The Kingpin who engages him in battle. As always, the hero is surprised by how fast and agile the larger opponent is, and is almost beaten until the sudden arrival of The Falcon. With the tide of battle turned, we’re due another twist and a cliff-hanger ending. Someone else is actually in charge...

“Silence swine...and all will be made clear! The Kingpin is not the head of Hydra...nor was his son...nor was any Supreme Hydra who ever supposedly was in charge!”

Gulp! I wonder who that could be.

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