Captain America #365 (December 1989)
Writer – Mark Gruenwald
Artist – Kieron Dwyer
I did some dollar bin diving recently and I posted a poll on Twitter asking which comic book I should review next. Of the four comic books listed on the poll, Captain America #365 emerged victorious.
This issue is a tie-in to the Acts of Vengeance storyline that ran through Marvel Comics in the late 80s. A mysterious man offers the supervillains of the Marvel Universe a chance to destroy their foes once and for all. Red Skull is given an opportunity to join the group, as well as Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Namor was offered a spot on the Avengers roster and accepted it, so you may be asking yourself – why is he going toe to toe with Captain America on the cover? You’ll find out the reasoning for this fight inside the comic. You’ll also see Red Skull’s decision by the end of the issue too. This issue also has a back-up story featuring Cobra and the Serpent Society and Mr. Hyde. Not bad for a buck, I would say!
The Acts of Vengeance crossover had superheroes facing villains they never crossed paths with before. This storyline has recently been collected in trade paperback, but if I see that AOV banner across the comic in the back issue or dollar bin, I’m definitely going to buy it.
The main story teases the villain responsible for Namor’s heel turn, which sets up the next issue where Captain America and the villain do battle. I won’t spoil who it is, but the baddie in question is usually a thorn in Iron Man’s armored side. Feel free to guess who it is in the comments sections below. The backup gives us a glimpse of Cobra’s history with Mr. Hyde and how they were a team before splitting up. Cobra goes after Mr. Hyde and the story ends just before they square off. I immediately purchased Captain America #366 after finishing the comic because both stories left me hungry for answers.
I give this issue 3 shields out of five. Namor and Captain America were partners in the Invaders during World War II. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Captain America won’t have an easy fight on his hands when him and Namor do battle. Cobra vs Mr. Hyde had a good set-up, but I have a gut feeling that the man of mystery mentioned earlier is going to put a stop to their tussle and try to recruit them to his side. Cobra’s stealth and speed vs Hyde’s strength is a good matchup that doesn’t seem like it should work, but when good friends become bitter enemies, it’s every man for himself.
Next Issue – The Red Skull orders Crossbones to help the super-villains who’ve escaped from the Vault. And to stop Captain America from intercepting him, the Red Skull sends Iron Man’s enemy, REDACTED!