America (1) #144-148 "The Fifth Sleeper" (1972)
Penciler: John Romita(#144) ,Gil Kane (#145), Sal Buschema (#146-148)
Inker: John Romita, (#144-145) John Vorpoteen (#146-148)
Letterer: Artie Simek
Hydra is rising in Las Vegas and the first mission for the new S.H.I.E.L.D.
all-female elite Femme Force is to take on the new group. Teamed with
Captain America, Sharon Carter and the Contessa and the rest of the
Femme Force are nearly destroyed in the sky by a brutal hijacking
by Hydra. Carter is left seriously injured and later kidnapped by Hydra
to lure Captain America to their base. Together with the new Femme
Force, Captain America battles Hydra and their new mysterious leader.
by Dum Dum, Sharon Carter, the
the first for Eric Koeing as an agent
Carter is the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s
Val is her second
lobbies President Nixon
Red Skull states that
then a diversion
own real plans.
the Red Skull's
in Essential Captain America 3
Now this is a story. Twist after twist reveals villain after villain,
until you're left with Captain America and some unlikely allies battling
the Red Skull and yet another Sleeper. This plus the debut of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s
Femme Force (Friedrich's nod to women's lib) and Contessa leading the
way in battle. Val fans might be happy to see more of the character,
but somewhat taken aback by the stereotypical 'cat fights' between her
and Sharon Carter. In fact many of the characterizations are somewhat
off-putting in how juvenile they come off. Regardless, there is plenty
here for S.H.I.E.L.D. fans to enjoy, including the return of Hydra, and mock
battle with Hydra LMDs kicking off the story arc. The issues aboard the
plane to Vegas are rather good, with the surprise of former Howler Eric
Koeing making the first of his spotty reunions with Nick Fury.
Little bits that bring a smile to the alert S.H.I.E.L.D. fan, Fury having to
lobby Nixon for money for S.H.I.E.L.D. by staging a mock attack on Hydra.
The demonstration of an LMD is certainly a treat. Curious to note Fury's
remarks on Vietnam, in light of his earlier Howler mission, under the