Comic Review – Mark Grunwald – Captain America – The Hard Way
1987 Marvel – Spoiler alerts
A story touching strongly on the theme of steroid abuse in sport at a time when many a professional and Olympic athlete was being stripped of their winnings, medals and accolades.
The trail of a deadly killer called The Power Broker leads captain America to a gym where a group of wrestlers prove to be so super-strong they can even fight him to a stand-still. This is interesting in its contrast with their steroid use contrasting with his WW2 experimental drug usage which turned him into the super-soldier he is.
Befriended by the leader of the wrestling band, Steve (the good Captain) Rogers learns that The Power Broker gave them their strength through drugs they are now addicted to – but which can kill 50% of takers while making others super-strong.
Rogers goes after the Power Broker, assisted by his new friend who becomes the superhero Demolition Man.
Rogers finds himself caught and the Power Broker tries to kill him with an overdose of the drug, but Demolition Man saves him.
Rogers is then offered a chance to start using the drug to enhance his powers, which he realizes are weak compared to the strength of many people he now has to fight. Despite the chance of the drugs giving him a new edge, Rogers decides not to use them.
An interesting play on morals throughout, the story carries one major gaffe. The cover art shows the drug machine trapping Captain America in his full costume, but in the story Steve Rogers is trapped in the machine while still in civilian attire.
Image Credit » Star Wars comics seat covers - FAB Cafe Manchester, taken by me