Review by Frank Plowright
There’s a loose end from Captain America and Hawkeye’s trip to the San Andreas mountains, which preceded this story. Kashmir Vennema, head of the Damocles Research Facility was definitely concealing the purpose of the project, and escaped in the confusion as events overtook efforts to question her.
She next turns up at a weapons technology exhibition in Madripoor where Captain America is in disguise and accompanying Tony Stark who’s there to help out as Iron Man if need be, and to promote his new micro-drone technology. All appears to be going to plan when the exhibition is attacked by mercenaries for hire, Batroc and his Brigade, and suddenly what appeared to be an asset becomes a deadly liability.
Barry Kitson’s art is an improvement on the Italians used for the Hawkeye segment, and Bunn’s plotting is more polished, throwing in surprise after surprise to keep readers and heroes on their toes. As he’d done with Hawkeye, Bunn provides a convincing dynamic between Captain America and his ally, this time someone with whom he’d been at loggerheads in the very recent past, and Stark needs to rely on his ingenuity when his technology becomes inoperable.
Iron Man is cover-featured, but it’s Captain America’s World War II teaming with the Sub-Mariner that’s the highlight of this collection. Will Conrad delivers a regal and arrogant ruler of Atlantis, while Bunn throws him an interesting dilemma: he’s given information, and while his interests and that of those who imparted it apparently coincide he must judge what it is they have to gain from his action. Captain America is very much a second fiddle here, but in a story that’s otherwise very good and also sets up a wealth of future plots, that’s a minor caveat.
The mystery of Kashmir Vennema continues and concludes in Captain America & Black Widow.