Captain America #344 comes from the fantastic Mark Gruenwald run of the late 80s/early 90s. This issue contains one of the main reasons why Gruenwalds run is so beloved (by me anyway). That reason....is snaky bad guys.
You betcha. There's nothing I like better than a good snaky bad guy (except maybe a monkey themed bad guy of course but that's another post).
Mark Gruenwald is the picasso of snaky bad guys. He introduced the decidely silly Serpent Society and during the course of his run turned them into - - well who am I kidding they're still decidedly silly, one of them's called Puff Adder for crying out loud! Anyway he used them a lot and I loved it.
How can you not love the Serpent Society? I mean look at them! Here's Cobra, Sidewinder and *snicker* Boomslang whomping the shit out of some unsuspecting citizens and generally having a merry old time of it.Those guys rule! The costumes, the dialogue, the thinnly veiled hatred for one another. This is the very foundation legendary bad guy teams are built on!
Anyway, I'm wandering off topic here, this isn't a post about the awesomeness that is the Serpent Society. I'm here to talk about the quality snake-related moment that occurs in this issue that doesn't involve the Serpent Society.
Okay, so a bizarre epidemic is sweeping Washington turning the citizenry into weird, scaly, reptile-folk. The cause of the madness is the sultry, green-haired vixen of the snaky set Viper who is using the chaos as a cover for an attack on the White House!
Even though in those days the government had stripped Cap of his classic flag-covered duds the Sentinel of Liberty is not about to let some pinko-commie, snake chick wack the big man! So he pulls on his drab, dark coloured fake Cap suit, grabs his cheap, knock-off shield and heads off to protect the prez.So he got there a little late and the President is a snake-man himself that's hardly Cap's fault those skin-tight all in one costumes are a bugger to get into!
Ever the patriot Cap tries to fight off the snaky-prez without hurting him. Even after he strips down to his tighty whities and tries to give Cap the mother of all hickeys!
Then the snaky-prez takes it too far:Sure you can try to bite him, you can spit at him - hell you can claim you've been replaced by dimension-hopping troll and pop him one in the kisser and Cap will still turn the other cheek. What you don't do is hit him in the bonce with Old Glory!
That kind of thing gets him all steamed!
It's no surprise that scant seconds after this heinous flag bashing Cap has the prez defeated and unconscious in a puddle of his own sweat and the villainous Viper all wrapped up for the Feds.
Such is the beauty of Mark Gruenwald's Captain America. It's cover to cover super-heroics, patriotism, snaky bad guys and half-naked presidents.
It almost makes me want to stand up and salute.