Appearing in "The Man Behind the Mask!"
- Nick Fury
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents
- Thor (Cameo)
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Cameo)
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton) (Cameo)
- Madame Hydra (Cameo)
Synopsis for "The Man Behind the Mask!"
Having convinced the American public that Steve Rogers was just as false identity, Captain America walks the streets of Manhattan trying to figure out where to go next with his life. He begins to realize that his true identity is that of Captain America, and his civilian guise is what feels more like an alter ego. As he strolls up to Avengers Mansion, Cap pauses for a moment and decides that he must seek out some normalcy in his life instead of staying with the Avengers. He is spotted by the Black Panther and Goliath who discuss Cap's reluctance to go to them for help, deciding that the man is entitled to his own privacy.
Deciding to check on Sharon Carter, Steve changes into his Captain America costume, deciding even S.H.I.E.L.D. is not to know what his secret identity is. He goes to the barber shop that is a front for S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ and gets an audience with Nick Fury. Fury tells Cap that Sharon was on a mission to investigate AIM activity. Just then Sharon calls in and reports that this cell of AIM is about to move and that she can't wait for reinforces before signing off. When Cap notes that the girl looked sullen, Nick tells Cap that she still thinks he's dead. Worried for the safety of his love, Captain America demands that they move out and help her before it's too late.
Sharon meanwhile get the drop on the AIM soldiers and tells them to surrender to her. They don't give up so easily and she is forced to try to fight them on her own. Realizing that Sharon doesn't have any reinforcements, the AIM commander orders that they release their robot the Walking Stiletto. Before this robot can attack Sharon, Captain America and Rick Jones arrive to rescue her. Rick and Cap try their best to stop the machine and Sharon even lends a helping hand. Finally, Captain America deduces that it's weak point is in the neck area and tosses his shield there. His theory proves correct and the robot is destroyed, however the AIM goons get away. With the battle over, Captain America asks Sharon to give up her life of danger to pursue a relationship with him and asks her to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. When Sharon refuses, Cap decides to never ask again and walks away, rejected.
Cap decides to try and forge a new life, and after dying his hair and using make-up to alter his features he attempts to find a hotel that will admit him. With no identification what-so-ever, this proves to be a hard thing to accomplish indeed, and ultimately Cap has to settle for staying in a slummy hotel in a bad neighborhood. In his room, he laments about his lot and life and wonders if he has to spend the rest of his life being a symbolic fighting machine or if he will ever get to live a normal life. This question goes unanswered as just then the Red Skull materializes in his room. He shows Captain America that he has at last recovered the Cosmic Cube and that now he once more has the power to do anything his imagination desires.
This story is continued next issue...
- This issue contains a letters page, Let's Rap With Cap. Letters are published from Kenneth Burke, Rick Elrod, Michael Higgins and Rick Bilyen.
Links and References
- The Grand Comics Database: Captain America #114