Synopsis for “Slave of the Skull!”
Continued from last issue….
Following his escape with Sharon Carter from Exile Island, Captain America is asked by SHIELD to test out their newest model of Life Model Decoys. Despite the improvements, Captain America manages to defeat them with some effort. Nick Fury is impressed by the display and orders the defeated LMD’s back to the labs to have their memories wiped clean for a new mission. Cap has been plagued by a series of steadily worsening headaches and so he goes to see the SHIELD physician to find out what’s going on. As Cap takes off his uniform shirt he is suddenly struck by an unbearable migrane, the product of the nuclear tape that the Red Skull placed on his neck. The Red Skull has activated the detonator device on Exile Island to cause this pain and then makes direct contact with SHIELD. He tells them that he has placed the nuclear tape on the back of Captain America’s neck and that in doing so he has made Cap his slave. He cautions anyone from attempting to remove the special tape as doing so would activate the timer on a bomb planted somewhere in Washington D.C. by one of the Skull’s spies.
As his first command, the Red Skull orders Captain America to return to Exile Island immediately. Hearing this plan, Gruning fears that this sort of brash action was what made the Nazi’s lose World War II, however the Red Skull believes it’s because Adolf Hitler never listened to him and is confident that he will be able to crush Captain America once and for all. He then meets with the other Exiles to tell them what is about to happen. Each of them are happy to be working on ending the life of Captain America. The Exiles’ hatred and honest and open desires to replace him as leader of the group makes him grin, knowing that the best way to find a common front in a winning army is hatred.
Back at SHIELD headquarters, the doctor confirms Red Skull’s findings, which upset Sharon Carter. Cap tells her that he has no choice but to return to Exile Island, but in the meantime SHIELD can go to Washington and try and locate the bomb in the hopes of disarming it before the Red Skull can set it off. Taking a raft out into the ocean, Captain America is picked up by one of the Red Skull’s submarines. Aboard the vessel, the captain of the ship openly mocks Captain America’s plight. When Cap is brought before the Red Skull he tries to attack him, however the Skull activates the detonator causing Cap to reel back in pain.
Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Nick Fury, Sharon and the agents of SHIELD manage to locate the bomb. Finding it too complex for them to disarm, Fury calls out for Tony Stark to come and make an attempt. While back on Exile Island Captain America is forced to battle each of the Exiles. The first to attack is Cadavus and his death chair, which he uses to keep Cap at bay. Then Gruning with his electrified whip, followed by Iron Hand Hauptman. However, by this point Cap has regained his bearing and tosses Hauptman into Gruning. When Krushki tries to use his wrestling moves on Captain America, the Star-Spangled Avenger easily tosses him aside before facing off against Baldini and his weighted scarf. Cap manages to fight himself free, destroys Cadavus’s chair, and begins tearing into the Exiles.
With the battle turning in Cap’s favor, General Ching offers to shoot Captain America in the back, however the Red Skull opts instead to activate the detonator in the hopes the pain will be so great that Cap will rip off the nuclear tape and detonate the bomb planted in Washington. However when he pushes the detonator’s button it does nothing, making him realize that SHIELD must have defused the bomb. Almost as if on cue, SHIELD attacks the island, easily overpowering the Red Skull’s troops and sending the Exiles fleeing to safety. Although the Exiles escape, SHIELD secures the island and Sharon is reunited with Cap and removes the nuclear tape.
With the battle over, Captain America plants an American flag on the land and tells the soldiers that so long as those who follow Democracy never lose their resolve, they will always be able to defeat evils like the Nazis.