SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Captain America: Sam Wilson” #16, which is on sale now.
Since taking over the Captain America mantle, Sam Wilson has had to deal with plenty of trouble. Not only was he a puppet in a scheme to kill a United States senator, one of his oldest friends — Steve Rogers — is secretly working behind his back to undermine him. There have been some positive events too, like the upgrade to Wilson’s powers that allow him to use birds as surveillance cameras against the controversial Ameri-Cops.
With all that going on, “Captain America: Sam Wilson” #16 from Nick Spencer, Angel Unzueta and Szymon Kurdranski sees the new Cap taking a much needed break. His partner Misty Knight planned the whole thing, contacting Sam’s older brother Gideon and sending the superhero out on a weekend road trip. As Misty points out, if anyone calls Cap’s hotline, she’s perfectly capable of taking care of it as she’s a superhero in her own right. With Sam Wilson out on vacation, Misty takes over and immediately gets a call from Sam’s ally Dr. Claire Temple.
The low-level criminal Lady Stilt-Man (her real name revealed to be Callie Ryan) may have taken a bad fall, but Dr. Temple was more concerned about her mental health. As Callie reveals to her former quasi-ally Misty Knight, a video was recently released — one that threatened to ruin the new Stilt-Man’s reputation.
Callie says that now that the video showing her in a revealing way is out, no one takes her seriously. Worse, it’s also affected her relationship with her family. The thing is, it’s not Callie in the video.
Misty takes on the case and puts her detective skills to work. She discovers that this exact same thing has been happening to all sorts of lesser-known female superheroes and villains. And like Callie, all the women depicted in the videos deny any involvement.
Misty believes them, too, because she actually put in a little bit of work. The timestamps on some of the videos line-up with periods when many of the women were either off-world, in jail or dead. The encryption used by the people uploading the original videos proves to be too strong for even master hacker Rick Jones, so Misty decides to go another route: she tracks down one of the men in the video. The guy immediately names the mastermind behind the plot: the Slug.
A crime boss operating out of Miami, Ulysses Lugman joined Steve Rogers’ rogue’s gallery in 1986’s “Captain America” #324. The Slug also has a history with this kind of sick activity; he previously acquired footage of the Hood gang attacking the ex-Avenger Tigra and released in on the internet, leading Tigra to confront the Slug claw to face. Recently, the Slug appeared in the pages of Nick Spencer’s “Ant-Man” run.
In Miami, the Slug entertains potential investors in his scheme while aboard his yacht. The criminal reveals that he’s been using Life Model Decoys — tech previously developed and utilized by S.H.I.E.L.D. — to create the video and photos.
The Slug then announces that he’s moving up from targeting low-level heroes and villains and will instead go after what he calls “The A-List.” He unveils LMDs for Storm, She-Hulk, Psylocke, Black Cat and Medusa. But the Slug wasn’t counting on Misty Knight arriving — with Captain America’s shield on her arm. Misty easily takes out the A-List LMDs, as they only have the appearance of their assigned heroes and none of their abilities.
Misty turns the Slug over to the Coast Guard, who take him to jail. But Misty’s job isn’t done yet. After all, the Slug put it online, but a “lotta guys helped spread these videos around.” Misty then visits a handful of them, roughing them up in a page very reminiscent of the closing sequence from 2001’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” Yep, 2001. Sadly not much has changed when it comes to internet trolls.
The issue ends with Sam returning from his weekend off, Misty having taken care of his Cap duties while he was away. And as Misty reminds the reader, “Don’t ever call me the woman behind the man. I got my own thing going on.”
“Captain America: Sam Wilson” #17 arrives in stores on January 4, 2017.
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