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For Righteousness’s Sake

It’s here. After leaving the Avengers, U.S.Agent settles a few old scores. Captain America and the Watchdogs better watch their backs. Written by Mark Gruenwald with art by Rom Lim. 

Captain America #385-386

Captain America #385

The Watchdogs are back and are torching the offices of a record label who put out hip-hop which they consider vulgar. Along the way, one member discovers a sleeping janitor and fails to save him from the ensuing fire. This member is racked with guilt as his fellow Watchdogs are worried about his loyalty. Turns out that this uneasy Watchdog is none other than Mike Farrell; friend and former room-mate of Steve Rogers.

After some scuffles with the Watchdogs in the first part of the story, Bernie Rosenthal is kidnapped and Mike Farrell continually manages to evade being assassinated by his distrusting Watchdogs.

Captain America #386

As Captain America trains in Avengers mansion, he is greeted by a visitor who shares a training session with him.

U.S.Agent trains with Captain America.

U.S.Agent asks if he can join Captain America in bringing down the Watchdogs. Captain America declines pointing out that the last time U.S.Agent went up against the Watchdogs several of them wound up dead and the last thing he wants is to have to restrain the Agent when he’s trying to rescue Bernie.

When Cap declines U.S.Agent’s request the two come to heads as the Agent points out he’s no longer an Avenger so Captain America has no say over what he does or doesn’t do. Captain America tells the Agent that since he’s no longer an Avenger he has no right to be in the mansion and should leave.

U.S.Agent asks that Captain America do him a favour in exchange for saving him against the Red Skull (#350) and let him in on the mission. Captain America once again refuses not wanting to jeopardise the mission with someone who has a reputation for getting out of hand. At that, U.S.Agent takes his leave.

Elsewhere, Mike Farrell is captured by the Watchdogs and Bernie discovers that the Watchdogs are attempting to brainwash “naughty” people into being decent.  As Captain America slowly advances on the Watchdogs compound, stealthily trying to infiltrate the base, his plan is ruined when an unexpected visitor shows up.

Walker attacks the Watchdogs Compound.

As U.S.Agent tears through ranks of Watchdogs declaring them his sworn enemies, Captain America manages to retrieve Bernie and a confessing Mike. Amidst battle, U.S.Agent comes close to killing a Watchdog before remembering his pact to never murder again.

U.S.Agent stops himself from killing a Watchdog.

Not long after, the battle is over and Captain America confronts U.S.Agent who claims he followed Captain America here (in actual fact, he placed a homing device on his shield while they were training), Captain America admits that he is pleased to see U.S.Agent managed to restraining himself and not kill anyone as the Agent insists he’s a new man; a “kinder, gentler beserker”.

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