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Friday, October 26, 2018

CAPTAIN AMERICA: DARK DESIGNS (audiobook) by Stefan Petrucha

Published in 2016 by GraphicAudio.
Performed by a multiple performers.
Duration: approximately 6 hours.

S.H.I.E.L.D. doctors discover a dormant virus in Captain America's bloodstream while performing a newfangled ultra deep scan after an encounter with a different dangerous virus. This is not just any virus, it is an "extinction-level" virus, meaning it has the potential to wipe out the human race if it were to become an active virus.

So, Captain America is placed into a containment area so the virus won't kill off the world in case it goes active. But, giant old Nazi robots from World War II keep coming to life with Adolf Hitler's voice demanding to fight Captain America. If he doesn't show up to fight, they threaten to start killing nearby civilians. Iron Man shows up to help, but these robots are really just too much for one Avenger to handle and everyone else is busy, unreachable or just too unpredictable (you don't unleash Hulk into downtown Paris).

How can Captain America fight these robots when he is supposed to be under quarantine? What's making these robots come to life after all of these years? How long has Captain America been carrying this virus and where did he pick it up? Will S.H.I.E.L.D. be able to come up with a cure or will they have to put him into cryogenic stasis and hope for a cure in the future?

GraphicAudio's production values are always good - like an old-fashioned radio show. The actors are all good, but I especially enjoyed the performance of Richard Cutting, the actor that played Iron Man/Tony Stark. He sounds so much like Robert Downing, Jr.'s version from the Marvel movies that you would swear that Downing was performing the part himself.

The part of the story with Captain America having to be quarantined is intriguing, especially the ongoing debates with the epidemiologist that is brought in. But, the story of the Nazi "sleeper" robots is a re-hash of a previous story and, in the end, just suffers from some serious logic problems. Why would the Nazis design these robots to attack Captain America one at a time, like in a video game where the hero character fights increasingly difficult characters as he works his way up to the "big boss"? Also, the historian in me asks why Hitler wouldn't simply unleash all of these nearly unstoppable robots (I think that there are 7 of them in the two inter-related stories) onto Russian, British and American foot soldiers and take out tens of thousands of them in one fell swoop and just make Captain America a hero without an army to back him up?

Oh, well. Asking comic book stories to make sense kind of defeats the purpose of comic book stories.

I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: CAPTAIN AMERICA: DARK DESIGNS.

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