THE COMMITTEE TO REGAIN AMERICA'S PRINCIPLES

Membership: Quentin Harderman, Moonstone, Tumbler (John Keane), Viper

Purpose: To discredit Captain America in the eyes of the public

Affiliations: Secret Empire

Enemies: Captain America, Falcon

Base of Operations: Madison Avenue, New York City

First Appearance: Captain America I#169 (January, 1974)

History: (Captain America I#170 (fb))- Moonstone met with Harderman and Viper. Moonstone wanted to join the Committee To Regain America's Principles, saying that he could be a distinct asset to them. Viper and Harderman agreed, and Moonstone joined the operation.

(Cap I#170 (fb))- Harderman told Moonstone that Viper had been captured by Captain America so now a smear-ad campaign to ruin Captain America's image was to take place, and a murder frame-up was also part of the plan.

(Cap I#169 (BTS)/Cap I#174 (fb, BTS))- Captain America watched an ad campaign by the Commitee To Regain America's Principles, where Captain America is being discredited. He saw the man running the campaign, and wanted a word with him since all of it was a lie. He decided to pay the leader of the campaign a visit.

(Cap I#169 (BTS))- Captain America came to the office of the Commitee To Regain America's Principles at Madison Avenue. Harderman's secretary told Captain America that Harderman wouldn't see anyone that day, but Captain America told her that he insisted.

(Cap I#169)- Captain America came into Harderman's office, and learnt that Harderman was the man in the ad campaign. Harderman told him that he felt it appropriate, and that The Committee was primarily a personal statement by himself personally. Harderman told Captain America that if he wanted to prove him wrong, he could come to a charity boxing match. Captain America told him that it was a deal and left. Harderman then called the Tumbler to tell him that the plan was operational.

Later at the Exhibit Hall where the charity boxing match was to take place, Harderman introduced the man Captain America was about to fight as John Robert Keane. Captain America realized that the man was the Tumbler, and Tumbler got scared, and tried to run away. Suddenly Tumbler dropped dead, and Harderman thought to himself "Just as planned! That sucker didn't know he was being set up all along." In the shadows Moonstone was revealed as the real murder, having shot the Tumbler with a sliver-thin laser beam thru his skull.

(Cap I#170/Cap I#171 (fb)/Cap I#174 (fb))- Harderman cried out "All of you saw this blatant reactionary assault -- This murder of an innocent man -- A man killed by Captain America!" Captain America realized that Harderman had set him up, cried at him, and was about to hit him, but cops came to stop him, and Captain America escaped, only to be caught and defeated by Moonstone. Harderman arrived, and announced to the city that their new hero was Moonstone.

(Cap I#170 (BTS))- Moonstone and Harderman took Captain America to jail.

(Cap I#170)- Captain America woke up in his cell, and heard Harderman and Moonstone talking with the press. One of the reporters asked Moonstone about his past, and he began to tell him a tale about him being a janitor at a small midwest university where he found the Moonstone, a story made up by Harderman because Moonstone was never a janitor. After Moonstone's tale, Harderman told the press that he thought they got enough, and thanked them for coming.

(Cap I#171 (BTS))- Outside Quentin Co, at 1701 Penn Street, Captain America put two and two together-- Quentin as in Quentin Harderman. Suddenly Falcon arrived as well, and the two of them began to talk about the recent events. Suddenly Moonstone appeared and he managed to defeat both of the heroes.

(Cap I#172)- Moonstone was about to kill the two heroes, when Harderman came out of Quentin Co. and stopped him, telling him that the plan was to ruin their reputation, not making them martyrs. He ordered him to call the media, and go ahead with the plan. In Central Park he joined up with the Secret Empire and left the two heroes with them. Not long after the two heroes came running into Moonstone, having freed themselves. Moonstone was angry at the Secret Empire agents for letting them go.

(Cap I#173 (BTS))- Professor X revealed to Captain America that the Secret Empire had used the advertising or propaganga, produced by their agents on Madison Avenue. One of them was Quentin Harderman himself.

(Cap I#174)- Harderman watched from backstage while Moonstone was on a tv talk-show. He thought to himself that the audience was lapping it all up, and felt good about himself.

(Cap I#175 (BTS))- Moonstone was the star of a congressional hearing. Harderman attended and overheard Moonstone's testimony.

(Cap I#175)- Moonstone came out of the door, telling Harderman that he couldn't believe he was the star at a congressional hearing, and Harderman answered "Yes, it went smoothly." Suddenly an aircraft landed outside, and Harderman told Moonstone that their allies-- the Secret Empire-- had arrived. Moonstone was sent out to "attack" the allies so the audience would still think that he was a hero. Moonstone was easily defeated, and taken onboard the aircraft. There the man who "defeated" Moonstone told him that Moonstone almost made him believe that he actually defeated him. After the short conversation. Moonstone got out of the aircraft, announcing to the audience that the Secret Empire was way too strong, and that they had already been defeated so they had better surrender. When Captain America came to the rescue, Moonstone said loudly "So -- the renegade vigilante shows up to join his Secret Empire friends." Captain America defeated the criminal, and Harderman came "changing colors" with the words that he had just learned the truth, that the real enemy was Moonstone. Moonstone, feeling betrayed by Harderman told the truth to all the cameras around, that it was all a set-up to frame Captain America. In jail Viper was watching as his plans to frame Captain America fell to the ground. Harderman and Moonstone were both sent to jail.

Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich, Sal Buscema and F. McLaughlin.

The Committee to Regain America's Principles was a play on the Nixon group's Committee to Re-Elect the President. Nixon's group was referred to by opponents as CREEP, but the Secret Empire's group obviously forms the acronym CRAP. The whole thing came at the time that America was disillusioned by Nixon's actions and impeachment, and the whole leader of the Secret Empire was a high ranking US government official. So high-ranking that Cap temporarily abandoned his Cap identity to first become Nomad. The implication was that it could have been Nixon, VP Spiro Agnew, or someone in the near vicinity of that level of political power. --Snood

by The Beetle

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Committee To Regain America's Principles shouldn't be confused with:

Moonstone shouldn't be confused with:


Moonstone

(Lloyd Bloch). Moonstone joined forces with The Committee To Regain America's Principles, and killed the Tumbler in order to frame Captain America in the eyes of the public. With the assistance of Quentin Harderman, Moonstone was built up in the eyes of the public as a new super-hero, so that they would trust him when he claimed that the Secret Empire had defeated him, and then trick the public into surrendering to them. However when Captain America managed to bring down the Secret Empire and The Committee, he told the world the truth about Harderman and his organization, and was sent to prison. While in prison, Moonstone had his Moonstone stolen by Karla Sofen, who tricked him into believing that the gem was transforming him into a monster. Sofen then used the object to become the new Moonstone.

Still later, he became the super-villain Nefarius after receiving powers similiar to Count Nefaria. In this new identity, he fought Captain America and the Avengers while attempting to seek revenge on Moonstone for stealing his original powers. While plotting another assault on Moonstone, he was killed by Count Nefaria, who fed upon the ionic energy in his body. -Captain America I#169-172, 174, 175, Incredible Hulk II#229 (fb), Captain America I#379 (fb), 379, 443, Avengers Unplugged#1, Iron Man '99 Annual

 

 

 


images:


Other appearances:
Captain America I#170-175 (February-July, 1974) - Steve Englehart & Mike Friedrich (#170-172) (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)


Last updated: 04/27/05

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