The Watchdogs (Their bite is worse than their bark)

The Watchdogs

(Their bite is worse than their bark)

by Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog

I’m assuming anyone who’s reading this blog watched the Agents of Shield episode with the terrorist group named the Watchdogs.  What you may not know is that they are not new, but have made a few appearances in Marvel Comics over the years, usually battling Captain America.  


  1. Captain America #335 (November 1987)

This was the very first appearance of the group.  They were created by writer Mark Gruenwald and artist Tom Morgan to symbolize censorship and oppression.  The group was lead by an unknown individual known as Watchdog Prime, although “Head Dogs” lead their individual packs in each state of the country.  The group fought for what they considered traditional american values, believing their enemies to be indecency, immorality, and sexual perversion.  The Captain America they originally encounter is John Walker, at a time when Steve Rogers was at odds with certain members of the american government.  Walker and his partner Lemar Hoskins (Battle Star) are called in to stop the Watchdogs after they torch an adult book store and women’s health clinic.  They then attempt to lynch Hoskins, believing his undercover role as a pornographer until he is saved by the Walker Captain America.


2. Captain America #345 (September 1988)

After John Walker is outed to the world as the new Captain America, the Watchdogs return to have their revenge.  They capture Walker’s parents and tell him the couple will die unless he hangs himself.  Walker pretends to go along with his “suicide” until he he springs into action and takes down the terrorists.  But there is no victory as Walker’s parents are killed in the crossfire.


3. Captain America #385, #386 (May, June 1991)

When the Watchdogs next appeared in full force, Steve Rogers had returned to duty as Captain America.  Rogers had started to investigate their activities as they got closer to New York State but his mission became personal when the terrorists kidnapped his ex-girlfriend, Bernie Rosenthal.  Upon hearing of his battle with the terrorists, John Walker, now working for the government as the hero US Agent, demanded that Rogers let him join in on the hunt. This conversation did not go well.

In the end, the mission was successful despite Walker trailing Rogers to the Watchdogs lair.  Bernie Rosenthal was rescued unharmed and Walker only maimed the members of the group that killed his parents, no one died.

Will we see a full fledged return of this group one day, either in the comics or on Agents of Shield?  Share your thoughts with me:


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You can hear me discussing all things Marvel every week with my cohost Charlie Esser (@CharlieEsser) on our podcasts All New Marvel Roundup and Superconnectivity, both part of the Nuff Said podcast on Southgate Media Group.  I also write another blog, Legends of DC.  You can find all my podcasts, blogs, and those of others at


Until next time…NUFF SAID!!



Posted on April 5, 2016 and filed under Marvel Comics, Superheroes, Comics, Comic Books.