Captain America #695 Review

Posted November 3, 2017 by Luke Miller in Comic Books

Written by: Mark Waid

Art by: Chris Samnee

Published by: Marvel Comics

True story: My daughter was Captain America for Halloween this year. When I asked her why she liked Captain America so much, she said, “he’s just good.” (She was also Superman last year, so she may have a thing for unequivocating heroes who always do the right thing.) (She also said she likes the way Captain America “throws his shield, and punches bad guys with his shield,” so it may also have something to do with the shield.)

That’s Captain America in a nutshell: “he’s just good.” He just does what’s right, every time, all the time. Remember those WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets that were popular something like 10-15 years ago? I always thought those were a bit arrogant and presumptuous, as if any human could know what God would do in a given situation. But if it had said “What Would Cap Do?” or “What Would Supes Do?” I’d have been completely on board.

If you can’t imagine a scenario in a story where Captain America does something, then it’s probably morally wrong. That’s the heart of the character. It’s significantly more than patriotism, or jingoism, or certainly nationalism. The guy is about morality. It’s why Secret Empire rang so hollow, and why it ultimately failed.

Waid and Samnee shrug off Secret Empire here and get back to basics. Cap initially thwarts an attempt by a neo-Nazi/fascist organization to take over a fictional county in Nebraska. Why anyone would ever want to do this remains unclear. (Side note: I’ve lived in Nebraska for the entirety of my 31 years, and I absolutely love it when stuff gets set here. It’s like someone said “we want a little more rural than Kansas, a little more ‘nowheresville’ than Topeka… but not so much as the Dakotas or Wyoming. Let’s do that state in the middle again with all the corn and cows and a few small towns? What was it again? Nebraska? Yeah, let’s do that.”)

Ten years later, Cap returns to Burlington, Nebraska (again, not a real place) only to find they’ve renamed their town “Captain America, Nebraska” (eh, I suppose that’s plausible here) and thwarts another takeover attempt by Rampart amid an annual Captain America Celebration.

I’m sure the introduction of Rampart is significant. They seem like they’re going to be a major player going forward, but this story was stripped down to bare-bones basics, and I’m confident this was done intentional. This is what Captain America is, this is what he does, and this is what he stand for, always. The plot certainly won’t blow you away, and it might seem like a throwaway one-off issue, but it was absolutely crucial to do this after Secret Empire.

One minor quirk/complaint that I had was with the timeline. It seems that it’s only been a little over ten years since Cap was thawed from the ice by the Avengers. I know Marvel has to use a compressed timeline, but ten years is pushing it. I’d have simply preferred the time jump forward had said “years later” rather than “ten years later.”

But ultimately this was a perfectly fun, enjoyable issue that serves as a harbinger of things to come. I’m excited to see where this title is headed.

About the Author

Luke Miller