Review: Captain America #695

Steve Rogers is back in action in the red-white-and-blue! Steve begins a journey across America to restore his tarnished reputation – and the dangers he encounters along the way are unlike any he’s faced before!

One of the biggest questions I had for Marvel Legacy is how it’d treat Captain America and the fallout/bad taste of Secret Empire. Generally, series have ignored any major ramifications (a rant for another time) and out of them all, you’d think Captain America’s return would be the one that deals with it the most. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have the unenviable task of picking things up with Captain America #695 which sees Steve head across America to rediscover himself and return to where “it began” for him. Waid gives us broad strokes about Captain America’s history and has him return to one of his first adventures post return where he’s taken on Nazi wannabees in a group called Rampart. A decade later he returns to find a town celebrating his heroism.

The comic in many ways is an essay by Waid reaffirming the ideals of Captain America and Steve Rogers in a throwback conservative sort of way. The big protecting the small is the lesson here and it’s a lesson that’s repeated a lot. What Captain America is about and his history is the focus laying things out again in an almost Pollyana way. None of it is bad and Chris Samnee’s art is utterly fantastic for not just this style of story but in general. While the story feels very “white bread America” the art is beautiful to look at and enjoy.

None of what I’m saying is a bad thing but it feels like the creative team are ignoring the wrongs of the last few years instead focusing on a fresh start that’s a back to basics. There’s a brief mention of events and that the real Captain America was trapped and replaced with an evil version but the greater societal impact isn’t present. There is some solid winks and nods though and Waid has no problem dropping the word “Nazi”  or “Fascist” to describe the bad guys, something that feels like progress. There’s also some fun talking of conspiracies especially Cap’s origins in World War II and his time on ice. It’s an entertaining acknowledgement of today’s reality and how his origin might be taken by some. Even the word “icer” feels rather appropriate and spot on.

A back-up feature gives us a quick history of Captain America. Written by Robbie Thompson with art by Valerio Schiti, the brief story hits the major points but overlooks recent events to its detriment. It feels like it’s an attempt to wash away the negative turn in recent years and whether it’s a choice by Marvel as a whole or due to space constraints it feels like it ignores mistakes that have been made.

The art is amazing and the story traditional and reserved in many ways the comic has some action but more of a focus on the ideals of the title character. This feels like a statement as to who Cap is to Mark Waid and Chris Samnee and the ideals he’ll represent as their story moves forward. A nice start that just a little more action and excitement.

Story Mark Waid, Robbie Thompson Art: Chris Samnee, Valerio Schiti
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review