After the disastrous and controversial ‘Evil Captain America’ run, the original Steve Rogers has returned... and not a minute too soon.
In the hands of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, the comic has returned to its former glory. The approach is elegant as it is simple: Cap responds to breaking news of the white supremacist terrorist group, Rampart, attacking Burlington, Nebraska. Rogers shows up to take out the bad guys and protect the folks too weak to protect themselves. It really is that simple and is all the richer for it.
Would you look at that? Just gorgeous. Matthew Wilson’s crisp, solid color fills Chris Samnee’s pages with life. (I’ve been a fan of Samnee since his Eisner-winning days working on Daredevil.)
Mark Waid made the wise decision to frame this comic as a re-introduction of sorts. Both to his readers and to the characters involved. The first half of the comic takes place roughly ten years ago in comic book time, aka just after Cap was thawed out of the ice. As a result, the masked morons have no idea who they’re messing with.
When Cap returns ten years later, he’s surprised to discover the entire town is celebrating the anniversary of his now-legendary rescue... and the town itself has been renamed in his honor. It’s... it’s just the best.
During his daring heroics, this version of Steve shows a side we don’t often see: Captain America’s good with kids.
In the span of a single page, he’s able to turn a frightened little girl into a protector of those smaller than herself: in this case, Jacob. For a handful of seconds, she’s the bravest little girl in the world.
This is how superheroes are meant to operate. This is what they’re supposed to be. Being a superhero is about more than strength or spandex, it’s about being a role model. Someone who not only leads; but leads by example. That’s this version of Cap, all over.
I can only imagine the courage it took in 1941 to put a hero in a star-spangled uniform, to point a finger (or a fist) at Adolf Hilter in a comic book and to say “This. This is the bad guy, and we’re going to fix things. Just you wait and see.” I cannot begin to imagine the bravery it takes today to take that same stance against American White Supremacists. For Captain America to grit his teeth and acknowledge that the biggest problem of the day is not some alien threat, or a villain plotting in some foreign land, but right here at home. “This. This is the bad guy, and we’re going to fix things. Just you wait and see.”
It’s good to have you back, Cap. Really good to have you back.