Captain America #695
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover Artists: Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
A Review by Stacy Dooks
Some things are worth waiting for.
Now mind, I’m not planning to turn this review into a screed against a particular creator or the decisions made in the portrayal of a beloved comic-book character. It’s not really how I’m wired. Oh my friends know I’ll vent my spleen on a number of topics but by and large I don’t want to be a guy who tears things down, but rather someone who does his best to build things up. It’s one reason why a lot of my reviews tend to be enthusiastic recommendations: these are fun comics that I genuinely believe are worth your hard-earned dollar and that I fully endorse and support. Enter CAPTAIN AMERICA #695. My friends, Cap is back. And much like Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited,” it feels so good.
In the wake of SECRET EMPIRE, Steve Rogers’ reputation has been left in tatters by the actions of an evil clone (who among us hasn’t had that happen, am I right?) and our hero finds himself wandering the country in an effort to find out just what he stands for in a world that has learned to fear Captain America. I’m not going to give away the specifics of the plot here, but let me assure you from the outset that if you’re concerned that you have to have read SECRET EMPIRE in order to understand what’s happening in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, the answer is a safe and definite no. A text piece at the outset of the issue lets you know the book’s new status quo and then bam! Right into the thick of the action. And there’s plenty of action to go around, as well as a whole lot of heart. Mark Waid is no stranger to the character of Steve Rogers, and if you haven’t read any of his earlier work on CAPTAIN AMERICA with the amazing Ron Garney, well, consider that run a gift to tide you over between issues of this one. No need to thank me, just doin’ my job. Samnee’s art is an absolute treasure, and the colors by Matthew Wilson make this book feel like a breath of fresh air in a musty room. From the cover, to the corner box, to the house ads (yeah, house ads are back! And they looks great!) this is a comic book that actually feels like a comic book. And to this longtime reader, it’s like coming back to an old neighborhood I thought they’d demolished.
The story acts as a great introduction/reintroduction to Captain America, and while it may not address SECRET EMPIRE directly, personally I don’t think that’s a detriment. This is Waid and Samnee’s run, and much like their previous work on DAREDEVIL and BLACK WIDOW, knowledge of the previous status quo is not a necessity to enjoy what’s going on in this particular comic. The mission statement here is simple: Captain America is frickin’ awesome, and this creative team is going to remind you why.
The Verdict: Really? All that preamble and you’re still here?! BUY IT! It’s superhero comics the way they’re meant to be: big, bold, and fun in all the best ways. Run, don’t walk!