Captain America #695
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Steve Rogers has defeated his evil counterpart, but his reputation has been destroyed across the country. But there is one town that still reveres the good captain. And right now, that town needs him.
What You Need to Know
An evil version of Captain America led Hydra on a conquest that brought the country to its knees. But the original Captain America returned to stop his doppelganger. How will Cap react to a world that fears him?
What You’ll Find Out
Steve’s origin is summarized as a man who wants to fight Nazis and serve his country. He was given an experimental serum allowing him to do both. Rogers became a legend in WWII, until being hurled into icy waters and frozen for decades. Unthawed by the Avengers in a world that still needed him.
Ten years ago in Burlington, Nebraska, Cap rushed through a group of terrorists calling themselves, the Rampart. Protecting the innocents, he not only defended them, He inspired them. A little girl named Donna was particularly inspired. To the point, she stood in front of him to protect HIM.
Putting his shield between Donna and a bullet, Steve clarified. “Donna, sweetheart. I’m stronger. I protect you. That’s the rule. Okay?” Words that would stay with her for the rest of her life. He wrapped her in an American flag and helped her return to her family.
In the present day, Steve returns to Burlington out of costume, find it’s been surprisingly renamed Captain America, Nebraska.
During a fourth of July celebration, Steve is believed to be nothing more than a cosplayer. A mistake he doesn’t correct. On stage at the park, Steve listens as men, women, and children show their appreciation by recounting how Captain America had saved them and improved their lives.
Until the Rampart return. They attack, but Steve has had ten years of experience since the last time they’ve fought and he knew they were coming. This time prepared, Rogers takes them down even easier than before. Before Cap could get any information out of them, they took their own lives.
Steve turns to the people in the park and admits he didn’t come here for the festival, but because he had a job to do. He’s flattered, but he feels self-conscious when people make a fuss about his heroics. He deflects the praise to direct it to the normal people like you and me protecting each other during the fight and patching each other up afterward. He claims they’re heroes too. “They know what’s right. The strong protect the weak.”
The same little girl he inspired ten years earlier, now a young woman stood in front of him. Donna finishes his sentence. “That’s the rule.”
What Just Happened
What a great return for the real Steve Rogers! His origin is retold in one short page, making this a great jumping on point for new readers. Though, who doesn’t know the origin of Captain America at this point?
The themes of Secret Empire, corruption and fascism are replaced by themes of inspiration of hope and heroism.
Seeing people still appreciate the real cap is heartwarming. A feeling that might be few and far between in the future for Steve, now that the world fears him. I’m looking forward to seeing how Cap reacts when no one wants to be rescued by who they think is the world’s greatest villain.
Final Thoughts: The real Steve Rogers has returned in a wonderful first issue that reminds us of the ideal hero we should all strive to be. If you didn’t enjoy Secret Empire, NOW is the time to pick up Captain America again!