Welcome to the Promised Land, a utopian 25th century United States made possible by Captain America. But what dark secret does this utopian landscape hold?
CAPTAIN AMERICA (2017) #701 “Promised Land Part 1”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Leonardo Romero with Adam Hughes and J.G. Jones
Letters: Joe Caramanga
Cover Artist: Michael Cho; variant covers by Julian Totino Tedesco; David Nakayama
Colorist: Matthew Wilson with Adam Hughes and Paul Mounts
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
What You’ll Find Out:
The tale opens on a flashback to France in 1944, where Steve and Bucky fight Nazis to prevent a sample of the super-soldier serum from falling into the hands of Axis scientists. The story is being told by Jackson “Jack” Rogers to his young and sickly son Steve in the 25th century. As these descendants of Captain America work with doctors to try and uncover the root of young Steve’s ailment, the reader is introduced to a world of wonder, where war has been eliminated and a modified version of Cap’s DNA and the super-soldier serum has replaced vaccines, nearly eliminating disease and tripling life expectancy.
Yet still, Steve, despite his direct lineage to Cap, remains sick, and Jack Rogers of the 25th century (couldn’t resist) seeks answers. As a high-ranking historian, Jack has direct access to POTUS, and requests that Steve’s doctors get access to the classified documents containing the secrets to the serum but is blocked by the President’s military advisor in a very suspicious manner. Naturally, given his bloodline, Jack determines that the greater good outweighs national secrets and attempts to steal the information from the general himself, only to discover that the serum is designed to make all humans sleeper agents for the Kree Empire, with whom the US has some form of the treaty agreement. When the files open a direct line to Kree leaders, the jig is up and Jack finds himself fleeing for his life with possibly the biggest secret in the world.
What Just Happened?
Ta-Nehisi Coates and Francis Leinil Yu’s Captain America run begins in July, and, as a result, “Promised Land” carries all the markers of a time-keeping story with no major relevance to continuity or canon. That said, Waid still manages to spin an interesting tale of what could come with future generations of the Rogers clan. There was a seemingly (for now) non-sequitur flashback sequence featuring an undercover job by Steve for Nick Fury in the 1960s, attempting to uncover tech being smuggled by a band for Dr. Faustus, but the way it was presented gave it no connection to the main story as of yet.
The artwork, in general, is not bad but does not really appeal to me. Even as a pretty big AH! fan, I didn’t care for his flashback sequence. However, the color work is very intriguing and clearly deliberate, so kudos to Matt Wilson and company. In the final page, the ways red, white, and blue motifs had been working throughout the issue come together in quite a lovely way.
Final Thought: Unless this arc takes a shocking turn somewhere along the way, I doubt it will go down as something fans will be talking about years, or even months from now, but not all comics need to be groundbreaking. I have hopes that, as “Promised Land” develops, it will get better, but if it stays the course, it will still be a fun, although throwaway, story.
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