20th Feb2018

‘Captain America #698′ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee | Art by Chris Samnee

captain-america-698

Chris Samnee and Mark Waid’s run on Captain America has been everything it needed to be up to this point and more. Taking the character of Captain America and reminded the world the type of inspirational figure he can be when used right by utilizing a more classic form of comic storytelling that is sorely missed in today’s more cynical environment. With issue #698 we are seeing a slight change as for the first time since this team took over we are not getting a one and done story. Also it is filled with some more darker undertones and a specific message that is clearly directed at today’s social climate. That transition to some more meaty topics was not completely successful despite including much of what has made this such a phenomenal run so far.

At the end of last issue Cap was once again frozen in ice. He has now awoken years in the future after a band a rebels stole him from the people who were using his frozen corpse as a decoration. A man out of time once again he is dismayed by what the world has become in his absence. The world is now a wasteland where most live in dangerous conditions full of anarchy and despair. Despite the lack of resources the richest of the rich live in luxury leaving all others is destitute conditions. All the heroes have been killed leaving a those left behind without hope. Now unfrozen and make to his former self Cap looks to right so many wrongs to bring back the country he once knew.

You can understand where Waid and Samnee are coming from in this issue. No doubt frustration with the state we find ourselves in the real world has influenced the message of this story. Their hearts may be in the right place but that execution came off as clunky and far too on the nose. Never will I tire of seeing Cap take down fascist dictators so there is still a level of inspiration gained from this. Next issue could easily flesh this out into something more. You do get the sense based on how the last issue ended that not everything may not be as it appears.

It appears this is following the same formula as Chris Samnee and Mark Waid’s run on Black Widow. Whereas it went along Samnee took over more and more of the writing duties until it was his alone. Samnee’s greatest strength as an artist is his storytelling ability. Even in an issue like this that has some narrative issues, it is a work of art to look at. He can capture the movement of Captain America better than anyone. Having clear and concise choreography gives the action beats some major impact.

Overall this is a recommendable issue despite not being as sharp as the past few. At the end of the day, it is just great to see Captain America in the hands of creators that fully comprehend what makes him an icon.

*** 3/5

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