Captain America #695 brings readers out of the gloom of the Secret Empire series and allows Steve Rogers a chance to move out of the shadow of his nefarious work as a secret agent of Hydra. Where does a hero go when they are looking for a rebirth? On a solo road trip to past glory.
Rogers visits the town of Burlington, Nebraska, which renamed itself Captain America, Nebraska after he saved the town from a white supremacist group a decade ago. The book jumps from Rogers’ past glory to the present day, and in going back to his ‘roots’, Rogers learns that the town celebrates him and his good work.
By the end of the comic, Rogers stands tall after saving the town again, and maybe the man who was the worst villain in the world has found his place again and a role that is useful to the world.
Since Secret Empire ended, the Marvel comic world has been picking up the pieces from the disaster that an evil Steve Rogers wrought. His supreme control as the leader of Hydra meant the death of many and forced other heroes question what was always an absolute certainty. Steve Rogers was the very definition of good. I have seen how Black Panther and Falcon have sought out a new path, but what about the man who caused the problems; what will Steve Rogers do?
Captain America #695 begins that new journey for Captain America. The beginning of the comic has Rogers looking for a place in a world that has now been taught to fear the man. Rogers’ guilt about his actions has caused Captain America to go looking for who he is.
In a way this comic acts as a new origin story to a classic character. We don’t need to see how Steve Rogers becomes Captain America, we know that story. However, how does one come back from a place like he was in post-Secret Empire? Bringing him to a scene of past glory, as writer Mark Waid and Chris Samnee did, was an ideal spin to launch this new series. The comic is subtitled Home of the Brave Part 1 and it gives readers a hint of more to come.
Writers Waid and Samnee had a difficult job in bringing a new life to Rogers, and by going the route of splitting between past events and present day, they have done a terrific job in reintroducing us to a new Captain America. He’s broken from his actions and needs to mend himself. Bringing him back to Captain America, Nebraska, a place of success was the perfect reminder to Steve Rogers of how much good he has done.
Yes, Steve Rogers did some bad things, but the people who live in Captain America, Nebraska don’t care - they remember the good. They celebrate Captain America and believe that the real Captain America was held captive and replaced by an imposter during the Secret Empire events.
We don’t just watch a man coming to grip with his past. Captain America #695 even has a climatic battle. The white supremacist group Rampart has resurfaced and thought they would begin their new reign of terror in a place of their failure. Captain America stops them again, and before he could find out more, the bad guys self-destruct with a promise that “you will know more soon enough”. The battle is short and fun to watch. Who doesn’t like Captain America kicking butt? However, this is just a prelude of what’s to come.
Writer Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have taken the opportunity in this ‘origin story’ to make the reader question what is a hero. Rogers asks the townspeople about why he is a hero? Is it because he has a shield? Captain America shines a light on the ordinary people who helped the injured during his battle with Rampart, A self-aware superhero who reminds us what a real hero is? This would be a great new direction for a decades-old comic character trying to find his place in a new world. The fact that he still beats up the bad guys helps too.
Check out this new Steve Rogers. Revel in the classic Captain America costume, but will the world accept Steve Rogers like the people in a small town in Nebraska do, that’s the question readers are left wondering.
A good comic book will make you want more, and I know I will be following along to find out what happens to Captain America.