Captain America #695
Home of the Brave
Even if you are not into comic books or do not read Marvel Comics, you probably still have a vague idea of what has been happening in Captain America over the course of Marvel’s latest series event, “Secret Empire.” But for those who are not up to speed—Steve Rogers was transformed into the Ultimate Hydra Agent and everybody lost their minds like they had never read a comic book before!
Look, I am not the biggest fan of “Secret Empire,” but I don’t hate it. It has some good story points, but some people way overreacted to the whole Hydra Cap thing. So let’s do this quickly: somehow, the old Steve Rogers came back and defeated the new Steve Rogers (I am not going to attempt to explain it, just know it involves the cosmic cube and reality warping) and now the new/old Captain America is back to rebuild his tarnished reputation. That is all the backstory you really need to know to enjoy Captain America #695. Try not to think about it too much.
Mark Waid is probably the perfect person to bring Steve Rogers on this journey, which starts in Captain America #695. He has a wealth of comic book knowledge; he is a guy that has been telling great superhero stories for a very long time. (Check out his runs on DC’s The Flash, his original Captain America run in the 90s, and his most recent runs of Daredevil and Black Widow.)
Waid does a great job of not dwelling on the whole “Secret Empire” thing. He addresses it, but that address is short and to the point. And, really, that is what it needs to be (I hope further issues do not focus too much on it). He does not have Cap sad or moping around. Waid gets our star-spangled hero back into action in Captain America #695.
Waid catches what I love about Captain America: he stands up. In a world of grey areas, Captain America is that truth beacon that the Marvel Universe can look to for what is right. Waid also has a fantastic essay in the back of this issue that delves into why he loves Captain America so much and what this beloved superhero means to him.
Captain America #695 has another great storyteller in artist Chris Samnee. Samnee, who collaborates with Mark Waid often (see Black Widow and Daredevil), brings all that glory and honor back to Cap with his simple, yet complex, art style. Samnee’s lineart is wonderfully tight and concise. The characters really pop off the page, but not in an obnoxious way. He is not super detailed in his work, but he gets the essence of the characters down and, even in faraway shots, you can tell who the characters are and what is happening. Also, Cap’s costume looks fantastic! Samnee brings back the simplistic, classic design that works so well.
But a lot of the style and feel of Captain America #695 has to go to colorist Matthew Wilson. The colors are a bit faded and give Captain America #695 an old-school feeling. That is not to say they do not pop appropriately when needed, but Wilson gives the overall tone of a classic comic that is absolutely perfect for this story.
Captain America #695 is about as good as a Captain America book could be coming out of the “Secret Empire” event series. With the whole Hydra Cap thing, Sam Wilson being Captain America, and a host of other things going on, it was nice to see Steve Rogers get “back to the basics.” One of my favorite things—whether it be in writing, sports, or whatever—is the occasional fun, flashy, and exciting moment. But those need to be used sparingly and the old saying always true: the basics always work. I mean, that is why they are called “basic fundamentals!” While Captain America #695 is not the greatest story ever told, it is a good start and it is great to have “basic” Captain America back.
Did you enjoy this month’s issue of Captain America? How do you feel about the “Secret Empire” series? Let us know in the comments!
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!