Reviews

Review – Captain America #696 (Marvel Comics)

Captain America #696 cover (detail) by Chris Samnee
Captain America #696 cover (detail) by Chris Samnee

Home of the Brave

Steve Rogers’ journey across America continues in Captain America #696. In this issue, Steve finds himself in another small town and again he tries to blend in with the locals, but that is not easy when you are the Star-Spangled Avenger. It is not long until everyone in town knows Captain America has arrived, including the new Swordsman! What better way for a new supervillain to make an entrance than taking down Captain America, and hey, why not destroy the whole town in the process! In Captain America #696 it is shield vs. sword in a battle of the ages.

Captain America #696 cover by Chris Samnee
Captain America #696 cover by Chris Samnee

I am really digging what Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are doing with Captain America (their run started on the last issue with #695), having him travel across America and just do some regular superhero work. I like the one-and-done format happening so far story-wise; it is letting the team create a “base” for Captain America and letting everyone get reacquainted with “old/new” Steve Rogers before they thrust him into a big story. Acknowledging, but not focusing on what happened in Secret Empire also still seems like a very good move by Waid. It is still vaguely mentioned and brought up, but not dwelled upon.

Art

Chris Samnee continues to do wonderful work in Captain America #696; there is some really great cartooning throughout the issue. Samnee has a beautiful panel of Steve standing on a balcony overlooking the town that I just love; he catches the moment perfectly and it looks absolutely picturesque! Samnee also does some incredible panel layouts that really pace the action superbly.

Matthew Wilson’s colors continue to just be absolutely incredible in Captain America #696; he really just sets the tone for the whole series with his color palate. Captain America’s costume has never looked better with Wilsons bright, yet subdued coloring of it. Wilson’s colors just fit so perfectly with Samnee’s pencils and inks that they are literally a match made in heaven.

Samnee is credited along with Mark Waid as “storyteller” and that credit should also extend to Matthew Wilson. This team together has created an atmosphere around this series that is great. It feels uplifiting and just fun from the moment you open the first page. From Wilson’s warmth of coloring, Samnee’s “simple” cartooning style, to Waid’s understanding of storytelling flow, Captain America is a really great read–plus there is a full page of Captain America on a motorcycle, and you can’t go wrong with Samnee drawing Captain America on a motorcycle!

Conclusion

Captain America battles the new Swordsman in Captain America #696, Steve continues to travel America to find himself and let the American people know what Captain America stands for. These one-and-done stories have been great so far and have really helped reestablish the greatness of Steve Rogers. I also really like the short essays in the back with creators writing about what Captain America means to them; they have been very interesting so far. It is not a spoiler (it is on the cover), but I am super excited for issue #697, as Kraven the Hunter is showing up and I am hotly anticipating seeing a full comic of Samnee drawing him!


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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