The Star-Spangled Avenger Shines in CAPTAIN AMERICA #700

Comic Book News

by Joane 92 Views 0

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 marks an outstanding milestone in the annals of the Star-Spangled Avenger. Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson conclude the “Out of Time” arc with this issue. It acts as both a great conclusion to the arc, and a fantastic milestone for the character.

Unlike other milestones, CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 doesn’t waste any page space of the core story with callbacks and side stories highlighting the other parts of Steve’s world. There’s a nifty little 10-page short at the back of the issue, filled with original Jack Kirby art, but we’ll get to that later.

The core story of CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 is the one you’ve been reading for the past few issues, through and through. With this milestone, Waid, Samnee, and Wilson tell a story that speaks to Captain America’s character just as much as any amount of flashbacks could. We see Cap as both a valiant leader and a humble man. CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 highlights everything that makes Cap an amazing hero.

Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu Take On CAPTAIN AMERICA #1

The Hero of CAPTAIN AMERICA #700

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 picks up with Steve Rogers leading the charge, as America starts to rebuild. As the de facto leader of the rebellion and savior of America, Steve was named King Rogers. Of course, he hates the title, but he accepts it anyway, as everyone seems to naturally follow him.

Steve’s leadership is frantic, to say the least. He has just about everything to juggle, in terms of rebuilding the entire nation of America. But, despite the frustrating odds, Cap remains steadfast through it all. Even when the option to return home pops up, he declines. He’s willing to put everything from the past behind him to help the future America rebuild. And, for almost a whole year, he does.

It’s the selfless kind of action you’d expect from Steve Rogers. It’s a great highlight of his morals and beliefs. However, just when things are looking up for Cap in the future, disaster appropriately strikes. Someone sets off a nuke in Manhattan, which brings everything down on Cap.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700
CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 page 13. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Steve realizes the faults with his beliefs; he realizes that hope won’t be enough to solve the problem and that he was very much in over his head. So, he begrudgingly returns to the past (or the present, depending on how you look at it; stupid time travel) to fix the dystopian future. Steve makes a triumphant return and ultimately defeats the Rampart, which, ideally, undoes everything in the future.

The Pros and Cons of CAPTAIN AMERICA #700

Ultimately, the finale to this arc is a great compilation of the things that make Steve Rogers who he is. He’s selfless, staunch in his convictions, and willing to fight until the very end. There’s an abundance of moments specifically pointing to these traits throughout the issue.

When Steve is offered the chance to return to the past, he declines because he’s unsure of how the science behind the time travel would work (which should be anyone’s reaction to anything time travel related). Steve wants to stay in the future to help rebuild because he has real lives to protect, versus the hypothetical ones he could maybe save by returning to the past. The idea is that he could fail, and it would all be for nothing.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700
CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 page 9. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

This is a very sensible reaction. Not only does it speak to Cap’s beliefs, but it also shows how he’s opening up to new methods of thinking. When was the last time Steve Rogers legitimately took the time to think about the consequences of something based on the science of it? It doesn’t happen very often. This is a nice bit of character development thrown in by Waid.

This idea of Steve changing as a character comes up again when he decides to return home. When Steve realizes his current efforts are in vain, he says, “Hope is not a plan,” to which Bruce Banner replies, “That’s the least Captain America thing I’ve ever heard.” Banner couldn’t be more right. That’s not at all a Captain America thing to say. But it’s important that Steve said it, because it shows, again, that he’s changing, and coming to grips with reality. For a character who basically never loses hope, this is a very meaningful change for Steve Rogers.

Captain America: Moralistic Hero or Propaganda Tool?

Where CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 Goes Wrong

However, the colossal fault of CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 is its ending. Let’s just say that basically everything that has happened in the last three issues is retconned. Everything. Including all of that great development I just mentioned, plus whatever I missed in this review. How? Well, you’ll have to read to figure that out.

It’s extremely unfortunate. The arc wasn’t the best material Captain America has ever gotten, but it was definitely fun. It was creative and unique, especially for a character like Captain America. And, with the milestone of CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 came a lot of great moments for the character. It’s a shame that, in the end, it was all basically for nothing.

However, that’s not to say this milestone fails. Yes, the ending drops the ball for the “Out of Time” arc as a whole, but it’s still a great culmination of the character of Captain America. So, yeah, not a total failure, I guess.

Incredible Art for an Incredible Milestone

Samnee and Wilson deliver their usual brand of smooth, clean pages, with their expressive characters and energetic action sequences. The story deftly moves between the colorful sequences of Cap fighting in and rebuilding America, and the darker, more solemn moments in the headquarters.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700
CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 page 22. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

There are a ton of great artistic moments in CAPTAIN AMERICA #700. The montage where we see Cap spending a year in the future is very pleasant to look at and easy to follow. It gives you a strong sense of the progress that’s being made in the rebuilding of America. The fade where Cap returns to the past/present is also particularly enjoyable. Something about the way the colors flow on the page is just really entrancing.

Overall, this is definitely another success in the books of Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson.

Star-Spangled Extras!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700
CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 page 31. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Let’s not forget, though, the extra story at the end of CAPTAIN AMERICA #700! Like I mentioned earlier, the art for this 10-page story features art from Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby. I’m assuming these were old pages of Kirby’s that never got used. Thankfully, Mark Waid saw fit to put a story to them, And it’s a really nice story, too.

It features Captain America rushing to save a man’s life, while also having to fend off the Red Skull’s cronies. The story as a whole is told in a very simplistic manner, but that’s what makes it so great. It feels so much like an old issue of Captain America.

7 Reasons Superman and Captain America Are Better Than Perfect

The art, of course, is incredible. Any fan of the old Captain America comics will be right at home. It’s easy for anyone to appreciate the elegance of these pages. Like the story, the elegance comes from the simplicity. It complements Samnee’s style very well.

The final line of this short tale is a great summary of Captain America and a perfect way to end CAPTAIN AMERICA #700.

“Captain America is one of a kind.”

Here’s to a Hundred More

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 is a star-spangled milestone. It marks a huge turning point for the character and brings the energetic “Out of Time” arc to a close.

Though this milestone is not without its flaws, those problems can be easily overlooked, thanks to the plethora of great content in this issue. Between the fast-paced and simplistic storytelling, the always impeccable art of Samnee and Wilson, and the lovely 10-page story featuring art by Jack Kirby, there’s a lot to love about CAPTAIN AMERICA #700.

Don’t miss out on this awesome occasion! Go get yourself a copy of CAPTAIN AMERICA #700, on the double!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson
Art
Characterization
Plot

Summary

Though it's not a flawless milestone, CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 is a fantastic issue, and a great summary of all the things that make Captain America such a great hero.

91 %

A Star-Spangled Success

Comments