Captain America reaches his milestone 700th issue in fashion.
Talk about a month of milestones. Next week we get Action Comics #1000 and today we get Cap #700. You’d think these comic things were going on for a long time or something. This week, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee finish off their time traveling story and Waid teams up with Jack Kirby with a slice of history. That’s right, Jack Kirby draws a comic found from the archives!
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
It’s a milestone issue so you know it’ll have some surprises, iconic moments, and it’s extra-sized. That means more action and entertainment folks. Also, who doesn’t want to read a story drawn by Jack Kirby?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Fight em Cap!
The main story runs 30 pages (eight more pages of action!) and satisfyingly wraps up the time-hopping story that has Cap fighting a deformed man named Babbington. There are a lot of fight scenes since Cap is at war to save “New America” which allows Chris Samnee to really let the visual storytelling flow. There are panels that will stick with you, like the glaring eye of Cap as blood drips from his mask, or the disbelief on his face when the war takes a step back. Seeing Cap in a war-like setting is a suitable way of honoring the character as it’s where his roots lie.
The art is quite good (at this point that will make you utter “duh” I’m sure) and the final few pages are riveting because of it. If there’s one thing Captain America should embolden it’s to never give up hope. Samnee reminds us Cap is a stubborn character who does things even if it means the road ahead will be harder. We see this in his body language, the sullen eyes as the war carries on, and eventually the weathered joy in the final few pages.
The story is quite good and a fantastic finish to the arc. Up till this point we’ve seen Cap fight against the odds and win, even though there were losses, and this issue brings that to a whole new level. Cap fights through hell in this issue and you see it wear him down only to have the final few pages remind us Cap may be a super soldier, but at his heart, he’s a man who never gives up and deeply cares. He may be only a man, but it’s his heart that makes him a hero. It’s a reminder he’s the leader of the Avengers because no matter what he will never give up and that’s a trait that’s baked into the character more so than most.
The Jack Kirby story is a nice touch and it’s a reminder of the old school vibe Cap used to have. It’s funny Marvel pulled this from the archives to have Mark Waid write it, because DC Comics has their own archival comic printed in the Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman Deluxe Edition. The biggest takeaway from this story is how serious and intense Cap can be both in battle or just conversing with Nick Fury.
Jack Kirby is a god.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s some heavy s--t in this book, some of which I’m still processing, but the time travel story does have a twist to it that may piss some readers off. I don’t want to spoil it, and it does give the last few pages a whole new layer of meaning, but it also messes with your head. It also proposes we see something incredibly major happen, but due to time travel rules we also don’t.
Is It Good?
For $6 you get about 18 extra pages, which by most standards is actually a pretty good deal considering most Marvel Comics are $3.99 these days. This is a modern era story that’s iconic up to the minute you close the book. It’s a reminder Captain America’s true superpower is heart.