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Captain America #697 Review

An excellent done in one issue featuring Kraven the hunter!

Of all the series to come out since Marvel revealed their Marvel Legacy initiative, Captain America may be the closest to getting back to a character’s roots. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have not only brought back a cross-country traveling Cap, but also a character who is simpler and more focused on helping the people. For so long he’s been the leader of a team or enwrapped in convoluted stories it’s hard to remember when he was this pure.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

HOME OF THE BRAVE PART Part 3 Kraven the Hunter has a new target – and it’s Steve Rogers! Trapped in unfamiliar territory, stripped of his shield and on the run, Cap must find a way to evade Kraven long enough to save an innocent life – but this time, that might be impossible! And just wait until you see the final page… Rated T+

Why does this matter?

The latest arc has been written so that each issue can be enjoyed as standalone stories. Come jump in and enjoy some of the best Cap stories in years. This time it’s Cap vs. Kraven — who ya got?

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

He’s got some weird looking trophies.

Chris Samnee is one of the best in the business right now. Hands down. His ability to tell a well-paced and always-moving story makes comics by him stand out. Much of this book is purely visual with little to no dialogue and yet you’ll be in the palm of his hand the entire time. That’s due to the eye being drawn naturally across and down the page that also maintains great action. Witness Cap avoiding traps in an intense sequence as Cap tries to keep himself and an innocent victim alive. Watch as Cap takes out a flipping tiger. There’s much more than that and it’s always exciting.

The story here is somewhat basic, but it hits at the core of how awesome Cap can be. You can tell Waid and Samnee were plotting each issue to show a different side of Captain America. This issue focuses on his ability to stay hyper aware and ready for anything. His ability to sense a trap most likely comes from his many years fighting the Nazis, and it shows how tactful he is here. So often these stories focus on his heightened strength and speed, but he’s a tactician too, and that’s on display in this issue.

The issue also wraps up well, much like you’d expect a Flash Gordon comic to end. I’ll be ready and waiting for the next issue just to see how Cap can get out of the next battle.

Wait, Cap drinks beer?!

It can’t be perfect can it?

Is it crazy I thought it was weird Cap was drinking a beer in the first scene? He’s also relaxing, which seems so odd! Part of me wants more of that–it’s always nice to see heroes in the off hours–but it did seem out of place. It does tie into a post credits-like scene involving a very popular character, but beyond that, it seemed somewhat strange.

Is It Good?

You can’t beat the superhero storytelling chops of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. They’re both working marvelously together and each and every issue of this series proves that.

Captain America #697
Is it good?
One of the best superhero books on the stands in part because every issue is a done in one story.
Chris Samnee knows how to tell a well paced and kinetic tale drawing your eye across the page
The issue keys into Cap's strategic prowess
Excellent cliffhanger
A minor quibble, but the opening scene sticks out as a means to hook into a extra scene at the end of the book

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