This meandering blog of mine is generally about Whatever. Records, games, comic books and more comic books. The output is improving and in that tradition a new aspect to this will begin: “Old Comics Wednesday.” It won’t really be about old comics but recent comics and usually a week or few later after they are released. I just don’t have the mojo to review anything the day of or before. If someone wants to hook me up…
Be forewarned of Minor SPOILERS ahead for this issue.
God Bless You mark Mark Waid and Chris Samnee for Captain America #695.
Now before we get all Hail Hydra! snake-handling-praise-the-lord here I have to come clear on two very salient points:
Point the First: I had absolutely no issue (HA! issue) over Nick Spencer’s “Hail Hydra” Captain America storyline. To me it sounded like a great twist and a fun story, its superhero comics peoples.
A character going “bad” and redeeming him or herself is a tried and true comics trope: Batman’s contingency plans being used against the JLA in “Tower of Babel,” Bucky coming back as a super spy/assassin Winter Soldier, Green Lantern Hal Jordan went to the Dark Side and died and came back as The Spectre and sort of died again and finally came back as Green Lantern, Black Widow’s sordid past is always coming back to haunt her, Raven is the daughter of a demon lord and seems to go evil every Thanksgiving and Wolverine went Full Assassin of the Hand in “Enemy of the State.”
And let us not even start on superhero deaths.
People’s exhibit B: I haven’t read it. That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t, I always thought it might read better in a collected format, a superhero, Cosmic Cube powered “Manchurian Candidate.” I absolutely plan to as I work for a Very Large library system and plan to “check it out.” I haven’t gotten around to it as I have such a backlog in my reading queue as it is.
Truth be told I haven’t read much of any Marvel lately and by that I mean they aren’t publishing Fantastic Four. I have been reading Doctor Strange as that has been a fun read as the good doctor has been having his ass handed to him as of late.
The industry and fan scuttlebutt is that Marvel is in a major hitting slump as far as sales go and there all kinds of speculations about that, however if Cap’s latest outing is any indication I will find some shekels to throw at this every month for a while. That’s right: monthly.
I have loved Samnee’s art going back to the very short lived Thor: The Mighty Avenger, and These Two Guy’s work on Daredevil and Black Widow have been great. His Captain America and Bucky series was brilliant (writing and drawing) and if this keeps up he is going to be like Frank Miller only less… Frank Miller. You need to go follow him on Instagram @chrissamnee and you will see the influences of Alex Toth and Wally Wood.
Full Disclosure: I told Mark Waid that Black Widow had the feel of a Bond film at Indy Comic Con, I think it would also be read best as a collected edition if not for the great cliffhangers in each issue.
This Cap #695 feels like Captain America, as in it feels like: CAPTAIN AMERICA
He is even in his old styled spandex/leotard suit without the scale mail armor and utility belt (Very Kirby) and, and, and he’s riding around the country on a motorcycle!
The town of Captain America, NE easily feels like Metropolis, IL and that works on so many levels. The douchebag bad guys feel appropriately like domestic terrorists and are more than a little chilling given the recent events in the U.S.A. in New York City, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, TX. My favorite parts of the story are the testimonies given by the people about Cap saving or inspiring them. That is more emotionally resonant than any superheroics.
In Ye Olden Message Board Days I used to run threads about classic actors playing superheroes, one example being inspired by Kingdom Come; Gregory Peck as Batman. For Cap I always thought that Randolph Scott…
…would have been a natural and if we could he would play Captain America.