Captain America #695
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Home of the Brave Part 1
Steve Rogers in a mission to rebuild his reputation after the events of Secret Empire and the reader is given a short history lesson into the life of the one-time hero and symbol. Ten years ago, Captain America is in the small town of Burlington, Nebraska. While he’s there, he finds himself in a firefight with a group of white supremacists calling themselves Rampart who have taken over a local police station and are holding a group of school children hostage. After inspiring the scared children to be brave and help each other as he takes on the well armed group, Cap leaves with few people even remembering who he was.
Ten years later, Steve Rogers returns to Burlington and sees that things have changed. Apparently, after his exploits in the town, the people started a Captain America Celebration that is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. Steve decides to check out the festivities and hears testimonials on the stage from people who have come from all over to talk about how they’ve been personally affected by Steve’s actions. Unfortunately, a newly revived Rampart is at the celebration as well and they’re looking to finish what they started.
Steve Rogers search for redemption is the next logical step after the events of Secret Empire and this short story is a good first step. The only real issue I have with it is a sense of low stakes. Steve goes from a place where he is almost universally reviled for being a fascist dictator to a town where he’s loved as a stoic hero. It’s as if everything that was done in the previous arc is just glossed over as just another thing. Waid does a great job of crafting a classic Captain America vs the bad guys story and Samnee’s art does a great job of giving Steve some heroic moments. I just hope that there is more conflict emotional and external to be had in this series going forward. I want Steve back as a hero, but glossing over what was done in his name takes away some great dramatic tension.