Captain America #697
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Steve Rogers continues his journey across America and his latest stop might be his last. After having what he thinks is a friendly game of pool in a local bar, Steve is drugged. When he wakes up, he is in uniform and in the lair of Kraven the Hunter. He is fitted with a collar that keeps him at a distance from Kraven and when Steve confronts the Hunter about how he refuses to play his game, Kraven shows him an incentive that gets the Avenger on his feet and into action.
As Steve comes to the rescue of a random citizen brought in to entice Cap to allow himself to be hunted, Kraven makes his move. Cap and David proceed to move through the jungle on their way to the coast with Kraven in pursuit and through a series of traps laid out by the big game hunter. As the pair get closer to the coast, Cap puts his skills to the test to draw out Kraven as well as uncover the mystery of his new travel companion.
I won’t spoil the end of this issue, but I really enjoyed it. I especially loved that one of Steve’s true fears is used against him. This issue and the subsequent arc itself continue to impress and I love the journey that Waid is taking Steve on. There is a classic element to this issue in particular in that it feels like classic storytelling with interesting stakes for both Steve and Kraven. I enjoy Kraven’s admiration for Cap as well as Steve’s reverence to the hunter’s skills. Steve’s calculating mind and ability to strategize are two of his strengths that don’t get mentioned that often and they are used really well in this issue.
Samnee’s art impressed me in this issue. It was minimal, which allowed me to focus on both Steve and Kraven in a way that made the moments between them seem intimate. This was an enjoyable issue with a fun ending.