Captain America #702
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Leonardo Romero, Rod Reis and Howard Chaykin
Colors by Jordie Bellaire, Rod Reis and Jesus Aburtov
The issue starts with a flashback to a mission in the underground of France in the 40’s with an injured Steve Rogers in the hands of the French Resistance and being hunted by Vichy soldiers. The entire interlude is compelling as it shows the impact of Captain America’s presence even without him actively being a part of the action. Unfortunately, the rest of the issue doesn’t match that same level.
It continues the story of Steve’s descendent Jack Rogers who is on the run after finding out the government is using the super soldier serum to create an army of Kree sleeper agents. I would have like to see more of that story. It would have added to the danger Jack is in. What does happen is that Jack makes his way to a secret lair for Historians and tries to explain what’s happening, but no one believes him. This is where the story takes a logic misstep in my opinion. If they are all historians, why couldn’t they look back to the events that led him to their location? Why was Jack so easily dismissed by people dedicated to history itself?
The only person who does believe him is the one that (of course) everyone thinks is crazy and he sends Jack on a mission that is understandably farfetched considering none of what comes next was hinted at in the first part of this story. I went back and reread the previous issue and found nothing that connected this part of the story to the first and what happens at the end of the issue goes from being a shocking reveal to a moment of dread because it happens to fast to be compelling or interesting.
Everything about the final act of this issue could have been better served as the beginning of the next issue. The moment isn’t given enough time to be appreciated by the reader and it moves too fast to the final panel, taking away the building tension that the first part of the issue tries to establish. There is something disjointed about this issue and it ultimately falls flat both in the story and the characters.