Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mark Waid Reminds Me Why I Love The Character Of Captain America

After enjoying the successful Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), I decided to pick up the highly recommended Captain America: Man Out Of Time trade hardback from writer Mark Waid and artist Jorge Molina.

Of course, it helped that the Borders chain is in its death throes and I got a sweet deal on the title.

Captain America: Man Out Of Time is a 5-issue series that sort of re-imagines Cap waking up in modern America. Not quite in sync with the current film, nor totally in line with the action of that famous issue of "The Avengers" from way back when, this series takes some liberties and manages to still get at the essence of the character.

Frankly, issues 1 and 2 are a bit unfocused, with moments wasted and a reader feeling a bit lost.

However, those final 3 issues are gems! Just wonderful stuff here. Jorge Molina's art is not the sort I'd rave about but I think it works. And Waid does a pretty good job of somehow doing something new and wholly familiar with Captain America, making a reader sort of reacquaint him- or herself with Steve Rogers and his unique plight in the modern age.

What I enjoyed so much about the series is the weird way that Waid somehow makes the character have traits at once conservative and liberal.

Steve Rogers remains this wholesome All-American war hero and, yet, he is also a figure being used by the president and Tony Stark -- if not used, at least manipulated.

Yet, Captain America/Steve Rogers loves his country even after being given a crash course in what he's missed since WW2: Vietnam, Watergate, and so on.

If you can find this on sale, it's certainly worth the money. And the volume contains a reprint of Captain America's first appearance in issue 4 of "The Avengers" from 1964.