REVIEW: Captain America #696 – “The Shield is Mightier Than the Sword”

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CAPTAIN AMERICA #696
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Chris Samnee
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 12/06/17
Rating: T+

Captain America

Plot: Captain America’s next road stop is Sauga River, GA. Even though he tries to keep a low profile, Steve Rogers gets instantly recognized and causes a media circus for the small town. Unfortunately this also catches the attention of the all-new Swordsman.

Story: Right on the first page, Mark Waid adds another purpose to Steve’s road trip. While talking to Sharon Carter over the phone, Cap tells her he’s looking for a new place to live. Putting Cap in a small town works goes back to the overall purpose of Steve reconnecting with American citizens. Plus Steve seems like the guy who would prefer living in a small country town over a large metropolis. Also this helps break the traditional setting of Marvel’s superheroes always living in New York City.

Waid also uses this issue to show one of Captain America’s positive characteristics. Cap is a man who always pays his own way. During this story, Steve willingly offers to wash dishes for a late lunch. However, after he gets recognized, a diner owner named Joe gives him free food. Despite Joe’s generous offer, Steve insists on compensating him for his meal. Waid captures Steve’s humility excellently and shows why it makes him a great character. Also this issue ends with a more comical exchange between Cap and Joe when Joe gives Steve some food for the road.

 

Another great thing about this story is it’s simplicity. The reader knows which characters are good, and who’s the bad guy. Plus the plot is very straightforward. This issue doesn’t lead into a bigger story arc which is refreshing from most of today’s comics. Also Christmas is around the corner and this comic is a great stocking stuffer for Captain America fans.

Art: This issue’s arwork is spectacular. My favorite thing was the color choices. Matthew Wilson tones down most of the red and blue colors except for Captain America suited up. This really helps Cap stand out on the pages and makes his fight scenes with Swordsman more dynamic.

Chris Samnee’s drawings are awesome. His design of Sagua River really feel like a typical American small town. This idea is cemented when we see Steve Rogers looking over the town while at the local diner. Also the facial expressions work well with the characters emotions which give the reader a clear idea for the story’s tone. Plus that shot of Captain America riding his motorcycle into action is awesome.

Verdict: Captain America #696 is a fun read. The story is entertaining and feels simple enough for casual fans to get on board. Plus Mark Waid shows off why Captain America is a great character. Also Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson show some stunning artwork that brings the story to life. Overall, if you’re a Captain America fan, then this issue is for you.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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