Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
In 1995 Captain America was in rough shape. For 137 issues Mark Gruenwald had been the principal architect for Captain America’s adventures. For over a decade Gruenwald had put Captain America through the ringer more then once and had crafted some truly great stories but by the mid-‘90s the run was faltering and the title was a tough read and for a time, for me, it became unreadable. Marvel knew they had a problem and the Star-Spangled Avenger needed some fresh blood. Enter Mark Waid and Ron Garney. This duo revived Captain America, both on the pages but also in sales as their storyline, Operation Rebirth, returned Captain America to the status and prestige deserving of the character.
Flash forward twenty-two years and Captain America is once again in need of a new direction, or rather a return to an original direction. Love it or hate it there is no arguing that the entirety of the Hydra Cap storyline that culminated in Secret Empire had divided a fan base and turned off many long time Captain America readers. Once again there was a need to revive the franchise, to return Cap to his historic roots, to live up to his Legacy. Once again Marvel has called upon Mark Waid, this time joined by his longtime collaborator Chris Samnee and with Captain America #695 they restore everything long time readers love about Captain America and tell a perfect Cap story.
Mark Waid may arguably be the biggest Captain America fan and it shows when he has a chance to write the character. He understands the importance and gravitas of Captain America, not only to the Marvel Universe but comic books in general and he masterfully tells a tale that reaffirms Cap’s place in the pantheon of Marvel greats. Captain America #695 is a simple story but a needed departure from how large and complex the title had become in the build up to Secret Empire. Our new tale is grounded as Captain America has taken to the road to reaffirm his love of America as well as reassuring America that Cap’s antiquated values are still alive in the modern world and maybe needed now more then ever. Chris Samnee was a brilliant choice to join Waid on this title, as his rendering of Captain America is perfect. He somehow brings back the classic costume but makes it fit in the modern world, pirate boots and all. I haven’t been as excited in a long time to read a comic book as I was Captain America #695. There have been some great comics released in recent months but I’m comfortable in stating Captain America #695 is a perfect comic and will reaffirm every Captain America fan that the future is bright as this has the making of a modern classic.
Verdict: There was very little doubt that Captain America #695 was going to a great read. When it was announced that Mark Waid was returning to the title and would be joined by Chris Samnee, his co-creator on Daredevil and Black Widow. My anticipation was high and I was blown away with the actual product. Captain America #695 will leave every Cap fan breathless and maybe a little teary eyed as the True Captain America has finally returned to his rightful place in comic history. Go out and BUY this comic, it will not disappoint.