Of Swords and Shields (Captain America #696 Comic Review)

Written By: Mark Waid

Art By: Chris Samnee

Colors By: Matthew Wilson

What You Missed

Steve Rogers has returned! He’s riding his trusty motorcycle across the US of A and looking for a new place to call home! All the while villains try to draw out the symbol of freedom; and just who are the mysterious terrorists known as Rampart?


What You’ll Find Out

What new old rival will the Captain engage with as he enters Sauga River? More importantly, will this be a place to call home?


What Just Happened?

Steve makes his arrival in Sauga River while on the phone with Sharon Carter. Before hanging up he expresses a desire to have a place to call his own; as well as no longer be tied to NYC. He believes if Captain America is to represent everybody, he should meet those ‘everybodies’.

Steve enters a diner where his celebrity does not go unnoticed. Insisting he’d wash dishes in exchange for lunch but is soundly rebuffed. After a light lunch he decides while the town is nice it’s just a bit too small for his tastes.

It’s at this point that The Swordsman (of all people) challenges Cap! He’s atop the towns dam and has slaughtered the staff! If Captain America doesn’t meet him within 20 minutes he’ll open the floodgates and wipe out the town. Cap of course springs into All-American Action and engages Swordsman. Learning quickly while this may not be the original, he IS a serious threat (with a vibranium sword to boot). After dueling with swords and shields for a while Cap realizes that the main floodgate has opened,. He dispatches of Swordsman and using the indestructible sword closes the floodgate, and saves the town. Then our hero once again, rides off into the sunset to another town.

While i was disappointed there was no follow-up for Rampart; I thought this issue was good. Nothing mind blowing and there’s fear that this format may grow stale. That being said it has a classic feel; a throwback to the old days when you got one story per issue. It makes the book feel old-school and wholesome, pair that with a humble art style that isn’t too flashy and you’ve got a book that FEELS like Cap. Simple and down to earth.

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Shoot The Breeze Staff Writer

Shoot The Breeze Staff Writer

Shoot The Breeze Staff Writer

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A new issue which clears up exactly WHY Captain America is riding cross-country, as well as properly introducing a ‘Villain-of-the-Week’ format. It shows Cap as a humble, down to earth hero who just wants a place to call home, but won’t hesitate to protect his country. Swordsman offers little in the way of genuine threat but a grandiose plan provides plenty of heroics for our hero. Nothing spectacular but a solid issue from Waid nonetheless.
  • Classic Feel
  • Makes Cap feel like Cap
  • Simple and Fun
  • Swordsman is a weak Villain
Story - 8
Artowrk - 8
Cover Art - 10
Continuity - 10
Characters - 8
Conflict - 5

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