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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 136

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at Captain America #444, the first issue of Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s first run on Captain America.


At the time that Mark Waid and Ron Garney took over Captain America, Cap was missing and presumed dead after Cap’s own Super Soldier Serum began to kill him.

So in their first issue, Captain America wasn’t even IN THE COMIC!

And that’s a major problem seeing as how there is a group of terrorists who had taken hostages and made only one demand – they wanted Captain America!

There is a snide government official working with the Avengers on figuring out how to stop the bad guys, and meanwhile, he got lessons from the various Avengers in how cool Captain America was (the official was fairly dismissive towards Cap, figuring “what’s the big deal?”). I particularly love the job Ron Garney does on this panel, with the Avengers all mad at him for not seeing what the big deal about Cap is…

He is lame enough that he even thinks he can send a FAKE Cap in – the bad guys are not impressed – the official did not even get the stripes right on the shield!!!

All hope seems lost, until the Avengers (inspired by Cap’s memory, of course) take the fight to the bad guys, and are doing well – until a mistake lands Quicksilver in deep trouble. However, out of nowhere….

Everyone turns…

Pretty darn cool.

Even the little “after-moment” bit is neat…

Isn’t that a clever first issue for Waid and Garney? And that just sets up the REAL return of Captain America, which happened the next issue!

I’ll feature that story, as well, some time in the future!

NOTE: I featured these moments for the Year of Cool Comic Book Moments.


Man, the 90s were crazy. I can hardly recognize any of those Avengers… at first glance, I only make out Black Widow, Quicksilver, and I’m 99% sure that’s Rambo.

and I’m 99% sure that’s Rambo.

It definitely not one of Hercules’ best looks.

This was the comci where Herclues says (in a bit of Captain Marvel tribute) that in his pantheon they measure strength by God A, speed by god B, and courage by Cpatain America.

The others are Crystal, Deathcry, and Hank Pym. But I don’t see Deathcry going to the mat for a mere human whom she barely knows. Not every Marvel character venerates Cap. Wolverine, Punisher, Daredevil, and Spider-Man are among those who wouldn’t shout at someone about Cap’s greatness.

Captain Librarian

May 17, 2010 at 7:57 am

Wolverine, Punisher, Daredevil, and Spider-Man are among those who wouldn’t shout at someone about Cap’s greatness.


Punisher has demonstrated numerous times he respects Cap. Especially as a fellow veteran. They saluted each other at Arlingtonton once, heck he donned his own Cap uniform in honor of him after Steve died, only dropping it when he realized he couldn’t be Captain America. Wolverine? They fought in WWII together! And Spider-man? Civil War anyone? Not so sure about Daredevil but it was in Frank Miller’s Daredevil run where he was described as the man with “A voice that could command a god…and does.”

Not every hero reveres Cap I suppose, but those aren’t good examples.

Ya, that statement is only accurate in that three of those people wouldn’t shout. Matt would scowl, Wolverine would growl and possibly pop a claw threateningly, and Punisher would just punch your lights out.

Yeah, it’s more accurate, IMHO, to say that people like The Hulk or Ghost Rider don’t think of Cap as all-mighty awesome. And even then it’s a stretch. Cap is pretty much the Supes of the MU, you know? And Deathcry *did* work under him for a while.

Willie Everstop

May 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

I’ve always wondered if Captain America’s shield has any natural resistance to dark magic since the shield is a one of a kind symbol that millions of people believe in, sort of like the Statue of Liberty in Ghostbusters II.

capt usa(jim)

May 17, 2010 at 11:11 am

Deathcry is about the only one that I think might have been out of character, and that comment above about Wolverine, Punisher, Daredevil and Spidey is obviously posted by someone who has never seen a team-up between any of the four. Sure Punisher and Wolverine might argue, disagree and call him a boyscout, but I can’t think of one team up in which they didn’t respect him pretty well. And Spidey practically worships Cap in nearly every appearance(and that isn’t an understatement). Daredevil respects Cap immensely also, he may not back down from him, but in any team situation, he follows Cap just like the rest of the Marvel U.

I’ve always wondered if Captain America’s shield has any natural resistance to dark magic since the shield is a one of a kind symbol that millions of people believe in, sort of like the Statue of Liberty in Ghostbusters II.

That’d be a great bit for a future story, like a fill-in issue of Cap.

The Punisher is a Captain America fanboy.

Unfortunately at this point in time in Avengers history, Deathcry had been devolved from a bad-ass Shi’ar warrior to an emotionally unstable sixteen year old school girl. As this was in an era before facebook, myspace and twitter, she probably spent a lot of time reading up on Avengers history, so she could please her new ‘family’.

Haha, that guy just pulled a McElroy on all of us. It’s pretty much canon that every Marvel superhero and anti-hero is a huge fan of Cap. A lot of the bad guys even.

You know… even when it’s well-written, even when it makes sense, I just cannot get into stories that involve a bunch of the title character’s friends telling some filthy unbelieved about why the title character is the greatest human ever to stride upon the Earth. It always feels like an obnoxious violation of show-don’t-tell to me, especially in an issue like this that’s beginning a much longer work.

I think I’ve read most of Cap’s team-ups with the characters I listed. I agree these characters respect Cap, but they wouldn’t “shout at someone about Cap’s greatness.” Quiet respect is one thing; an angry defense of Cap is another.

And FYI, Spidey would make a quip about Cap’s greatness rather than exclaim “Jerk!” or “Watch your mouth.” If you don’t know that, you probably need to read a Spider-Man comic.

One of the greatest losses we suffered through the imposition of the Heroes Reborn fiasco was the missing extra year of Waid/Garney Cap we would otherwise have had! They were on fire on the book, especially in their first run (which this issue kicked off), and the early part of their second.

The last page of Cap #2 (Heroes Return) had a kick like a mule. (The panel after “I pack my own shade”.)

There have been so many times that Spidey has expressed his awe at Cap’s greatness. He thinks Cap is the number one superhero — as does most of the Marvel Universe.

The most striking to me was in the mid-90s, during Carnage’s first appearance. Spidey cut a deal with Venom to help bring in Carnage, but he betrayed Venom at the end anyway. When JJJ said to Spidey, “Captain America would have kept his word,” Spidey took JJJ by the collar and said, “Captain America would have never even given his word. He’d have found another way – a perfect solution. He’s a legend. I’m just a man.”

There was also this moment in the (very much deservedly so) much-aligned Maximum Carnage, when all things were looking down for the heroes, and then Cap just shows up and the narrative equates him with hope. I don’t think Marvel has another superhero that would have fit that moment.

Deathcry was an Avenger? Like a card-carrying member? All I knew about her was she went accidentally kablooey (or kabluey) in the Starlord mini. So much for ‘world’s greatest heroes’. Thanks to Rob Schmidt for clarifying who these oddly dressed people are. Forget Cap, I think Crystal is the number one superhero. When the chips are down she still manages to keep her white gloves spotless and her jacket bursts nary a stitch. Did she join the Avengers on her way back from the mall?

Lynxara: I agree.

When I had read this issue I just hoped that Captain America really was dead and would stay that way.

ummm…why are you talking about who was/wasn’t in the Avengers or what other heroes think of Cap?
The point of this is the Waid/Garney made Cap a great book again after Gruenwald had made the book very pedestrian after about 100 issues.

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