I don't want to trivialize real events, but it seems right that this comic should hit the stands as so many in Iran fight for their vote to be heard and respected...

Anyway, while Steve doesn't make his big return in this issue (we gotta wait two weeks for that), Brubaker, in his story about the world one year after the loss of Cap, starts to reveal clues as to how it may happen. James, Sharon, Natasha, Clint, Luke, and Sam are all front and center...the real Avengers hiding and waiting for Osborn and his crew to slip up. This is the group that HAMMER is gonna have to watch out for...with Steve back to lead them, it's over for the government sanctioned Avengers.

Then, another pleasant surprise...Roger Stern catches us up with Bernie Rosenthal (!) and the old gang from the Brooklyn Heights days. This 80s-era fanboy was very happy to see this!

Mark Waid reveals how much he loves Cap and hates bad comic book companies in his story. It has echoes back to WW II (that vet looks familiar), Steve's NYPD days (I immediately thought of the Commander), and the sometimes rough 60s and 70s America. Tony Stark's continued respect for Steve is in evidence...and in a kinda weird implant...Cap's original Avengers card was signed by William J. Clinton? Oh, that old ten year rule...of, course, if you don't look at the card too closely it works out better for the other parts of the story. And shame on Marvel Comics in the Marvel U...dropping the Captain America license when he was branded a "traitor".

Then we get a nice essay by Joe Simon and a Stan Lee/Al Avison reprint.

It's a nice value for the money...

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I can't get the $%&*# quote function to work, but I wanted to respond to this:

"Cap's original Avengers card was signed by William J. Clinton? Oh, that old ten year rule...of, course, if you don't look at the card too closely it works out better for the other parts of the story. "

That Avengers card design was used in a promotional giveaway with Wizard magazine. I have one. It came with a polybagged issue and allowed you to paste your own picture on it and put your own signature on it.
ClarkKent_DC said:
I can't get the $%&*# quote function to work, but I wanted to respond to this:

"Cap's original Avengers card was signed by William J. Clinton? Oh, that old ten year rule...of, course, if you don't look at the card too closely it works out better for the other parts of the story. "

That Avengers card design was used in a promotional giveaway with Wizard magazine. I have one. It came with a polybagged issue and allowed you to paste your own picture on it and put your own signature on it.

Now that you mention it...I have one of those, too.
Rich Lane said:
Bernie is absolutely the best match for Steve of any of the women he's ever hooked up with. The representation of the American Dream should be with a person who is living in it. I like Sharon a lot, but she's far too larger-than-life to fit that bill.

Oh, and they got the look of an upper middle class Santa Fe neighborhood down perfectly.

This '80s-era fanboy was happy to see Bernie Rosenthal and Josh Cooper again, too! And Bernie always seemed a better fit for Steve than Sharon Carter, if only because she seemed not only more normal, but more likeable. But then, I never saw the stories with Sharon when she was likeable; I was introduced to her in the Mark Waid/Ron Garney stories after "Heroes Reborn," and in those, she was a bitter shrew.
I finally read this comic today, and overall I enjoyed it. It was one of the few times I thought Howard Chaykin's art fit into the story. I prefer him as a writer myself.

While reading the part with Crossbones and Sin, I kept thinking to myself,"If those were regular prison guards they wouldn't have had guns for Crossbones to take."

Put me as another one who prefers Bernie as Steve's best mate.

I was amused with the Golden Age reprint that the Red Skull could wear Cap's costume, and still wear his Red Skull mas underneath, and no one noticed.
Alan M. said:
Rich Lane said:
Oh, and did anyone else get the impression that Waid's story might have been inspired by his experiences at Crossgen?

"Isn't that the guy whose daddy bought him a comic book company?"

The solider and the cop were easy to figure out, but who is the guy who bought out the company supposed to represent?

I dunno...that was pretty subtle... [Rich, I need the eye-rolling smiley!]

I thought that was more of a dig at Atlas (from the '70s). Goodman started up a company for his son to run (and to show that he was the real power behind Marvel, not Stan Lee).
Chris Fluit said:
I thought that was more of a dig at Atlas (from the '70s). Goodman started up a company for his son to run (and to show that he was the real power behind Marvel, not Stan Lee).
Waid has an ax to grind with Alessi, though, and he hasn't been afraid to tell it how he feels. As far as I know, Waid has no history concerning Atlas. I'd say it's a pretty safe call that if he did mean for the character to represent a real person, it has more to do with his time at Crossgen than anything else
Rich Lane said:
Chris Fluit said:
I thought that was more of a dig at Atlas (from the '70s). Goodman started up a company for his son to run (and to show that he was the real power behind Marvel, not Stan Lee).
Waid has an ax to grind with Alessi, though, and he hasn't been afraid to tell it how he feels. As far as I know, Waid has no history concerning Atlas. I'd say it's a pretty safe call that if he did mean for the character to represent a real person, it has more to do with his time at Crossgen than anything else

Except that the scenarios don't match up.
Chris Fluit said:

Except that the scenarios don't match up.

Close enough. :)
There's so much to cover in this one issue.

I liked the origin re-"Cap." (Pun fully intended.) Sharon finding the gun she used on Steve was good. The 1950s Cap hints of things to come, perhaps ominous things to come. I've mentioned before that I didn't know that Rikki Barnes was on the main Earth but I sure enjoyed the story with her & Patriot; I hope that she joins the Young Avengers. I could be happy never seeing a new Crossbones story again. I liked the training session between Clint & James. The Red Skull two-pager seemed like a waste of space to me. I liked the memorial for Steve and I am going to be so darn glad when someone--Spidey, I hope--beats the snot out of Norman Osborn. Bernie & Josh were from before my time but I still enjoyed that story. The auction story helps humanize Tony Stark a bit but was bittersweet for all those who won their auctions. The behind-the-scenes essay by Joe Simon was very cool. The final story, though, was a stinker. It was longer than any other story in the book and I didn't even finish reading it. After a few pages, I just went to skimming. Blegh!

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