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Captain America #445: Review

Nov 1995
Mark Waid, Ron Garney

Story Name:

Operation: Rebirth Pt. 1/4: Old Soldiers Never Die

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Captain America #445 Review by (August 15, 2017)
Comments: Part one of four parts. Sharon Carter was presumed dead in issue #237 (1979). First appearance of General Ulysses R. Chapman, who will show up intermittently for a few years after this. Cap's pallbearers are: President Bill Clinton, Quicksilver, Rick Jones, the Thing, Black Widow, and Daredevil (in their civilian guises)--though I can't find any confirmation that the last pallbearer is Matt Murdock.

Review: And Cap comes face-to-face with his long-dead girlfriend and boy, is she ticked off. An exciting issue that barely lets us catch our breath with the developments flying at us fast and thick. And dealing with a hostile, no-longer-dead Sharon will serve as practice for when Bucky comes back about a decade later. Meanwhile, the story ends on an apocalyptic cliff-hanger: joining the Red Skull to stop World War Three. More to come.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #445 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
One month has passed since Captain America was reported missing (issue #444). The search for his body has been temporarily suspended in order for the nation is allowed to honor his memory. An empty casket is used to represent him in Arlington National Cemetery. The pall bearers are Cyclops, the Black Widow, Thing, Quicksilver, Rick Jones, and none other than the President himself. As five-star General Ulysses R. Chapman gives the eulogy, the crowd is unaware of the miracle taking place in a remote location.

A team of scientists activate machinery that begins pumping liquids into a large block of ice. The ice contains the body of Captain America. They acknowledge that stage one is complete and leave the lab to prepare for stage two. While Chapman's stirring speech praises the legacy of Captain America, the empty casket is lowered into the ground. Miles away a red gloved hand begins to slowly but surely form a fist, cracking the ice from within. As the speech concludes, Cap shatters his icy prison, freeing himself. Gasping for air, Rogers recalls the last thoughts he had before being put on ice. He was literally on his death bed, succumbing to the damage inflicted by the super-soldier serum in his bloodstream. He looks around and isn't sure whether he's dead or alive. He takes comfort in knowing that at least his shield is with him. As he picks it up, he notices it weighs more than normal. Putting aside his concerns, he plans his next move.

Before he can take any action, a voice over a public address system orders him to follow the sound of her voice. There's work to be done and no time to waste. Cap thinks that if this is God, she's ticked off. The voice leads him down a large hallway into another lab and quickly discovers that it is none other than Sharon Carter. Cap is overjoyed to learn that she is still alive after her reported death (issue #237). Sharon isn't happy to see him and is very hostile toward him.

She reluctantly explains how he survived the poisoning from the serum. She and a medical team were teleported into his room. They removed his exoskeleton and placed him in a rudimentary form of cryogenic suspension to stop the serum from killing him outright. With no options left, they performed a complete fluid transfusion as well as marrow transplants.

Cap is shocked at this revelation and reminds her that the serum was bonded to his blood. Without it, he's not sure how much of a super solider he is. Sharon agrees and brings out a small group of fighters to test him. Cap quickly discovers that he's incredibly weak from the procedure. He is unable to use his shield offensively and the fighters quickly overpower him. Sharon calls them off before they actually injure him. Sharon tells him they have to push forward with their mission. She opens another space/time portal and informs him that they're going to meet his benefactor. She twists the knife by reminding him that despite any concerns he may have, he'll have to trust her. The fate of the world literally hangs in the balance. Cap follows her lead. They arrive at the enemy headquarters 70 miles west of Green Bay, Wisconsin. An unassuming warehouse protected by heavily armed guards. They are attacked moments after they arrive, but knock out all the guards. Cap notices that he's getting his strength back slowly. This means his blood donor for the transfusion was none other than the Red Skull.

The Skull arrives and mocks Cap by asking how it feels to owe your life to your archenemy. Cap attacks him, but is easily knocked down. The Skull reminds Cap that it is only because he (Skull) currently inhabits a body cloned from him that he is even alive (issue #350). This puts him in his debt.

As the Skull and Sharon discuss the mission, Cap refuses to cooperate until he gets some straight answers. Before Sharon can answer him, an electrical burst alters the appearance of the compound. Instead of an older factory, it has been seemingly transformed into a futuristic installation. At this point Sharon tells him that this is the New Fatherland and marks the beginning of World War III.


Ron Garney
Scott Koblish
John Kalisz
Ron Garney (Cover Penciler)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Thing
Thing

(Ben Grimm)



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