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Captain America #449: Review

Mar 1996
Mark Waid, Ron Garney

Story Name:

First Sign Chapter One: I'll Take Manhattan

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #449 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Sandu Florea also contributed to the penciling and inking. Malibu Enhancements contributed to the coloring.

Captain America #449 Review by (September 6, 2017)
Comments: Part one of a crossover story arc in the wake of THE CROSSING event; collected in AVENGERS/IRON MAN: FIRST SIGN.

Review: Since this is part one of a lengthy cross-over epic, it's easier to get into and enjoy than if it were e.g. part seven, which may be why I thought it was so cool. The vicious Sharon and the virtuous Cap are separated and Cap does his stuff, spectacularly diving into the River and leaping across rooftops, dodging baddies left and right.... Waid could always tell a good story but Garney needed a few issues to settle into place—and he has. Tres cool all the way. And maybe someday, I'll read the rest of the epic story.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #449 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

Captain America uses his Avengers IdentiCard to gain access to the SHIELD helicarrier. He brings Sharon Carter with him so that they can learn why they faked her death and abandoned her in a foreign country so many years ago.

Sharon impulsively grabs a random SHIELD employee and demands answers. Despite his insistence that he doesn't know anything, she doesn't believe him. She hold him by his ankles outside of a window thinking it will jog his memory. Cap must restrain his ex-girlfriend and remind her that Nick Fury will have the answers they need.

Their actions quickly gain the full attention of Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, acting Director of SHIELD. She meets Rogers and Carter with a small complement of SHIELD agents. When Cap asks to see Fury, she replies that he is dead. Cap doesn't believe her and almost laughs when she flatly states that nobody comes back from the dead.

He states aloud he'll deal with Fury's "death" at a later time and needs some answers from her. She replies that she doesn't care what he wants and places Carter under house arrest for debriefing. Cap tells her that's not necessary and stares her down in front of her agents. She reluctantly lets them leave by transport beam.

As they walk toward Cap's place in Brooklyn - bickering over who's watching out for whom and how unnecessary it is - a force field done appears enclosing all of Manhattan, deactivating all electronic devices inside it. Cap begins to assist those most in need around him while he forms a plan to deal with the dome.

He soon finds a group of armed individuals firing on the police. After stopping them, he learns that they are members of the Zodiac.  They have created transformers which channel the energy from the power grid into the force field. They have done this to "sever the stars' influence on our lives".

Upon hearing this other members of the Zodiac fire upon a police car, hoping to kill Captain America while he interrogates the disloyal members. The explosion kills the Zodiac cultists but Cap escapes. Unable to call the other Avengers through his Identicard, Cap knows he must contact them personally. Cap fights his way through the Zodiac and makes his way to Avengers' Mansion with a dozen fanatics on his trail.

Jarvis meets him at the door, and informs him that the other Avengers are out on a mission. Iron Man is downtown and Thor is uptown in his new apartment. There is nobody to help him. Cap thanks Jarvis for the update and pushes him back inside to protect him from gunfire.

Cap then makes his way uptown. He arrives at Thor's apartment with even more cultists following him. He is met by Thor, who's appearance is different that he remembers. He is also caught off-guard by the presence of the Enchantress. She explains that they are together now and it's not his concern at the moment. They soon find themselves surrounded by the Zodiac.

Thor is surprised that Cap brought them here. He explains that he had no choice; he was counting on the magical properties of Mjolnir to take care of the cultists.

Thor admits that his hammer had been de-powered; the Asgardian enchantments have been removed.

Story continues in THOR #496 .

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)


Plus: Zodiac.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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