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Captain America #450: Review

Apr 1996
Mark Waid, Ron Garney

Story Name:

Executive Action

Review & Comments

5 stars

Captain America #450 Review by (September 6, 2017)
Comments: Part one of four parts. Though off the grid for many years, Sharon still knows who Beavis and Butthead are.

Review: Captain America stripped of American citizenship? This strikes at the very heart of Cap's identity and mission—and in a way more shocking than his turning out to be a Hydra Agent. It's just that this time we can see light at the end of the tunnel: since he's been framed, he'll clear himself. Anyway, this is a promising story arc and we'll see how Cap comes back from a situation he never dreamed off—though it is similar to what happened when he became Nomad.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #450 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

While Steve Rogers is out running errands, Sharon Carter rummages through his Brooklyn apartment trying to fill in the blanks of his life after she was unwillingly removed from it. She pauses on pictures of of two old girlfriends: Bernie Rosenthal and Diamondback (Rachel Leighton). She becomes visibly agitated. She has been sleeping on the couch since their reunion trying to determine what to do with her life.

Suddenly men with small firearms break down the door. Sharon naturally assumes they're here for her and attacks them. They almost overpower her, but she escapes through the window.

Minutes after she leaves, Rogers returns. He demands to know what's going on. One man identifies them as agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Department. They're here – under executive order - to arrest him for treason. Rogers tries to reason with them and asks for an a phone call which will straighten out everything. They are unconcerned – until another agent discovers his Captain America uniform lying on his bed.

They return Rogers to the White House where he puts on his uniform and is brought into the Oval Office. President Clinton tells them to report to debriefing and forget what transpired today. Once they leave, Clinton brings in General Chapman. They discuss his actions at the alternative energy facility in Wisconsin eight days ago [#446]. At that time, Chapman warned him that this would happen.

Cap explains that the Red Skull saved his life and forced him to assist him in stopping the Kubekult. His action were extreme, but he had no alternatives. He emphasizes that he did stop the Red Skull from taking possession of the cube. Given an opportunity, they can clear this matter up. Clinton then states that this is not the only charge against him.

They play a video which shows a completed variation of the Argus Anti-Aircraft cannon – a top-secret project commissioned by the United States. Two years ago during construction of the Argus, the President commissioned Cap to memorize the designs for a key piece of the Argus and courier it directly to him. Nothing was to be written down for fear it would be stolen. Once the lead scientist passed away only two people had this knowledge. The President and Captain America.

Four days ago the CIA reported that Machinesmith – a known associate of the Red Skull – appeared in Molavia. Using knowledge that only two people possessed, he completed the Argus and destroyed two American jets while inside the free-fly zone over Molavia. They are very close to war with Molavia because of this incident. Clinton wants to know what information Cap may have traded in order to save his life.

Cap assures the President that he didn't disclose the information to anyone. Clinton explains that even if he's telling the truth other Federal secrets are now compromised. They have begun the process to change the information, but until it's complete, they are still at risk. He doesn't want to believe that Captain America betrayed his country. Unfortunately every piece of evidence points to him.

After considering the matter, Clinton can't put him on trial as it would destroy American morale. Nor can he imprison him outright without due process. With much regret, he tells Cap that the only option he has to offer is to revoke the citizenship of Steve Rogers and exile him. The uniform of Captain America will remain stateside. Air Force Once will take him to Heathrow Airport in London. Where he goes from there is his business.

Cap is deeply saddened by this decision, but like a good solider, he salutes the Commander In Chief and silently leaves the Oval Office. Before Rogers boards Air Force One, Chapman explains that he takes no pleasure in this.

Once in London, he is soon found by Sharon Carter who offers her assistance. When asked what's next, Rogers responds that he intends to find Machinesmith and prove his innocence.

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


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