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Captain America #453: Review

Jul 1996
Mark Waid, Ron Garney

Story Name:

Man Without a Country Chapter Four: Executive Action

Review & Comments

5 stars

Captain America #453 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Additional pencils by Pino Rinaldi.

Captain America #453 Review by (September 6, 2017)
Comments: Part four of four parts.

Review: And Cap and Sharon save the day—but they have to work independently to do it. Once he's not around to snarl at, Sharon's bitterness submerges and the hero comes to the fore. And Cap comes up with a very unusual plan that involves...Doctor Doom?!? And it turns out that Doom has read the last several issues, seeing as he knows about Cap's recent partnership with the Red Skull. Another nifty sequence comes out of that odd alliance and leads into an epic battle at Camp David for maximum thrills, culminating in an epic entrance for (ta-daaah) Captain America emerging from a fire. Waid and Garney are one of the premiere Cap creative teams.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #453 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

While Sharon Carter tries to restore control to the SHIELD helicarrier, Steve Rogers searches for an alternate way out of Machinesmith's bunker. He has to stop Machinesmith from assassinating the President. Carter asks him why not just call in the Avengers since he's banned from U.S. soil. Rogers responds that his Identicard has been deactivated, but it still has one use. He finally finds a hidden access tunnel and as he prepares to leave, he promises Sharon that he'll be back for her. She is unconvinced, but promises to save the helicarrier. She comes through on that promise with less than thirty seconds to spare.

As he makes his way toward his destination, Rogers thinks the situation through. He realizes that Machinesmith won't assassinate the President. It's too easy. There's another reason, but he can't think of why.

Dawn the next day. Rogers flashes his Avengers Identicard in front of a scanner. His identity confirmed, he walks through the high-tech security gate into Latveria. He is soon found by Doom's robotic servants and brought before the tyrant ruling the country.

Once inside the throne room, Doctor Doom taunts Rogers about his recent troubles. Rogers ignores him, stating that if a war erupts between the U.S. and Moldavia, it will have consequences for the neighboring Latveria as well. Doom congratulates him for telling him stating the obvious. He's aware of the events that have transpired, but isn't concerned.

Rogers asks that Doom use his diplomatic immunity to get him back on American soil to stop whatever plans Machinesmith has. Whatever it is will have repercussions that even the mighty Dr. Doom won't be able to control. Doom reconsiders and agrees to provide transport to the United States. He won't expect a call from him.

At Camp David, Machinesmith and his robotic emissaries meet with the President. Once inside, he begins killing the Secret Service and the military personnel. The army helicopter given this assignment is brought down and bursts into flames. Once they have been dealt with, Machinesmith grabs a special briefcase from its designated courier. It contains "The Football", a protected, secure workstation capable of remotely firing any missile in America's nuclear arsenal. His plan all along has been to start World War III and destroy humanity, allowing machines to take over the planet. 

He then leaps into Clinton's mind and extracts the access codes. Clinton realizes that was done to Rogers to acquire their military secrets and frame him. As Machinesmith recovers from this process, Captain America appears and attacks the other automatons. Doom provided him an imitation "Cap" uniform and shield as a parting jab.

Tearing through the robots, he makes his way to Machinesmith who projects his consciousness into The Football and begins the launch sequence. Cap grabs the briefcase and throws it into the flaming wreckage of the helicopter and makes contact with a gas tank, causing it to explode. The countdown aborted and a world war prevented, Clinton and Rogers salute each other.

Later on at the White House, Clinton brings Cap into the Oval Office and apologizes for his actions. He promises that his record has been cleared, all privileges restored, and returns his shield to him. Clinton thanks Cap for – once again – service above and beyond the call of duty. Cap is just happy to be back where he belongs.

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


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