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Captain America #454: Review

Aug 1996
Mark Waid, Ron Garney

Story Name:

Sanctuary

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Captain America #454 Review by (September 6, 2017)
Comments: Final issue of series. Followed by CAPTAIN AMERICA Vol. 2 in 1996.

Review: “Farewell to a Living Legend”--so says the cover and it's hard to disagree. Volume 1 of Cap's story closes out, to be followed by a weaker, less interesting version. But not to worry, Cap will be back—with Waid and Garney at the helm before we know it. The interesting point of this issue is that we don't know if Sharon is on the level about revenge against Captain America. And neither is she, it seems. Yes, she was trying to take out the mysterious X12 but her anger at Cap's rescue (when she didn't want it) seems very genuine. And maybe she has a point, Cap always thinking he needs to save her—she mocks him by comparing him to pop psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers—but he does, doing a better job than she would have done. Poor Sharon can't catch a break—just when she feels overshadowed by Captain America—he overshadows her even further. But she does what she does, he does what he does—and they respect each other in the end. A brilliant idea of Waid's, bringing back a dead love interest—and then not rekindling the romance. Cool.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #454 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

Sharon Carter arrives in the country of Tap-Kwai and arranges a meeting with General Hong Fan in the Yankeetown section of the country. During the meeting she informs Fan that she has in her possession Machinesmith's molecular-encoded coin that contains all the information stored in Captain America's brain. She refuses to further discuss the matter with anyone other than X12, the ruler of Tap-Kwai.

X12 steps forward and is interested in her proposal. He produces an powerful taser that can take out an entire platoon and warns her not to try anything. She explains that Cap left her in Machinesmith's bunker and selling these secrets is her payback. When asked what she wants in exchange, she says that she wants a high commission in his army. X12 agrees to her demands, but plans to double cross her as soon as he has the coin. Sharon has a hidden weapon that she plans to use against X12 when he is within range.

Cap arrives on motorcycle and interrupts the exchange. Through the barrage of gunfire, he grabs Sharon and extracts her, following an escape route that leads to the ocean. They drive off the pier and dive to the bottom where Cap has a jet ski tied down. They use this to escape the city.

With a small head start, Cap leads Sharon to the rendezvous point he had arranged with unnamed party for extraction. Cap provides a bit of exposition that explains that X12 controls the military which in turn controls the elected officials. Sharon forces him to follow her to a remote location. She explains the real reason why she came to Tap-Kwai: to kill X12 and overthrow his regime. She shows him the political prisoners that he has captured and forced into slavery, working the rice paddies. She then shows him the cell where she was imprisoned for eight months. As repulsive as was (and still is) it was her sanctuary from guards that molested her and the other prisoners who wanted her to save them. Cap firmly reminds her that the only true sanctuary from the world is inside her mind. 

As they leave, Cap frees the prisoners and leads them all to the rendezvous point with the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. X12's army arrives and attacks them. Cap runs interference while Sharon directs the prisoners beneath SHIELD's helicarrier. One by one they are brought aboard using their tractor beam.

When all the prisoners are accounted for, Cap offers to bring Sharon aboard. She declines, reminding him that she and SHIELD are not exactly on the best of terms. Cap tells her that X12's army will arrive any minute. She proudly displays X12's taser that she stole from him and claims she can hold them off.

Sharon is impressed with Cap's return and impromptu rescue mission of the prisoners. Sharon moves in toward Cap with the intention of kissing him, but at the last minute stops herself and salutes him.

Cap steps into the tractor beam and returns her salute as he is brought aboard the Helicarrier.


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


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