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Captain America #4: Review

Feb 2013
Rick Remender, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(Castaway in Dimension Z, Chapter Four)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #4 Review by (February 23, 2013)
Review: With this issue, Rick Remender’s strategy becomes clear: he is showing us how Steve Rogers came to be the hero he is through the focus on his upbringing, and above all, by placing him in the most unfamiliar setting he could muster. This will be a test of Cap’s inner resources and character rather than his training and shield (not to mention his allies). In a way, the invocation of the late 70s Kirby run as the inspiration for this series was misleading. Jack’s run was light and goofy and entertaining; this is grim and intense and violent. The only thing picked up from Kirby seems to be “science fiction,” selected as the most unlikely scenario for Cap to find himself in. And as for that pesky continuity problem i.e. if Cap is in another world for a year, why is he in the Avengers titles? Well, Remender clearly has something up his sleeve here, as the additional eleven year jump makes clear. Don’t know what’s coming but it’s gonna be weird. And by the way, I still don’t know whether I like JRJR’s art or not.

Comments: Captain America does not appear on the cover. Includes a column “Letters to a Living Legend.”


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Eleven years have passed since the last issue: Captain America is now the leader of the Phrox tribe. He is training his adopted son Ian in the art of hunting with the shield to bring back meat for the tribe. Hot on the trail of a burrow-squid they come upon a mutate outpost, warning that Arnim Zola’s forces are getting closer to their hidden refuge. They are nearly caught by a mutate trooper but Ian seizes Cap’s gun and kills the monster. Cap then discovers that the mutate’s bike has a readout of the map showing the entire layout of Zolandia, including the location of the tunnel by which Steve entered this world. Now he can find his way home—but Ian points out he has no home and Steve never told him who his true parents are. The Zola consciousness within Cap’s body, suppressed with difficulty over the years, rises to the surface and reminds Steve that the boy is the son of Arnim Zola and his unwilling wife Mary. Steve begins to black out and his mind shifts back to his childhood….

In 1933, Steve had to care for his dying mother and was unable to pay the rent. After threats of eviction by the landlord, Steve turned to Deirdre Doyle to take him to the local gang leader Hutch. Hutch had a way for Steve to get the money: by robbing a drugstore while the gang distracted the owner. Steve buys the medicine for his mother and pays the rent, telling her he has a new job; she suspects something is wrong and asks him to promise never to let his circumstances change him from a good and honorable man. The next day, Steve confesses to the drugstore owner that he was the thief and offers to work the debt off…..

Steve awakens in the present and learns that the Zola consciousness infecting him has told Ian the true story of his parentage. He wants to know why Steve never told him; the hero responds with an awkward defense that he would have told him only when the Zola consciousness was too strong to fight anymore. His only hope now is to return to his own world and come back with the Avengers to help him defeat Arnim Zola….

Meanwhile, Jet Black, Princess Zola (the villain’s now-grown daughter), reports to her father with a captive Phrox in tow. It is Zofjor, the former tyrant, and from him they learn that Captain America is still alive. Jet Black beats the captive to death in a rage against the man who killed her brother (as she believes). Arnim Zola counsels her to seek revenge, and unleashes a band of monstrous mutates who are grotesque caricatures of Captain America….

John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Lee Loughridge
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Arnim Zola, Ian, Jet Black.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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