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Captain America #3: Review

Nov 2023
J. Michael Straczynski, Jesus Saiz

Story Name:

Stand

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Captain America #3 Review by (December 20, 2023)

Review: Having largely concentrated on Steve Rogers, both past and present, for the first two issues, this title now centers on Captain America. And that’s a good thing. Yes, the issue becomes a bit heavy with exposition, including two explanations of how the villains’ scheme is moving forward, with two detailed statements of Steve’s opposition to the Nazis. And all of it was necessary setting up not just future issues but the fight that will take place first thing next issue. And the offbeat appearance of Dr. Strange is a hoot. So far, each issue has had Cap interact with a guest hero (FF/Spidey/Strange) with a strong comic edge. In fact, gentle humor may be the writer’s distinct contribution to the series as the first two issues demonstrated. A little less here as the circumstances are more dire but it still pops up from time to time, hovering in the background of the interview with Meyer Lansky and other spots. Very nice series so far, can’t wait for next time.

Comments: Meyer Lansky (1902-1983) was a real-life organized crime figure in New York in the 1930s. Cap appears to be familiar with the works of H.P. Lovecraft.






 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #3 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America muses on how, on a quantum level, time does not exist, it is all one long now. This is to explain how the next few pages are to be understood….

Cap is called to a Brooklyn Heights crime scene by Misty Knight of the police’s Aberrant Crimes Division. A man duct-taped to the wall of an apartment was burned to ash and Misty is consulting with Cap. While this goes on, we see the crime itself: A.I.M.’s serial killer Henry Cavenaugh has taped the victim to the wall, explaining how the shadow equations have determined how he will one day be at the forefront of a peace movement that will stop a war—so Henry is there to prevent that from happening. Henry then covers the walls with mystic symbols, sealing the victim’s spirit in so it can’t pass along to another person to continue his mission. Henry fires flames out of his eyes and the victim is burned to ash; Henry then sifts through the ash and picks out a small crystal, all that is left of the victim. Henry drops the crystal into a box with the other souvenirs….

While one part of the story is replaying the murder, Cap and Misty are investigating it; Cap was brought in because there may be a connection to A.I.M. The sister of an A.I.M. researcher found some of his code and sent it to the police and just hours later she killed herself, jumping off a pier, indicating a supernatural component to the code. The code resembles the magic symbols covering the walls. Cap is dubious because A.I.M. isn’t usually concerned with magic. Misty calls in her other expert: she takes out a figurine of Doctor Strange, utters the magic words (“There’s no place like home”), and the real Strange’s astral form animates the figurine. Strange explains how he has given out 47 of them, ready to inhabit once called on. Then Cap is told the other reason he is there: among the runes is a picture of his shield, indicating he is next. Cap mind goes back to 1938…

…when he was engaged in his mission of heckling the German American Bund, attacking their ideas of racial purity by comparing iron swords (pure element, weak) and steel swords (mixed elements, strong). Teen Steve is ridiculed by the speaker and chased off. As he walks away, he is picked up in a car by mobster Meyer Lansky and taken to his office. There, Lansky explains his interest in Steve: he too was a little kid who had to stand up to the big guys. Steve explains his hatred of the Nazis as his opposition to bullies who are cowards and will wilt when facing superior numbers. Lansky, who is Jewish, explains his own concern with the Nazis and he wants to stop them. He has done some harassment but he has learned there is a big event coming, called “Operation: Garden;” he has had his men investigate but they didn’t get far because they look like gangsters while the police can’t be trusted. So, he wants Steve to look into the matter and report anything he finds on the operation. Steve agrees….

Six weeks ago, on A.I.M. Island, Travis Lane, Arianna Walters, and Henry Cavenaugh met. Lane and Walters explained to Henry how he would take on a new guise as the Emissary; an armored suit and injections of a super serum have been prepared as well as exposure to gamma radiation. The demon Asmoday appeared, citing how human agents cannot be trusted, so for this operation the demon must bond with the Emissary. Travis Lane balked because of the implication: as Asmoday leaves Lane’s body, he is consumed by fire and dies gruesomely. The demon entered Henry’s body to observe the next part of the operation….

As Cap departs from the crime scene, he is confronted by Henry, now the Emissary; Asmoday within tells Cap that having let him live decades ago was a mistake so now he must die. The Emissary attacks, Cap braces for action….




Jesus Saiz
Lan Medina
Matt Hollingsworth
Jesus Saiz (Cover Penciler)
Jesus Saiz (Cover Inker)
Jesus Saiz (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)



> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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