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Captain America #13: Review

Jan 1999
Mark Waid, Dougie Braithwaite

Story Name:

Plausible Deniability

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America #13 Review by (May 23, 2012)
Review: An entire issue devoted to Cap’s political views? Why not, it’s a legitimate topic for a guy who dresses in his country’s flag—though to keep the reader from falling asleep, Cap does get to fight a couple of robots for several pages. Does Captain America support one political party—or does he speak for the country as a whole? That’s Cap’s own issue and he resolves it by staying politically neutral when in uniform but campaigning for the candidate of his choice as Steve Rogers. Sadly, the cynical times we live in prevent Cap from taking a stand against a dishonest official since it would look like just another partisan smear tactic; even sadder is the realization that the situation would only get worse. Oh, one unsubtle bit of commentary by the artist: the crooked politician Phil Oxnard slightly resembles Ronald Reagan—most obviously on page 7. Looks like Captain America’s creators don’t have to represent all the people when Cap does.

Comments: Cap’s original shield is recovered after its loss in issue #2 but broken; it will be restored in issue #22. Here we learn that the new force-shield has offensive capabilities as well as defensive.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #13 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter take some time off after their encounter with Nightmare (last issue) to discuss the political turmoil involved with Councilman Andrew Bolt. Steve feels partially responsible for the scandal resulting from "Skrull Cap" publicly supporting his candidacy (issue #6). Once the ruse was revealed, his is dropping in the polls against his rival Phil Oxnard. As Captain America, Steve has promised Bolt – the rare honest politician – to repair the damage his doppleganger caused his campaign. This is at odds with his personal beliefs that Captain America should not be involved in politics.

They return to Steve's apartment – currently shared with the Ramirez family – and finds Louis (the father) has been unsuccessful in finding a job. Steve assures him that he will not ask them to move out until they are back on their feet. He then convinces Sharon to learn why their son Javier is reading law texts books from Harvard while he meets with Bolt.

Bolt and Cap discuss some of the rumors surrounding Oxnard. His reputation has diminished over the years. He's allegedly taking bribes from unknown sources. Bolt knows this but can't prove it. Cap decides to uncover the truth.

In a Georgetown restaurant, Oxnard meets with Mr. Reynolds – one of the suspicious campaign contributors. Reynolds states that this is simply to show his appreciation for all that he has done for his "group". As Reynolds leaves, he is unaware he is being followed back to his townhouse. Cap confronts him, addressing him as "Rilker" from the terrorist group A.I.M.

Rilker invites him inside where he ambushes Cap with two AD-45 Riotbots. Cap eventually defeats them and extracts a partial confession out of Rilker. His arrangement with Oxnard involves passing legislation that will allow A.I.M. to import their technology into the country legally. When he informs Bolt of this, he dissuades Cap from pursuing this publicly. The disclosure will only look like a conspiracy theory to the common voter instead of the truth.

Elsewhere James Rhodes – by special request of Tony Stark – is using all of the resources of his marine salvage company to locate Cap's missing shield. Today he has found it. While this would normally be a success, everyone is speechless when the shield is dropped – and shatters into hundreds of pieces.

After mulling the situation over in his mind, Cap confronts Oxnard directly, stating that he's ignoring the source of "Reynold's" money for political gain. Cap asks him if he still thinks he still serving the public with honor. When Oxnard tries to spin the situation, Cap leaves the room. This causes Oxnard to reflect on his actions and resigns from all his congressional committes.

The next day, Steve Rogers begins campaigning for Andrew Bolt. Captain America may have to remain politically neutral, but "Steve Rogers" is allowed to choose sides.

Dougie Braithwaite
Robin Riggs
Shannon Blanchard
Andy Kubert (Cover Penciler)
Jesse Delperdang (Cover Inker)
Chris Sotomayor (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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