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Captain America #15: Review

Mar 1999
Mark Waid, Andy Kubert

Story Name:

First Gleaming

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #15 Review by (November 29, 2017)

Comments: Part one of five parts. Title refers to the phrase “twilight's last gleaming” from the American National Anthem. First appearance of Connie Ferrari. Cap's shield was lost in the ocean in issue #2 of this series. Steve first encountered the Ramirez family in issue #9. And the Watcher looks like he's been on a strict diet.

Review: Wait, why does all this seem familiar? Red Skull, Cosmic Cube, America a fascist dictatorship, bad stuff foreseen on the Capitol steps, and Captain America responsible for it all? Oh right, it's SECRET EMPIRE, about 2 decades early. That's okay, this one didn't raise any stink among fans and did not lead to Marvel relaunching their entire line. So things are good, right? Anyway, Cap versus the godlike Red Skull is cool, though shouldn't every Skull and Cube story be like this? The oddity is the amount of humor in the story: Cap's face when he sees the shattered shield, the whole battle with Cobra and Hyde, cute little Javier walking around the law office, the romantic banter between Steve and Sharon...a delight. True, it threatens to spill over into the dark and horrifying bits but it just makes it that much more fun to read. We'll see where it goes.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #15 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara

Captain America is fighting Cobra and Mr Hyde when he is interrupted by Iron Man, showing him the remnants of his original shield, accidentally shattered by Rhodey (James Rhodes) after he retrieved it from the ocean....

Elsewhere, Kang the Conqueror wishes to enter into an alliance with the new Red Skull, with the Cosmic Cube now internalized. Kang reveals that Captain America was responsible for the Skull's imprisonment in the Cube. Kang also tells of an ancient bit of knowledge that will give the Skull godlike power—and also serve Kang some 2000 years hence....

Sharon Carter shows Steve Rogers the capabilities of his new force-shield: it can take on the forms of a staff or blade. This does not distract Steve from his loss of his original shield. Steve and Sharon go to a meeting with the Ramirez family. They have their apartment back because it was discovered their son Javier is a legal genius; he sued the landlord and he now has a job as clerk at a law firm and they thank Steve and Sharon. While at the law office, attorney Connie Ferrari flirts with Steve, making Sharon jealous....

Returning to Steve's apartment, they find The Watcher there. He point them to an open door and looking through they see the Red Skull in all his power standing in a void. The Skull wraps them in the distorted floor boards of the apartment, he boasts of his power, dismissing them with a nod and takes off. Cap and Sharon question The Watcher who gives them a vision of a dismal future, one in which the Red Skull holds full power and every US citizen a slave. There is also a vision of all the world's heroes, the Avengers, FF and more, crucified on the steps of the Capitol on Washington D.C.--including Sharon. The Watcher then shows them that all this will take place in less than a day—and it's Captain America who is responsible for it....

Andy Kubert
Jesse Delperdang
Chris Sotomayor
Andy Kubert (Cover Penciler)
Jesse Delperdang (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)

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