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Captain America: Dead Men Running #1: Review

Mar 2002
Darko Macan, Danijel Zezelj

Story Name:

Dead Men Running Part One

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America: Dead Men Running #1 Review by (May 16, 2011)
Review: Designed as a transition from the conventional Volume 3 to the more offbeat Vol. 4 of Captain America in 2002, this story halfway succeeds: it does nothing to resolve the reports of Cap’s death in 3:50 but masterfully paves the way for the grimmer more realistic adventures of Vol. 4. Two unfamiliar creators, both Croatians—writer Darko Macan is a sci-fi writer who has done Cable for Marvel and Star Wars for Dark Horse in the US and artist Danijel Zezelj who has mainly worked in Italy—provide a different feel to this epic. The art is rough and rugged as befits the subject; the plot is intense but, like the best Captain America stories, gives another perspective on what it means to be a hero. As Cap points out, no one wakes up one morning and decides to be a hero but one can wake up and decide not to be scum. Other people’s choices are no excuse for yours. The background is a bit too nihilistic in that if life were truly meaningless, our choices would also be purely arbitrary, so to determine to be a good guy is a blind leap of faith. So move back before that last detail and choose to be a hero.

Comments: Published in the three-month gap between CAPTAIN AMERICA Vols. 3 and 4. That is one ugly cover but you ain’t seen nothing yet.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America: Dead Men Running #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
"We are dead." Such is the judgment of Sergeant Roberto "Bob Solo" Solano Vicq, one of five soldiers lost in the jungles of South America while protecting a group of local children. They managed to get a distress call out before the radio was destroyed and its operator killed. To their amazement a plane passes overhead and drops a lone man on a chute. They figure the jumper has to be dead until Captain America steps out of the forest to announce help is here. Lieutenant David introduces himself and the others Sgt. Solo and Privates Sore, Hulk, and Nystrom. Cap is there to lead them to where his plane is waiting at a private landing field a two-day march ahead; there is a convent halfway there where they can rest briefly. Cap sings a lullaby to the frightened children in Spanish and they trust him. A short time later in the night, they are attacked by native soldiers, with Cap fighting them off almost single-handedly. As they march along, Cap discovers that the enemy is from the local drug mafia, attacking the Americans who are on loan to the local government to stop the cocaine traffic. Cap finds this dubious and intends to take it up with their commander. Cap starts to question the children as to why they were prisoners but they group is spotlighted by a helicopter overhead, demanding they free the children and surrender. The squad fights back and Cap is shot by the enemy; Private Hulk picks up Cap’s shield and hurls it at the copter, causing the pilot to lose control and crash into a tower. Nystrom rushes out into a crocodile-filled swamp to recover the shield. After they have gotten to safety, Cap asks Lt. David why one of the children thought the man in the copter was her father.... Solo administers a painkiller to Cap—which turns out to be a sedative. As Cap passes out, the soldier explains that they are after the dealer’s stash—and have taken his kids hostage. The Americans then realize that for their mission to succeed, Captain America must die….

Danijel Zezelj
Danijel Zezelj
Matt Madden
Derek Hess (Cover Penciler)
Derek Hess (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

> Captain America: Dead Men Running: Book info and issue index

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