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Captain America: Man Out of Time #4: Review

Feb 2011
Mark Waid, Jorge Molina

Story Name:

Part 4

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America: Man Out of Time #4 Review by (June 1, 2011)
Review: See under issue #1.

Comments: General Jacob Simon is named in tribute to Captain America’s creators, Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg) and Joe Simon. Cameos by Hulk, the Lava Men, Masters of Evil. The Battle with the Lava Men took place in AVENGERS #5; the first encounter with the Masters of Evil was in AVENGERS #6; the Avengers met Kang the Conqueror in issue #8. Issue includes a six-page preview of the new series FF.

Captain America: Man Out of Time #4 Review by (October 9, 2011)
During this time Tony Stark gives the Avengers, including Rick Jones, identicards which will be relevant next issue. Meanwhile there are more appearances to account for. The Avengers pop up in TtA#59, and in individual cameos in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. Then Cap makes a guest shot fighting Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #58, which is significant because it leads to Cap joining IM in making ToS a split book from #59 on. When this book does get to Av#8 it makes some little changes. Kang's landing is preceded by several sightings of his UFO, which is depicted more like the ship in the Kang story ending in Avengers vol 3 #54 than the disc in Av#8, or Rama Tut's sphere as used in Av:EMH. And it lands in Washington rather than Virginia as those other versions had it. As in the original, the Avengers are captured in their first assault on Kang. But rather than hold Cap in stasis like the others, in this version Kang sends him back to WWII.

Now we come to the fight with Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil from Av#6. In the depiction here Iron Man's pointed mask joins Wasp's pointed headgear as an anachronism, which also persists to the end of this series. Av:EMH has Cap getting his full memory of Bucky's death back, including that Zemo was the cause. Cap makes many appearances as an Avenger between here and Av#8. As well as in the Marvel/DC crossover Unlimited Access #2-4, the Avengers support Thor in Journey into Mystery #105. Cap hangs with Giant-Man and Wasp in Tales to Astonish #58. Then Zemo returns with new partners Enchantress and Executioner in Av#7. This issue itself ignores Av#7, as did Av:EMH. But at least it leaves room for it, unlike EMH which seemed to have Av#8 follow immediately after Av#6. While all this is going on, having failed to find any info on Bucky, Steve tries to trace his WWII love Peggy Carter, again with no success. But this contradicts the long-established convention that Cap didn't know Peggy's real name, only her codename in the French Resistance. See my comments on CA and the First Thirteen for more on this. He does find Gen'l Simon in a retirement home, and continues to visit him until he dies just before Av#8. From the General, and his crime-fighting, Cap learns a darker side of the world than Tony Stark had showed him last issue.

I will continue to weave this series into Captain America's continuity. This issue spans Avengers #5 (Lava Men) and #6-7 (Masters of Evil), and starts on #8 (Kang). We have already covered the first part of Av#5 (the aftermath of Fantastic Four #25-26) last issue. The Avengers Index and the Marvel Chronology Project have several adventures of individual Avengers in their own strips between that and the battle with Lave Men and Hulk that takes up the bulk of Av#5. But none of them involve Cap. The opening scenes of this issue with Thor, and Cap trying to find Bucky's army records, obviously happen before the Lava Men incident. The chronologies also place the modern-day parts of the Truth: Red, White and Black limited series (in #5,6,7, where Cap learns about Isaiah Bradley the black Captain America) somewhere round here, because in #7 Cap says he's recently received the back pay I mentioned last issue. This issue shows the battle in Av#5, which is probably followed by part of Thor: Godstorm #2 where the Avengers fight Weather-Maker. Then in Av: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #3 Cap visits Bucky's grave (presumably empty) in Arlington cemetery, and his memory of Bucky's death becomes clearer. However this is at odds with this issue. Here Cap doesn't have memory problems, but the army does. It claims to have no record of Bucky, and he has no grave.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America: Man Out of Time #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America makes a lonely visit to Arlington National Cemetery in the rain to meditate on wars he never heard of and to honor Americans who served in them. Suddenly with the lightning Thor appears to offer counsel. Cap explains how upset he is that there is no memorial for Bucky Barnes. Thor is disappointed and accuses him of losing perspective: Bucky died a hero’s death, the noblest a man can aspire to, and he has his honor in Valhalla. Thor reminds Cap that self-pity is no way to honor his friend, and takes his leave.

Over the following weeks Cap searches for any record of Bucky in government rosters… he joins the Avengers against the Lava Men and the Masters of Evil…he can also find no trace of his former love Peggy Carter or any other person he remembers from the War…except one….

Steve Rogers arrives at a nursing home to visit his former commander General Jacob Simon, now an elderly invalid. After explaining how he is still young after all these decades, Steve settles down to talk with someone his own age. Simon fills Steve in on the events that Tony Stark omitted from his overly optimistic survey (last issue): the steroid scandal in sports, the War on Drugs, the Oklahoma City bombing and the rise of the militia movement, new crimes like carjacking, identity theft, and human trafficking, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Vietnam, the collapse of the manufacturing industries…and what happened to the man who gave the "I Have a Dream" speech that so impressed him. Steve admits he did not now what he would do when the war was over, but he didn’t expect this; Simon sums up America as "phone sex and an eighteenth-place educational system." Later, after Simon’s death, his caretaker Carole presents Steve with the General’s signed portrait of Captain America. Chatting with Carole, Steve learns she has to keep working or she will be sent back to her own country, but scrubbing toilets is worth it because she is in America.

Returning to the Mansion, Steve finds the Avengers on full alert; suiting up as Captain America he joins them in the conference room to be briefed on a new threat, an alien invader who calls himself Kang the Conqueror. Soon the heroes are locked in combat with the villain outside Washington, and Kang announces his grand scheme: he has traveled back in time to make himself sovereign ruler of this era and will make the Avengers his slaves. Kang teleports them into cells yet Cap hangs on to challenge the enemy; Kang detects that Cap is also out of his right time. When Cap bashes his head with a shield blow, the enraged Kang waves his hand and Cap vanishes…to reappear in Times Square on V-J Day—August 15, 1945….

Jorge Molina
Karl Kesel
Frank D'Armata
Bryan Hitch (Cover Penciler)
Paul Neary (Cover Inker)
Paul Mounts (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Kang the Conqueror)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Giant-Man (Scott Lang).

> Captain America: Man Out of Time: Book info and issue index

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