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Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #1: Review

Jun 2007
Jeph Loeb, Leinil Francis Yu

Story Name:

Chapter 1 - Wolverine: Denial

Review & Comments

3 stars

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Based on an idea by J. Michael Straczynski. The chapter titles are based on Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
There is a continuity problem with the Wolverine (amongst others) Official Index positioning of this issue, which has the Fallen Son issues before the flashbacks in New Avengers #28-30. The trouble is that in this issue Wolverine confirms that Captain America is dead, but in NAv#28fb he goes along with the rest of NAv to rescue Cap when they're told he's alive. I have proposed a solution to this problem (and some more) to the Marvel Continuity Project (the folks behind the sequencing of appearances in the OI's), and they've agreed it's a good idea. The flashback spreads ove NAv#28-30, but I have suggested that it can be split in the middle of #29. #28fb and the 1st half of #29fb can be moved to before the Fallen Son issues. I'll say more about this in detail in NAv#28&29. But it puts the New Avengers' attempted rescue of Cap before Wolvie finds out he's really dead here. (They find that the rescue is a trap, and Cap's body is a fake.) SHIELD's barbershop entrance debuted in Strange Tales #136. As seen here a barber chair could take you down to the underground HQ. Matt Murdock has recently (Daredevil v2 #93) returned from Europe and taken his costumed role back from Danny Rand, who took his place during Civil War. Wolverine and the other New Avengers are now based in Dr Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum as seen in the flashbacks mentioned above, but DS himself is only considered a guest star by the Official Index. It was Sharon Carter, hypnotised by Dr Faustus, who actually killed Cap. It was presumably Dr Faustus who gave Crossbones the mental block which stops him from remembering that it was Red Skull who ordered him to shoot Cap. Since Civil War: Initiative Iron Man has overseen the formation of the Mighty Avengers in flashbacks in MAv#1-2, and also made Ms Marvel head of the SHIELD Operation Lightning Storm team in MsM v2 #13. He and the Mighty ones were then in the NAv flashback mentioned above where they fought the New team.

The following is a description of the comics bannered as actually belonging to the Initiative. They were mainly published before or during World War Hulk (even though later issues of eg Avengers: Initiative and The Order are obviously still part of the it). The only exception is New Warriors which is bannered to #8, 2 months after WWH finished. The Sub-Mariner mini-series was published at the same time as WWH, and the above-mentioned Order doesn't start until a month later than that. Another bannered set of issues that doesn't start until the same time as WWH is Moon Knight #11-13. But this brings up the question of how relevant some of these supposed tie-ins are. #11-12 include some elements that place them within Civil War, and #13 merely has MK unsuccessfully trying to Register. At the other end of the scale we have Avengers: Initiative (training young heroes), Mighty Avengers (New York State team), Order (California team) and Thunderbolts (Colorado team). Omega Flight are also considered an affiliated Canadian team. Supposedly Fantastic Four are a team for New York City, but I see no sign of an Initiative connection in their adventures in their own mag and the bannered issues of Black Panther. Of course the Iron Man issues are easily incorporated. And Ms Marvel heads a special State-less SHIELD team in her title. New Avengers could be classed as an opposition to the Initiative.

Some of the series are more follow-ons to Civil War. Captain America #26-30 features the aftermath of Cap's death in 'The death of the dream'. Punisher War Journal #6-11 has Punisher donning a Cap-like costume in tribute to take down a new Hate-Monger. In Nova #2-3 the hero returns home from Annihilation. He's unhappy about Civil War and its results, so he leaves again (for Annihilation Conquest). And in the 2007 Sub-Mariner limited series relations between Atlantis and the US become more strained, and Namor also faces revolution from within. New Warriors vol 4 (#1-8 claiming to be Initiative tie-ins) is actually more a House of M spin-off as it features a group of depowered mutants. I'll describe the sequencing of early Initiative events in #5.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Wolverine has arranged a meeting with Winter Soldier at Sam’s Barbershop in New York, the former location of the secret entrance to SHIELD headquarters. Logan explains that he does not believe Captain America is dead, that even witnesses like Winter Soldier were tricked. He wants the Soldier to accompany him to the Helicarrier to take a look at Cap’s body to learn the truth but Bucky refuses and walks out (“If you do see Steve…say hello for me.”) Later in Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil is on his nightly patrol when Wolverine leaps out at him; DD dodges easily since he could already smell the beer on Logan’s breath. Logan tells him it was a test to determine whether he was the real Daredevil or a stand-in, because he needs a man with heightened senses to help him ferret out the truth. A short time later Wolverine and Daredevil arrive on the Helicarrier, thanks to Dr. Strange’s teleportation and cloaking spells; they have ten minutes to take care of their business. They make their way to the cell where the assassin Crossbones is being held. Wolverine places a loaded gun on the table beside the hitman and questions him. Crossbones claims he shot Cap but the fatal wound was not his, and he does not remember who hired him after a mindblock. Daredevil’s senses confirm that he is telling the truth. Crossbones seizes the pistol and shoots Logan point blank, then realizes its purpose was to give Logan a pretext for killing him in “self-defense.” DD stops Wolverine from slaughtering the assassin so the feral hero punches out his opponent instead. DD heads back to the relay point but Logan stays behind, locating and opening Cap’s coffin. Iron Man appears behind him and tells him he’s going to have to accept Cap’s death. Logan accuses Iron Man of setting up some sort of cover-up but Tony just tells him that Steve was his best friend. The giant Yellowjacket tries to stop Logan from leaving but Wolvie points out that Tony will have to let him go, because Logan will be the one to convince all the others in denial that Cap is truly dead. As he leaves, Logan turns and says, “Stark. If I find out you had anything to do with Cap’s death…I’ll kill you.”

Leinil Francis Yu
Leinil Francis Yu
Dave McCaig
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(James Howlett)

> Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America: Book info and issue index

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