CAPTAIN AMERICA #444-448 (1995): Operation Rebirth

For his first issue on a run on Captain America that some call legendary, Mark Waid doesn’t even get to write about the titular hero.

Last issue, Captain America was supposed to have “died,” but the body went missing. The Avengers are looking for him. As they do, they fight some armored terrorists and talk a lot about Cap’s history and how cool he is.

Ultimately, they take down the terrorists…


…and see that Cap is being held in a block of (ice?) by a mystery captor with red letters in his word balloon.

Since The Avengers don’t find him, there’s a funeral with President Clinton serving as a pall bearer.

It’s juxtaposed with Cap escaping from confinement, finding that Sharon Carter is part of the group that took him in, and learn that they reengineered the super soldier serum and saved his life.

We also learn, of course, that Red Skull the man who saved him–because he needed to team up with him to take down “The New Fatherland.”

It takes place inside the Cosmic Cube, which was stolen by a Nazi who is recreating reality into one not even Red Skull can stand.

And so the three of them team up to fight the new controller of the Cosmic Cube. Along the way, much of Cap’s history is revisited and retold–magnificently.

Bucky Barnes has a role–but it’s not really him, it’s a Cube manifestation, so he’s not tagged.

Of course Red Skull ends up betraying Sharon and Captain America, and puts Cap inside the Cube.

And of course Cap escapes.

And of course Captain America wins in the end.

And Red Skull seems to die again, obliterated by the Cosmic Cube.

The final page sets up the next story, with Cap wanting to know why SHIELD hid from him the fact that Sharon Carter was sill alive.

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