The Complete Captain America Vol. 4 (2002-2004) for the ficcing fan

This is the volume inspired by Marvel's angst about 9/11. The art is very pretty, but the plots are decidedly non-existent for the most part. It does include Steve cuddling a flag in the dark with his angst, though!

Note: In no way are most of these intended as in depth reviews or judgement calls. They're just meant as a way of telling how much relevant Captain America content an issue has - with slight snark thrown in to keep me from getting bored.

0 stars = Captain America appears in no significant way in this Captain America story.
*= Cap appears in the story
**= Cap *and* a major comics character (Tony, Sharon, Bucky, Sam, Clint etc.) appear in the story in a significant way.
***= Cap has a particularly good plot OR Cap has significant personal interaction OR something of great fannish interest happens.
****= More than one of the above options
*****= The plot is significant to Cap's personal arc

2002

Captain America issue 1 = ***

Captain America's 9/11 issue. Steve is devastated by 9/11 and helps at Ground Zero in his civillian identity. Cap says intolerance is wrong.

Captain America issue 2 = *

Captain America fights a terrorist hostage situation in the US.

Captain America issue 3 = ***

Cap stops the terrorist hostage situation, then angsts about it, then reveals his secret identity on camera. No one cares.

Captain America issue 4 = *

Steve angsts and squabbles with Fury, and rides off on his motorcycle.

Captain America issue 5 = *

Steve gets recognized and talks about the War on Terror.

Captain America issue 6 = *

Cap talks about the War on Terror some more, and catches the villain.

Captain America issue 7 = ***

Steve has decided to live in his old neighborhood and work in the Navy Yard because, um. Cap is angsty about September 11. Okay, Steve, whatever. Inali Redpath is supposedly dead.

Captain America issue 8 = *

Inali Redpath is not actually dead and has a flashback to an adventure with Steve years before. More caption boxes of pretentious!

Captain America issue 9 = *

Inali drugs Steve into an involuntary vision quest. Also, more speechifying.

2003

Captain America issue 10 = *

Steve has drugged hallucinations and gets rescued by an Atlantean woman named Hana.

Captain America issue 11 = ***

Inali and Thor have a battle royale over the sexual favors of the weather. No, really, that's the way they both talk about it. Thor is actually jealous and angry, a god scorned. Nick Fury angsts about the War on Terror.

Captain America issue 12 = *

Steve angsts, Hana angsts (separately).

Captain America issue 13 = ** (Extra stars for flag-cuddling lols)

Steve angsts in his darkened apartment in full uniform WHILE CUDDLING THE FLAG. This is not an exaggeration. He may or may not have been defrosted, refrosted, and planted for the Avengers to find, causing him to angst copiously.

Captain America issue 14 = *

Steve angsts, and creepy people from Lemuria want to abduct him.

Captain America issue 15 = *

Steve meets the creepy man from Lemuria, and Hana may or may not be fridged

Captain America issue 16 = *

Steve hallucinates some more (wow, it's a pattern) and Hana turns out not to be fridged. Steve angsts.

Captain America issue 17 = ****

OH MY GOD IT'S A PLOT GET IN THE CAAAAR! An alternate universe where Steve woke up in the 60's to find the Nazis won. The Red Skull speechifies.

Captain America issue 18 = ****

Still in the alternate universe, Steve meets the Fantastic Four, who help him escape to the resistance.

Captain America issue 19 = *****

Still in the alternate universe, Steve meest the resistance, which includes all the Avengers and BUCKY! 20 years older Bucky is their leader. Tony also stars as a double agent pretending to be a collaborator in order to help the cause. And then the plot gets EVEN MORE AWESOME!

Captain America issue 20 = ****

Still in the alternate universe, still awesome! Sadly, this is the last issue of that arc, back to normal next issue.

Captain America issue 21 = *

And we're back to normal, only instead of pretty art, now the art is an attempt at grittiness. Steve angst about Guantanamo Bay and immigration. Also, a cute and trendy artist named Rebecca flirts with him. Someone tries to kill Steve, the government tries to use him for a publicity stunt.

2004

Captain America issue 22 = **

Cap angsts about Guantanamo. This is really depressing. On a more amusing note, the artist draws Steve's hands as if they are as large as his head. Also, Rebecca takes Steve to an art exhibit that takes cheap shots at superheroes. Rebecca swears she will give it a bad review online. Ooh, Rebecca, burn! The artist must be shaking in her boots! Also, Steve gets out of an uncomfortable conversation by pretending that a call from Rebecca is a call from Nick Fury.

Captain America issue 23 = *

Cap angsts about Guantanamo, and investigates a murder there. This is really depressing. Disturbingly, Fidel Castro appears in the comic.

Captain America issue 24 = **

Fury is attempting to stop a plot to blow up Cuba and frame the US. Cap attempts to debate Cuban propaganda with Cuban soldiers whose lives could be ruined by saying anything but the party line. Also, they fight terrorists. Also, Steve is unimpressed by Hemingway.

Captain America issue 25 = **

Cap succeeds in stopping a terrorist plot to blow up Cuba and frame the US. A shadowy figure in the US government tried to kill Steve!

Captain America issue 26 = **

ZOMG, did you know Bucky was underage? I know, right, SHOCKING! Also, apparently the writer didn't get the memo that Bucky's first name was James. Way to do the research!

Captain America issue 27 = ***

Rebecca is Asian and with a different artist it is now apparent, however I don't think he got Tony's facial hair right. (Where's the beard?) Yes, Iron Man appears in this issue in a significant role! On a less happy note, Senator Paley, Steve's favorite Presidential candidate, is assassinated by bomb. But then something funky happens to the timeline and it never happens at all. But then someone shows up looking for Captain America aka Isaiah Bradley... say what?

Captain America issue 28 = ***

Isaiah Bradley appears in a major role! AWESOME! But Rebecca had to stab his insane daughter Becky to survive (she got better). Rebecca decides that she needs to amicably break up with Steve to get away from the violence, but they stay friends. Isaiah and Becky have been messing with the timestream, but are from an alternate timeline. Whatever, it makes no sense, but they fight each other using toys purchased at the San Diego Comic Con of the far future, which is cool.

And then the ending reveals that the entire storyline ends in a universe where Steve used the time hopping thing to prevent September 11 and there are zeppelins everywhere. I'm guessing these issues are now out of Marvel continuity? I wonder if ANY of vol 4 up until this point is in Marvel continuity... OH WELL!

Captain America issue 29 = **

Diamondback pops back into Captain America's life and they fight Hydra together and it is fun. But WAIT! That's not Diamondback! Oh, Red Skull, how cruel of you!

Captain America issue 30 = **

Cap thinks he has a fun date with Diamondback. Meanwhile the a dubious character willing to work with the Red Skull is in charge of the Helicarrier and plotting against SHIELD! Oh no!

Captain America issue 31 = **

Apparently it was Diamondback but she was working for the Red Skull and had an attack of conscience. Then the Red Skull just killed her right as Steve was about to arrive with flowers. Ouch.

Captain America issue 32 = **

Cap and Red Skull fight, Red Skull drops a building on Steve, Rachel (Diamondback) comes back from the dead and is turned into something funky and metallic looking and saves Steve from the Red Skull. But then it turns out she was never Diamondback, she was a LMD programmed to work with Red Skull who just thought she was Diamondback. Then Steve meets the real Diamondback again, and they get back together.

This, however, will get ignored in the next issue which is... Volume 5!

 

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