I’m a little late with this one. On July 1, Canada Day, I reviewed a Canadian super hero. On July 4 I had planned on reviewing an American themed super hero for my many American readers. Unfortunately it was sweltering hot and that lead to an impromptu barbecue and that led to some impromptu beer drinking and so basically I just didn’t get around to it. So while I may be a bit late, I did already have a figure all picked out to review so I’m gonna go ahead and do it anyway.
The obvious choice for a 4th of July review would be Captain America in all of his red, white, and blue glory. However I’ve already covered Captain America, his protégé Patriot, and even his one-time replacement, U.S.Agent. Luckily my collection is vast and I was able to find an American themed action figure without repeating myself. This is Steve Rogers. “But isn’t Steve Rogers Captain America?” I’m sure you’re thinking. And yes, he is…most of the time.
A couple of years back there was a Marvel event storyline titled “Civil War”. The basic premise was that after some sloppy super heroing by the New Warriors which resulted in civilian casualties, the politicians demanded that all super heroes be registered and sanctioned by the U.S. government. Iron Man supported the bill and led the charge with like-minded superheroes. Captain American did not support the bill and led the opposition. Things got ugly for a while and the story ultimately ended with Captain America, Steve Rogers, getting assassinated. America was without a Captain and the country’s morale was at an all-time low.
The powers-that-be needed someone to don the shield in order to give the country hope. Conveniently Cap’s old WWII partner, Bucky Barnes, had recently been revived and rehabilitated and was looking for something to do. Enter Captain America 2.0. Actually he was probably more like Captain America 8.0 when you consider how many guys have taken that name at one point or another but never mind that.
Bucky Cap was a worthy successor to Steve. During his tenure as the Captain I found myself enjoying the comic book more than ever. I found Bucky, with his tortured past and rough around the edges demeanor, to be more interesting to read about. This was all thanks to the brilliant writing of Ed Brubaker who brought a teen sidekick that nobody cared about back from the dead some 40 years after his death and transformed him into one of the most 3-dimensinal Marvel heroes on the news stands. I knew Steve would eventually return to resume the mantle of Captain America, as that’s the way comics go, but I was in no rush to see him come back.
Well after a couple of years Steve did return, during the Dark Reign/Siege storyline. I figured that Steve would immediately put the costume back on and Bucky would revert back to side-kick status. To my surprise, this did not happen. Bucky remained Captain America while Steve became…well, just Steve. The former Cap became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and opted to wear the more subdued costume you see here. During this period Steve was relinquished to a supporting role in titles like Iron man, Avengers, and even Captain America though he did receive his own 4 issue mini-series under the banner Steve Rogers: Super Soldier.
Steve’s new costume was simple but I liked it. It was a nice blend of functional military and super hero flair. When this figure was first announced I wasn’t sure if I should pick it up. Sure I liked the look but I knew it would be fleeting. It’s kind of like Spider-Man’s Iron Spider suit or Wolverine’s X-Force get-up. Do I really need an action figure of an outfit that a character only wore for a minute? When the figure is as cool as this one the answer is yes. Not only is this a great figure on its own but it’s probably the only chance I’ll have at an unmasked Captain America. I could just to pop this noggin off and plop it onto one of my Cap figures for a quick and easy unmasked custom.
The sculpt is great, the colors are great, and I’m actually really glad they made a figure of this look even though it only lasted for a split second of Steve Roger’s history. I’m glad that Marvel found a use for this costume, giving it to Nick Fury Jr., once Steve no longer needed it. If you’re wondering why Steve no longer needed it, it’s because Bucky got killed during “Fear Itself” and so Steve became Captain America once more. Bucky got better (again) and decided to revert back to being the Winter Soldier. Yay! A happy ending. 9 out of 10.
Happy belated 4th of July!!