I finally got a chance to read Captain America #695 (the first Waid/Samnee issue). I quite enjoyed it.
There's one bit I didn't like -- a retcon stating that Cap was forgotten after he disappeared, that by the time he was found in the ice (which, due to Marvel's sliding timescale where it's always 10 years after the Avengers first formed, now happened in 2007) most people didn't know who he was anymore, which is just silly; if there was a bona fide superhero fighting alongside the Allies in WWII, that wouldn't just be a footnote in the history books, there'd be like a million books and movies about him. (Hell, the backup story which recaps his origin uses Wasp's original dialogue from Avengers #4, which describes him as "world-famous".)
Other than that, though? It's basically perfect. A first issue is a mission statement, and this one ticks the right boxes: it's about Cap as an inspiration who brings out the best in ordinary people, and it's got him fighting a resurgent white supremacist organization right off the bat, because of course that's what he should be doing. (There's even a good line in there about how cosplaying as a member of a white supremacist organization is totally inappropriate.) Secret Empire is mentioned twice, briefly, once on the recap page and once in the issue (where a character mentions that Cap recently saved the country from an imposter who pretended to be him). I expect we'll still be dealing with some fallout from that misbegotten mess, but I'm sure happy with this first issue's approach: acknowledge it briefly and then move on.
The story's self-contained, but I'm sure it's also the first chapter in an arc, because everything's a six-issue arc now. (I haven't gone back and added up the numbering from all the various relaunches, but I'm guessing they fudged the numbers at least a little bit to arrive at #695, seeing as that puts the end of the story arc right at issue #700.) Still, it functions fine as a done-in-one story, and I hope more of the series does the same; you can certainly tell an ongoing story with a series of self-contained ones, and comics used to do it all the time, you guys.
And Samnee? Samnee is freaking wonderful, as always. I've been a fan of his since Thor: The Mighty Avenger (though I haven't picked up his previous collaborations with Waid, on Daredevil and Black Widow; they're on my to-do list but there are so many comics on my to-do list). He has some great action scenes in this issue, but also does a great job with Cap just walking around talking to people.
Captain America was in desperate need of rehabilitation. Waid has, of course, been here before; he also put the pieces back together after the infamous Rob Liefeld run. And Samnee, and colorist Matthew Wilson, bring that modern-retro style that I most associate with Mike and Laura Allred, the clean lines and bright, solid colors. It doesn't look old, it looks classic.
tl;dr Captain America is good again, you guys; you should read it. This one's going on my pull list.
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