Friday, January 25, 2013

Man without a Country...or a razor, apparently.

Hmm. I thought I needed this issue for "The End" Week, but jumped the gun a bit: despite "To All Things an Ending" on the cover, Captain America #453 wasn't the last issue of the series, #454 was. #453 was the conclusion to "Man Without a Country," though: "Executive Action" Written by Mark Waid, pencils by Pino Rinaldi and Ron Garney, inks by Scott Koblish.

Framed for treason by Machinesmith, Cap has been exiled from America, but he and Sharon Carter are still the only hope for a crashing S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. (Yeah, that never happens.) Make that Sharon: Cap leaves her to it, as he plays a last card to get back to America and save President Clinton.
Sharon suspects she may not see Cap again for another five years, but manages to hack the helicarrier's system and get it back online. (Surprisingly, she mentions learning from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Jasper Sitwell, the Punisher's tech support Microchip, and...Ultron?) Meanwhile, Cap literally plays a card: his deactivated Avengers ID, which he uses to gain access to Latveria! Dr. Doom grants Cap an audience, and Cap convinces him that global thermonuclear war would be bad for Latveria.

Machinesmith's a human consciousness in a robot body, and as he explains during his attack on the president, he can control machines easily but can in a pinch read the electrical impulses of the human brain. Like he did to gain secrets to frame Cap, and how he just did to get the activation codes for nuclear missiles. Unfortunately for Machinesmith, when it looks like he's won, Captain America returns! With a knockoff costume and shield courtesy of Doom. Cap mops up Machinesmith's drones, then when he tries to transfer to the nuclear launch "football," Cap throws it in the fire.
The issue ends with a sheepish Clinton apologizing to an exonerated Cap, as he returns his shield. A solid issue, that was perhaps overpraised at the time since the Heroes Reborn Rob Liefeld relaunch was coming up...but still damn good.

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