Captain America – Operation: Rebirth

By Mark Waid, Ron Garney & various (Marvel)
ISBN: 0-7851-0219-1             ISBN13: 978-0-7851-3126-7

The Sentinel of Liberty has been with us in one incarnation or another since the comic-book’s earliest light, a genuine icon of the wider public, but despite the noblest endeavours of many very talented creators has more often than not been a rather unsuccessful series for Marvel, and regularly one of the company’s poorest sellers.

In 1995 after a truly heroic and generally under-appreciated run, scripter Mark Gruenwald surrendered his post, going out on a high note by actually killing Captain America, as the super-serum that made him the world’s most perfect physical specimen degraded in his bloodstream, causing a total bodily collapse. This cleared the decks for a spectacular relaunch from Mark Waid and Ron Garney, (assisted by inkers Scott Koblish, Mike Manley and Denis Rodier) in issues #445-448.

Snatched from the jaws of death by his greatest enemy and his murdered true love, the Star-Spangled Avenger exploded back into action against the foes he was literally created to defeat when a Nazi cult attempted to resurrect Adolf Hitler and reconfigure the entire world using the reality bending Cosmic Cube.

With only the self-serving Red Skull and embittered, abandoned Sharon Carter beside him the hero was reborn in a dynamic thriller that instantly recaptured the vast energy of the character and perfectly displayed the mythic magical quality of Captain America, triggering a mini-renaissance that was thrown away when Marvel sublet him to the unreliable and inexplicably popular Rob Liefeld a year later.

Fast, pretty and utterly compelling Operation: Rebirth is a perfect superhero adventure and possibly the Last Hurrah of Silver Age Marvel’s most enthralling hero.
© 1995, 1996, 2008 Marvel Characters, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.