Captain America #697 Review: Cap Body Slams a Leopard in it

Captain America #697
9.5 / 10 Reviewer
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Summary
Writer: Mark Waid, Artist: Chris Samnee, Color Artist: Matthew Wilson, Where's Wolverine Page: Leinil Francis Yu, Cover by: Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson, Variant Cover by: John Cassaday and Paul Mounts, Graphic Designer: Carlos Lao, Editor: Tom Brevoort, Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith, Captain America Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

Captain America is kidnapped by Kraven the Hunter for a superhero-themed recreation of Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game. To motivate the Captain to participate, Kraven has also kidnapped a hapless civilian for Steve to save. The setup is simple: make it to the end and survive. Falter and Captain America and the man die. Let the hunt begin.

Captain America #697 cover by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson
Captain America #697 cover by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson

Mark Waid and Chris Samnee really have managed to recapture the spirit of a classic Captain America comic with this short run on the title. This just feels like a classic comic in both premise and execution.

It does have its more nuanced sensibilities too: Cap calls Kraven out in the outset. He knows what’s going on immediately and won’t participate because he has no reason to run from Kraven. That’s why Kraven also involved the random civilian. There’s also a last-act twist that is clever, if not all that unexpected.

Also, Captain America body slams a freaking leopard in this comic, and that’s worth like, five points onto its score alone. He picks up this sucker and just drops it on the ground.

Captain America versus Kraven is a simple yet exciting premise in itself. Kraven has always been one of the best Spider-Man rogues, and he has something akin to the Super Soldier Serum in his own veins. It just makes too much sense for he and Cap to go head-to-head.

The epilogue with Wolverine doesn’t provide much to speak upon. Apparently, Logan was supposed to meet Steve this issue which Kraven ruined.

Captain America #697 art by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson
Captain America #697 art by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson

Chris Samnee continues to provide that throwback art style for which he’s so well known. It fits the story and just Captain America himself very well. Plus, it just looks good, and Matthew Wilson’s color art plays off of it perfectly. Wilson uses brighter shades that give the comic a very Captain America feel.

Also, Kraven killed Ikari the Daredevil villain apparently (top right panel, on the wall).

Waid, Samnee, and Wilson continue their star-spangled hot streak with this issue of Cap. It’s a straightforward and fun story between two compelling opponents. I had a joy reading it and definitely recommend it. Pick it up.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.