Experience Steve Rogers' early days out of the ice, attempting to rejoin a world that has left him behind!
Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!
Given Captain America’s 75-year history, plenty of writers and artists have taken the time to explore different aspects of his story, updating them when necessary. Because of this you get a lot of origin re-tellings and tales set during World War II, but not many focusing on the time right after Steve rejoined the human race in AVENGERS #4.
That didn’t stop Mark Waid and Jorge Molina from choosing that time period to tell the story seen in CAPTAIN AMERICA: MAN OUT OF TIME. The 2010 limited series shows Cap waking up in a world filled with cell phones, crime, and a totally different version of America.
Understandably confused, Steve begins to think that he’s in a dream or being manipulated in some way. Like a good soldier who has seen more than his share of combat, he’s wary of the Avengers and even their kid mascot Rick Jones who asks him for help.
Eventually coming to accept the reality of his new time period, Cap seeks out old friends from the war, gets several crash courses in history and decides to use Reed Richards’ time travel tech to return to his era where he plans to check on Bucky and lie low until old age takes them both.
Those plans get the kibosh when the President of the United States of America orders the Sentinel of Liberty not to pursue that course of action at this moment for fear of disrupting the space time continuum. Still, Cap gets his wish when Kang appears and inadvertently grants him his wish of returning to the 1940’s of New York City right after the end of the war.
Once back in his own time, Rogers wonders about what will happen to his teammates in the Avengers as they continue to fight the time lord and feels guilty about leaving them in the lurch. He also comes to realize that sometimes getting the exact thing you want doesn’t make you happy and arranges to send a message to the future to help get him back to his new home.
MAN OUT OF TIME marks an interesting point in Cap’s life because we’re all so used to seeing him as the well-adjusted WWII hero living in the modern world, but he clearly did not start out like that. This version reflects the confusion and sadness inherent in realizing that most of the people you know have passed on and adjusting to new surroundings that seem almost alien.
At the end of the day this living legend realizes his new role in the world: “Once I started acting like a Captain, I finally became part of the team. Sometimes all you can do is step into a role and be patient while it molds itself around you.” At that moment you can see the rebirth of the hero we all know and love.
MAN OUT OF TIME marks a return to Cap for writer Mark Waid. He, of course, followed up Mark Gruenwald’s decade-long run which ended about a year later with the Heroes Reborn event. Waid then returned to tell the Heroes Return tales until issue #23 and also launched CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY in 1998. Though he didn’t write #7 and #10 of the 12-issue series, Waid teamed with the likes of Brian K. Vaughan, Ron Garney, Cully Hamner, Doug Braithwaite, Dan Green, and Ron Frenz to expand the Star-Spangled Avenger’s ongoing adventures.
Next, CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #1-4 features an All-New, All-Different take by Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuña and Paul Renaud.