Waid is a master of dodging between raindrops and telling stories between panels. Every so often origin stories need a refreshing. They don’t need to be completely reinvented, but they do need to have the technology updated and the background details given a fresh coat of paint. When you have a story like Captain America’s, where he originally emerged in the 1960s, that coat of paint and updated tech becomes a little more critical to the detail of the story. “Man Out of Time” revisits those days following Captain America’s thaw so, naturally, Tony Stark has a part to play in this story.
Waid writes Tony Stark as though he sat down with Robert Downey Jr. and fired off Steve Rogers’ bits of dialog to see what the results would be from Downey. The story gets an extra boost of pseudo-realistic coolness when Stark serves as Rogers’ tour guide through the accomplishments of America – and the influence on the world – since 1945. A large part of this revelation comes with a walk through the Smithsonian, with Stark and Rogers stopping in front of a display devoted to Captain America. The story is told with such dedication to detail and honesty in design that I half expect to see the statues of Cap and Bucky the next time I make it to the National Museum of American History.
I’ll be honest with you, Waid’s story is so thoroughly engrossing that I almost forget to acknowledge the fact that I am reading a comic with drawn images. Nothing against Molina, but it really is Waid’s story that sells this book. Molina, however, gets in some really amazing moments, such as the first actual story page, which you can check out in the preview right here on CBR. Those moments really pack a punch, as we get Captain America’s point of view directed towards a statue of, well, Captain America. It goes to figure that should Cap have existed, of course the Smithsonian would have a display for him.
In the end, this is a gut-wrenching story of Captain America’s heartbreak. He wants to go back in time to save Bucky, and is convinced that he can do so without impacting history. Halfway through this issue, I found myself suppressing an urge to tell Cap – that’s right, I was suppressing the urge to talk to a comic – that he doesn’t need to go back. Bucky will be fine. Well, sort of fine. At any rate, I’m sure you get the point.
With the plethora of Captain America titles on the racks and coming up to hit the racks as the comic reading world eagerly awaits a teaser trailer for the upcoming film, it might be easy to dismiss one or more of them. If you are set on spending a little extra time with the shield-slinger, however, then this is a great book for you to look into. It’s all tucked nicely behind the cover of Captain America leaping into action in front of the Presidents his legend has grown under. It’s the middle chapter of a five-issue series, but it is as complete and emotional an issue as you could want.