For today’s Friday Rec, I decided to go a different route and not recommend a Superman-related story for once. This time, I decided to go with a different character, in a different universe too! So I went with Captain America: Man Out of Time.
It’s a bit of an offbeat choice to be sure. There’s no grand villain; it’s not particularly action packed, but what it does is expand on the character of Captain America, giving him an updated re-introduction into the Marvel U. I would imagine this was the idea. Right after the updated “Avengers: The Origin” mini wrapped, this was designed as a retelling of the early days for sure. Where that book told us an expanded story of the Avengers being formed, this book focuses on one man, and his adjustment to a whole new time.
The reason Man Out of Time exists is easy. There’s a movie coming this summer, and Marvel is nothing if not a marketing juggernaut with comics and toys and what have you. And the premise of this book is even simpler. Instead of being revived by the Avengers in the 60’s, he was revived four decades later in the dawn of the new millennium. Cap has to adjust to things like cell phones, cultural and sexual revolutions, and even bands like Radiohead (who, surprise! He actually kind of enjoys.). The man hasn’t even heard an electric guitar before! The entire world has passed him by.
And really, who else can write this series other than the great Mark Waid? Mark Waid is truly one of the greats, and one of the characters he understands best is Captain America. Steve Rogers is a character he holds near and dear to his heart, which is why he was so upset by the handling of the ultimate version of the character. Instead of generally being a jaded jerk that runs around beating people up and insulting the French; Mark Waid instills a sense of horrified yet optimistic wonder in the eyes of Steve. When he sees the female doctor who isn’t white, he’s naturally shocked. He comes from a world where doctors are usually white men. But he smiles, with a look that says “it’s about time.”
Speaking of his smile, this book wouldn’t have been half the book it was if it weren’t for the art. Jorge Molina and Karl Kesel’s work captures Steve’s looks of horror rather keenly, with just a bit of comedy to keep it going. One of my favorite moments in the series so far is when Steve goes on his first google search. And while you can imagine it didn’t end the way you originally imagine it, the mere moment is enough to make the book worth picking up. But while I can go on and on about Steve’s facial expressions, the other figures and actions are well rendered really well, with colors and shadows using the space to capture the mood.
The book is a mini, and only five issues, so there’s not much a commitment involved in the book. But if you want to know how Cap dealt with missing a great deal of history, this book is perfect for you. There are already 4 issues out, and at press time, the final issue comes out in two weeks, on March 16th. I highly recommend you pick up the back issues, or pick up the hardcover that will come out in early June. But why would you want to wait so long for such quality?
Regardless, here is the Amazon link for the hardcover, which is almost 40% off the cover price. So if you’re on a budget, you should definitely pick this up then.