Captain America: America First is a collection of three separate Cap one-shot issues, each featuring a different creative team and unique story theme. So how did it do?
The first story is “Operation Zero Point” by Daniel and Charles Knauf with art from Mitch Bretweiser. This story is fairly straight forward, with Cap being sent to take out the Nazi’s new flying-saucer inspired aircraft. Along the way, Cap gets captured by a Nazi cyborg and attempts to rescue himself and the Jewish physicist who was forced into creating the flying death machines. Bretweiser’s art is phenomenal in this story, looking very realistic.
This is followed up with “Prisoners of Duty” by writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel (who brought us the short film The League) with art by Agustin Adilla. Steve Rogers is kidnapped and placed into a Nazi prisoners camp, having to find a way to liberate the other American POWs and himself. Along the way he meets a German nurse who has been forced into working there.
The best of the lot concludes this volume, with a tale by Howard Chaykin featuring Captain America in the 1950s. Wait a minute, wasn’t Captain America frozen after World War II? Yes. Marvel has explained that the comics featuring Cap in the 1950s (where he traded in fighting Nazis for communist spies and Soviet agents) are the stories of William Burnside, who took up the mantle during the 1950s.
Along side a young Nick Fury, this Captain is trying to get to the bottom of Soviet activity in America, all the while facing an overzealous Joseph McCarthy-esque Senator who is trying to turn the public.
Chaykin does a great job with this story; the ending is a bit of a swerve. Him writing about this time period is a perfect fit for his art style; it makes me all the more excited for Retro Avengers.