CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 brings the “Promised Land” arc to a close. It’s also writer Mark Waid’s final issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA. Though nothing monumental has happened during Waid’s run, it’s been a wholesome and unique experience, to say the least.

With the conspiracy out in the open, America takes action against the Kree. The Red Skull comes out in full force, with the power of the cosmic cube allowing him to kick some serious ass. Jack Rogers makes a gamble to save his son and stand out as a hero.

Unlike the previous issues of the “Promised Land” arc, CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 is wholly about Jack Rogers. There aren’t any flashbacks of Captain America. Given that, artist Leonardo Romero is the only artist for this issue. But that’s quite alright, as his style still holds up for Waid’s CAPTAIN AMERICA finale.

Red Skull to the Rescue in CAPTAIN AMERICA #703

For the Fate of America

CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 picks up right where #703 left off. The plot moves very quickly, and it’s generally very energetic and tense. It makes for a solid finale.

The Red Skull is raining hell down on the Kree, destroying their warships and taking out their troops with relative ease, thanks to the power of the Cosmic Cube. Jack and his allies interrogate General Pursur and figure out the secret to saving Jack’s son, as well as many others whose bodies can’t accept the super soldier serum.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #704
CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Afterward, the Red Skull attempts to kill Jack and finally take over the world. For a brief moment, it looks like Jack is going to give in — like he’s really going to join Red Skull. He says that would be the ultimate defeat of Captain America. Luckily, the whole thing is a ruse by Jack to send Red Skull away and unite the people.

With Jack victorious, he and young Steve set out to reforge the nation and uphold their ancestry to Captain America. All in all, it’s a fairly straightforward finale, but it definitely delivers a solid amount of exciting entertainment.

Jack Rogers’ Takes a Stand in CAPTAIN AMERICA #704

Mark Waid has done so much to make Jack Rogers stand out as a great character. I’ve been a big fan of his character arc and how the character has progressed from a simple historian to something of a hero. I say “something” because, as he clearly points out by the end of CAPTAIN AMERICA #704, he doesn’t consider himself a hero.

That’s the best part of his character. He’s never professed to be a hero like Captain America. He’s been shouting that he’s absolutely not a hero since CAPTAIN AMERICA #702. In fact, he’s a pretty selfish guy. He did, after all, unleash the Red Skull in the hopes of saving his son. That was really it, though. His primary goal was saving young Steve, not America.

However, by the end of this story, that dynamic really changes. It’s been hinted at subtly throughout the story, but in CAPTAIN AMERICA #704, it all comes full circle. Jack actually accepts that he might really be a hero. He accepts his heritage and knows what he has to do moving forward.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #704
CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 page 21. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

“Promised Land” has been something of a hero’s journey, in the most unlikely manner possible. I applaud Mark Waid for taking a chance with this story. For the most part, it’s definitely paid off.

Artistic Consistency Over Variety in CAPTAIN AMERICA #704

A recurring facet of the “Promised Land” arc was flashback sequences featuring Cap himself alongside the core story. These segments were drawn by guest artists, while Leonardo Romero drew the main story. CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 breaks the pattern, though, and sticks only with Romero’s style throughout.

On the one hand, I’m glad they took this route. The style throughout CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 is consistent and strong. Romero’s pages still stand out as colorful and energetic. His Red Skull is still really weird, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t detract too strongly from the overall quality. So, in that regard, I’m glad they stuck with a single artist for this issue.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #704
CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 page 5. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

On the other hand, I feel like CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 could have benefitted from a flashback sequence or two. I really dug the whole guest artists thing, so seeing them forgo that process this time around was a little surprising. Then again, the story doesn’t really have any space for those kinds of sequences, and Romero easily holds down the fort alone on the artistic side of things.

There are some really fantastic pages, especially towards the end of the issue. So, though I’m surprised they changed up the strategy for the finale, I’m mostly glad they went with that route. It just gives Romero more time to shine as an incredible artist.

Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu Take On CAPTAIN AMERICA #1

What Comes Next for Cap?

There’s a brief epilogue showing that things are mostly back to normal in the future. America remains vigilant for Kree retaliation, but they’ll be ready, should it ever come. Otherwise, everything seems to be under control now in the future, thanks to Jack Rogers.

Mark Waid has had a very distinguishable run on CAPTAIN AMERICA. Though it may seem mostly uneventful, Waid has done a lot to make his run stand out, and act as a testament to who Captain America is. CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 stands as proof of Waid’s hard work and dedication to the character.

Leonardo Romero has done a fantastic job with his pages for the “Promised Land” arc. He’s always stood out as an artist with an energetic style, and that hasn’t changed in CAPTAIN AMERICA #704.

Coming this 4th of July, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leinil Francis Yu take over the creative duties for the Sentinel of Liberty. I’m beyond excited to see what this creative team has up their sleeves.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 by Mark Waid, Leonardo Romero, and Jordie Bellaire
Art
Characterization
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Summary
Though it may seem like a straightforward finale, CAPTAIN AMERICA #704 is undoubtedly a strong conclusion to what's been a fun, unique Captain America arc.
88 %
A Strong Finisher

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