Sometimes a completely goofy book hits the spot.
Sentinel of Liberty was Captain America’s answer to Batman’s Legends of the Dark Knight, an opportunity to tell out-of-order tales from various points throughout Cap’s long career. Unlike Batman’s book, Cap’s didn’t last long, but it featured entertaining stories by Mark Waid and various artists.
The silliest entry in the series was by far #11, which takes us back to an equally silly (if less intentionally so) Silver Age story. Back in 1963, before Cap was revived in the then-modern era, Marvel tested him out by having a Captain America imposter face off against the Human Torch in Strange Tales #114. And let’s just say, that’s not a comic that will appear in this series of positive reviews.
Sentinel of Liberty #11 has fun with the Silver Age story. Lots of fun. The issue is framed around the present-day Human Torch recounting the “classic” adventure to a disbelieving Cap (who of course was still on ice as it was all going down…there’s a visual representation in case you had forgotten). The Torch is treated as an unreliable narrator, though he’s amusingly accurate in his recollections, right down to his girlfriend calling for someone to “send some new linoleum over right away,” the Torch getting trapped in an asbestos-lined van, and the expensive lengths to which the Cap imposter goes to rob banks.
Not every comic needs to strive to be The Best Ever. It’s perfectly okay to merely deliver unpretentious, good-natured fun. And this one does so with excellent cheer.
Writer: Mark Waid
Pencilers: Walter McDaniel and Anthony Williams
Inkers: Whitney McFarland and Andy Lanning
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: back issues
Appropriate For: ages 9 and up