Captain America is at the Lompac Federal Prison in California. He has come to visit a recent arrestee; one from his past; one with answers to long hidden questions. The person is the former Lieutenant Merritt, now a hardened criminal, and in federal prison for a laundry list of charges from domestic terrorism to drug trafficking to hate crimes. Cap remembers Merritt from the assassination of Doctor Reinstein, and subsequent fire-bombing of the doctor’s lab, which Cap suspects Merritt of doing. During a search of one of Merritt’s warehouses, among the Nazi paraphernalia, there was an item of great significance and importance. Merritt explains the personal importance of the item to him, and how he was disgusted with America for not only testing the Super Soldier formula on blacks, especially since he, after reading the first issue of the Captain America comic, volunteered for the project and was rejected. Meanwhile, during Isaiah’s captivity, he is interrogated by Hitler and his top medical officer. Hitler tells Isaiah that their war was not with the “Negros”. Hitler compares himself to the “Scottsboro boys” in that he has also been “unjustly convicted” He shows Isaiah some American propaganda films, and asked him why they fight for an army that denies them glory. Plans are made to mutilate Isaiah and send him back to America. He is told his wounds would be treated and he would be let go. As Captain America continues the interview, he finds out about Isaiah Bradley from hid FBI escort and is immediately curious. The agent relates a story from his grandparents about Isaiah’s escape.
Story– When Captain America questions Merritt about the item found in the warehouse. Merritt tells Cap how the soldiers resented him, and what he stood for, and how he felt that the country was fighting on the wrong side because he felt the war was about keeping things right and pure, which he felt the Nazis stood for, while his own government not only tolerated testing one of the biggest military breakthroughs on blacks, but by sending them on missions, had elevated them to the equal status as a white man. The F.B.I. Agent, who is of Afro-German descent, reminds Merritt of the contributions of blacks during the war and of their strong presence before and after the war. The exchange between Isaiah and Hitler takes a humorous turn when Isaiah is asked to turn his back on America and stand with Hitler and the Nazis. Isaiah’s response is simple; “Guys, my wife would kill me!” They truly did not know Faith Bradley!
Art- see issue #1 review
Historical Significance- The exchange between Hitler and Isaiah is based on a story that is retold in the book “New World A-Coming” which is a dialogue between Hitler and a Negro student studying at Heidelberg University. A portion of that conversation has Hitler referring to Negros as “third class citizens” because of how they allow whites to treat them. There are also books such as “Hitler’s Black Victims: The Historical Experience of Afro-German, European Blacks, and African Americans in the Nazi Era” that explore the German/African connection that the FBI Agent alludes too.
Cover- The image of Isaiah dressed in the Captain America outfit and striking a fighting pose is classic!
Isaiah’s actions will have far reaching repercussions and will put him directly on a path to confront one of the people considered the greatest villain of his generation. 5/5