Captain America #449
Issue(s): Captain America #449
This is the First Sign crossover, which has merit in being an Avengers crossover which is not The Crossing. However, if you just wanted to enjoy your Waid/Garney (and, to a lesser extent, Messner-Loebs/Deodato) run in peace without being exposed to the changes that happened in The Crossing, you are going to be disappointed.
The issue starts with Captain America and Sharon Carter having infiltrated the SHIELD helicarrier, trying to get answers on why Cap was never told that Sharon was still alive. But the person who could answer on that is Nick Fury, who is dead, and per Val Fontaine, "no one comes back from the dead".
Immediately after they are beamed down from the Helicarrier, the First Sign story begins. A a barrier appears, separating Cap from Sharon. It turns out the barrier has isolated all of Manhattan, and disabled all technology on the island. Cap spends some item rescuing people affected by the sudden technology shut-off, and then encounters some goofs claiming allegiance to the Zodiac. Their technology works.
Their fiery suicides, coming off questions about Sharon's seeming death (in which a similar fiery explosion killed a number of others) might make you think that we're continuing the ongoing story instead of getting interrupted by a crossover. But that's not the case.
Cap fights his way through more Zodiac goons and makes his way to Avengers Mansion. Jarvis tells him that Iron Man is "somewhere downtown", Thor is "of course" uptown, and the rest of the Avengers are off-island. Cap fights his way through a seemingly endless number of goons, and eventually makes his way to Thor (and the Enchantress). However, he finds out that Thor is currently "powerless".
The plot is fairly mundane (and the barrier reminds me of the good old days when Stern and Byrne did their Avengers/FF mini-crossover) and a bit thin (endless fights with Zodiac goons and not much else; at least there's the opening sequence continuing Waid's regular storyline), but it's well executed. Waid's a good scripter and so the interactions are all fun.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's not said how long it took Cap and Sharon to plan their Helicarrier assault, so as much time as needed can take place between the last arc and this. This is part one of the First Sign crossover. Part two is in Thor #496.
A new Libra should be considered behind-the-scenes for this entire crossover until the final part when he appears on panel. However, this is the only story in which this Libra appears.
Crossover: First Sign
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCaptain America, Contessa Valentina Allegro De La Fontaine, Enchantress, Jarvis, Sharon Carter, Thor
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