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Throwback Thursday: What if…Captain America Fought in the Civil War?

A few weeks ago, when wrapping up a round in my favorite used book store, I happened to look down at the rack of floppies near the entrance to the checkout queue. I kept walking, as I usually do, and about six feet away, I stopped, turned around, and went back. I wasn’t sure what I had just seen. What had I just seen?

As it turns out, I had seen this:

What If Captain America

I wasn’t sure what the protocol was for pulling it out of the sleeve, and I didn’t care. I didn’t know what it was, what it was about, or if it was going to be anywhere near good, but I needed it. I NEEDED IT.

What if…Captain America Fought in the Civil War?

No, not that Civil War.

In 2006, Marvel gave us a series of What If comics featuring a new character, Hector Espejo, a hacker known online only as The Watcher. He has the ability to view the records and happenings of alternate versions of our universe. No Multiverses here.

Category ID: 1074

This time, he’s looking at a version in which Corporal Stephen Rogers joined the Jayhawkers in Missouri under the command of Colonel Buck Barnes in 1863. He’s in for a rude awakening, discovering in the worst way that he hasn’t found a group of freedom fighters for the Union. But a bit of medicine magic leads him to become something great, and sets him against the White Skull, who will turn out to be a formidable enemy.

Tiny Steve Civil War

I’m not sure what my feelings are about this one.

On the one hand, I feel like the cover misrepresented the story a little bit. The excitement I felt at what appeared to be an American Indian assuming the role of Captain America in the century before the canonical one was vaguely dimmed when I realized it was going to be the same old story, somehow infused with indigenous culture. The story itself was a good one, but my enjoyment was probably muted by the surprise.

Or maybe it was because I just finished Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and was feeling a little appropriation rage-y.

Okay, I might love this version of Sam Wilson. Like, a lot.

Okay, I might love this version of Sam Wilson. Like, a lot.

But on the whole, I am glad this exists. It’s both fun and meaningful, even if it’s not what I expected or wanted it to be.

What are you reading this Throwback Thursday?

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