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Operation Rebirth
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #24 - Operation Rebirth
Original Airdate March 30th, 2002

When Wolverine learns that the Rebirth project that created Captain America was stolen by Magneto, he, Nightcrawler and Rogue travel to the Desert to stop Magneto from using it to enpower himself.

Story By: Boyd Kirkland, Greg Johnson
Written By: Bob Forward
Directed By: Gary Graham
Music Composed By: William Anderson
Guest Starring: Jim Byrnes as Nick Fury.

Review: I remember being instantly thrilled when I heard that Captain American would appear on the show. This was before season two had started airing here in the UK, but I remember seeing a picture of him online and… wow. He looked awesome! Unlike every other animated appearance of the good Captain, he actually looked like a symbol of hope for the people of America.

Given how I’d always wanted to see a Captain America animated series, you can imagine how spectacular I thought it was when he took off his coat and utterly destroyed the Nazi plane. It’s undoubtedly one of the finest scenes in any of the Marvel (or DC) cartoons.

Captain America’s tweaked origin is actually a highly original take on a classic story. Having Cap being suspended until a cure was found makes a lot of sense and greatly adds to Magneto’s cause in the episode. Whilst I love Cap’s falling in the line of duty origin from the comics, I love this just as much. It might be tricky to tell the story of him waking up, but since that never happened, there’s no real sense in worrying about it.

Aside from the changes to his origin, there was a lot of controversy after the episode aired about Captain America’s complete lack of dialogue, but I thought it made it all that more iconic. He worked perfectly without it, but if he’d been given cheesy dialogue, it could’ve ruined the entire thing. I honestly couldn’t say if Cap’s silence was because of the reasons stated, or if they didn’t have it in their budget to bring in another actor, but whatever the case, the scenes with Cap were utterly outstanding.

The episode itself isn’t really as enjoyable as the flashback scenes, but it’s still pretty good. The fight with the giant metal spider contraption was both really bizarre and cool at the same time, and the fight scenes between Wolverine and Sabertooth were a cut above the dozens they seemed to have in the first season. I did like Magneto sparing them, to repay his debt to Wolverine from World War II, I thought it added a touch of class to Magneto and added a little bit more evidence to the “is he really a villain?” theory.

And of course, the final scene revealing that Captain America is still alive, but frozen due to his condition. Whilst it is an optimistic ending, one can’t help but feel a little bit disappointed that Rogers never woke up through the course of the series. But this shouldn’t diminish the episode from what it was, a damn fine story with something a little more special for fans of Captain America. One of the show’s best, without a doubt.