Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Captain America 43

Story- This issue starts a brand new story arc, with the Red Skull finally being out of the way and Sharon Carter finally out of his clutches.
Half this issue told a story from WW2 involving Steve Rogers, Bucky and the original Human Torch, in China searching for a young Chinese scientist before the Japanese could catch him. The three heroes manage to find the child genius, but it isn't revealed who he is or what his importance is to the Allies.
In the present, Bucky is still not altogether comfortable with his new role as Cap, even though just about everybody else seems to accept him as the new Captain America. We also see that Bucky is now romantically involved with the Black Widow. Bucky leaves his "best friend" as he calls her, to clear his head, and runs into trouble in the form of Batroc the Leaper. Batroc and some mercenaries had just broken into a U.N. research facility and stolen some top secret information and Bucky, in civilian guise attempts to stop them. Unfortunately for Bucky, while fighting Batroc, he is blasted in the back by one of the mercs, allowing Batroc to escape with his information, but not before Batroc notices Captain America's shield attached to Bucky's back through his destroyed clothing.
Batroc meets his mysterious contact to turn over the stolen information and shows the man some pictures of the unmasked Bucky, taken from nearby security cameras. The mystery man recognizes Bucky as the Winter Soldier, and says to himself that his leader will be pleased to know that the Winter Soldier is the new Captain America.

Overall- God, do I love Ed Brubaker's writing... Once again(as always), he manages to turn out another great story, while most of the rest of the Marvel Universe goes to hell in a hand basket. I was pleasantly surprised to see Batroc the Leaper, who was a favorite villain of mine from way back when Mark Gruenwald wrote Cap's adventures... I really miss Mark Gruenwald. He was one hell of a writer and editor. I can't even begin to imagine how much better the quality of work coming out of Marvel today would be if he were still alive and editing...
Back to the story though. I'm not really sure how I feel about Bucky shacking up with Natasha(or Natalia if you prefer)... With how ####ed up Marvel is right now, I keep expecting her to be a ####ing Skrull, so I just can't invest too much into their relationship right now. Most of what is going on in this issue is shrouded in mystery, since this is the start of a new storyline, but Brubaker could write the Manhattan phone book, and tell an interesting, compelling tale, so I'll definitely be awaiting next month's installment of Cap with great anticipation.

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