That's right everybody, it's Captain America night!!! With Cap Reborn #6 FINALLY arriving, I can read that issue, as well as Who Will Wield The Shield and Cap #602, both of which I've been waiting a good month to read! However, before I get into my Cap mode, I have a few quick things to state. First off, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to post anything new tomorrow night... I have my first Accounting 2 exam Wednesday, and as such, I'm probably going to spend much of(if not all)of tomorrow night studying. However, there's supposed to be a pretty major snowstorm heading my way Tuesday night into Wednesday, so there is a possibility(however slight)that my college might be closed Wednesday thanks to the foul weather. The National Weather Service has already posted a Winter Storm Watch for Tuesday night, so needless to say, I've have my fingers crossed that the school will decide to close for Wednesday. Needless to say, no school means extra time to read comics/blog! Besides that, Aquaman #0-75 arrived at my place today, which has me pretty excited. I'm pretty close to ditching the Green Arrows I'd been reading and starting up the Aquaman stuff. Peter David+Aquaman=Awesomeness! Alright, that's more then enough pointless rambling for now, let's get to those Captain America comics!
Captain America Reborn #6(of 6): Writer: Ed Brubaker. Pencils: Bryan Hitch.
We open this issue with Hank Pym rescuing Sharon Carter from her imprisonment aboard the Red Skull's AIM ship. From there we head to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where the Red Skull(who is currently in possession of Steve Rogers body)is preparing to behead Bucky with his own shield. Before Skull can deliver the death blow, Steve begins to fight back against the Skull from inside his head. The two mortal foes battle for control of Steve's body and mind, and Skull ultimately retreats from the confines of Steve's mind, thanks to Steve's more powerful resolve. Upon regaining his senses, Steve decks the Skull's daughter, Sin, and helps Bucky to his feet. Although Steve is happy to have vanquished the Red Skull from his mind, there is still quite a battle being waged around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, thanks to Crossbones and his army of AIM agents and miniature MODOKS. Back on the AIM ship, Pym and Sharon battle through the hordes of AIM and attack Armin Zola, who was attempting to crack the Vision's security codes, thus giving himself access to tons of top secret Avengers files. While Pym takes on Zola, the Red Skull's consciousness returns to his mechanical body aboard the ship. Once Sharon spots the Skull trying to make a getaway, she grabs one of Pym's weapons and fires it at the Skull, accidentally causing the Skull to grow to over 30 feet tall! The now enormous(and UBER-pissed!)Skull begins to wreak havoc in front of the Memorial on both Avengers and AIM agents alike. Upon seeing the giant Skull, Cap and Bucky spring into action and attack the Nazi madman, which rallies the Avengers who were present. However, the combined might of two Captain Americas and several Avengers isn't enough to halt the Skull's rampage, so Sharon, still on-board the AIM ship, fires several missiles into the Skull, destroying his body, and severely burning Sin in the process. After the battle, Norman "Marvel" Osborn is upset about the loss of the Red Skull and Steve Rogers body, and he is given pictures of Sin, which shows that her skin was burned to the point where she actually looks much like a literal Red Skull. From there, we go to the rooftop of Bucky's hideout, where Steve Rogers is reflecting on everything that had happened to him, as well as several visions he saw while he was free-falling through time, visions that seemed to have revealed a terrible future, one where all of Earth's heroes were laying dead all around him, thanks to some unseen menace. While Steve tries to reason what the images mean, he is joined by Sharon, and this comic concludes with the two sitting on the roof of Bucky's hideout together.
All I have to say about this comic is bravo. It was well worth the wait. Ed hit all of the right notes here, the battles were fantastic and his mastery over all of the inter-personal relationships here was a thing of beauty. I really can't find fault with anything that was in this comic... Even as it wrapped up the Reborn storyline, it planted seeds for the future with whatever those weird visions Steve was having were all about. After reading this, even without reading the final issue of Flash Rebirth, I declare this mini-series the winner of the Cap Reborn/Flash Rebirth mini-series contest... Hands down. I think you know what score I'm going to give this one...
Score: 10 out of 10.'Nuff said.
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1: Writer: Ed Brubaker. Art: Butch Guice & Luke Ross.
This issue opens up with a flashback sequence showing Bucky and Steve's relationship back during WWII. We then head to the present, where the Black Widow discovers Bucky trying to figure out what his new identity should be. Widow tells him that he's Captain America, but Bucky explains that there is only one Cap, and that's Steve Rogers. Widow continues to try to persuade Bucky that he should remain Captain America, even if that means there would be two Caps, but Bucky seems steadfast in his belief that there is only one Cap, and it's not him. From there, the scene shifts to Steve and Sharon. Steve is still having some difficulty adjusting to the fact that he's back, as well as all of the changes the Marvel U has gone through in his absence, and after some more brooding by Steve, the two wind up in bed together. After Sharon is asleep, Steve gets up, and begins to think about the apocalyptic visions of the future that have been plaguing his thoughts. In order to forget about them, he gets dressed in his Cap outfit and decides to take a midnight stroll. At the same time, Bucky gets words from Black Widow that there was a jailbreak at the Raft prison, and the two rush out of the hideout to see what they can do to help. As they leave, they are spotted by Steve from a rooftop, and he decides to follow them to see what's going on. Bucky and Widow wind up running into Mr. Hyde, who immediately attacks the two of them. While Bucky and Widow battle Hyde and his goons, Steve arrives on the scene, but chooses to silently watch from a nearby rooftop. Eventually, Bucky notices Steve watching, and tosses Steve his shield, which leads to Steve taking down Hyde with ease. After the battle, Steve tries to give the shield back to Bucky, but Bucky is unwilling to take back what he considers to be Steve's property. Steve explains to Bucky that he isn't ready to come back full-time, and that until he is ready, he wants Bucky to carry on as Captain America, which Bucky reluctantly agrees to. After returning home, Steve thinks to himself that even though he wants to be Cap again, he can't, because in his terrible vision from the future, Bucky's corpse was wearing his Winter Soldier outfit, meaning that if Bucky isn't Cap, he could very well wind up dead, which is something Steve couldn't live with. The following day, Steve visits Pres. Obama at the White House, where the President gives Steve a full Presidential pardon for his actions during Civil War. The President asks Steve when he's going to take on the role of Captain America again, but Steve explains that he may never become Cap again, that is unless the President himself wants him to. This issue ends with Pres. Obama telling Steve that he won't ask him to take back his shield yet, but that he has a strange feeling that the country may be in need of Steve's abilities sometime in the very near future.
Before I get into what I thought of this comic, I want to take a moment to point out something that has been bugging me for years now... Yes, I'm about to launch into yet another attack on the Civil War storyline, so bear with me for a moment. Towards the end of this comic, Pres. Obama remarked that the Super-Hero Registration Act seemed very un-American. That is the EXACT reason I was so annoyed by the Registration Act/Civil War storyline, because the Registration Act is indeed un-American! That is the biggest failing of the Civil War story in my eyes. All Civil War was, was Marvel deciding to make a ludicrous political statement, and I for one would rather get my political information from a newspaper, not a comic book... Alright, I'm back off my soapbox, and back onto the comic book at hand. This was a very enjoyable book, and once again, Ed showed off his excellent writing skills with the way he showed Steve as a man who does want to be Captain America again, but is afraid that if he takes that step, he's dooming his friends to a horrible death at the hands of the mystery creatures from his visions. As long as Bucky is Cap, the terrible future Steve has seen shouldn't be able to come to pass, although that also means another possible future Steve saw, one where he does become Cap again, and he winds up marrying and having children with Sharon can never come to pass either... So basically, if Steve becomes Cap again, either he'll live happily ever after, or he'll damn everybody he cares about... As it stands right now, Steve seems content to sacrifice his own happiness for the good of everybody else. Now THAT is what I call some DAMN fine writing!!!
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.You know Cap, now that you're back from the dead, you can lend a hand!
Captain America #602: Writer: Ed Brubaker. Pencils: Luke Ross.
After meeting with Nick Fury, Bucky discovers that the Bad 1950's Captain America has been up to no good in some little town in Idaho. Not wanting to force Steve to battle a crazy man who shares Steve's face, Bucky decides to take down Bad Cap with Falcon. The two heroes head to Idaho and after going over Fury's files, learn Bad Cap has been putting together an anti-government army(The Watchdogs), and Bucky decides that the best way to get close enough to Bad Cap is to secretly join the Watchdogs. Upon arriving at the town in question, Bucky and Falcon watch a anti-government rally that was going on at the town square, and Falcon realizes that it's going to be impossible for him to infiltrate the Watchdogs, since they seem to be a bunch of ignorant rednecks. However, Bucky assures Falcon that he has a plan... That night, Falcon arrives at a local bar disguised as an IRS agent, and begins to tell the bartender that he was being audited. Bucky, disguised as a trucker, punches Falcon and tosses him out of the bar, which causes some members of the Watchdogs to approach him with a proposition. This issue ends with some Watchdog members handing Bad Cap a few photos of potential recruits, which leads to Bad Cap immediately recognizing Bucky.
I know I probably sound like a broken record by this point, but once again, this was an excellent issue of Captain America. You know, reading these three issues in a row has reminded me why I consider Ed Brubaker to be one of(if not)THE best comic book writer in the business today(Sorry Geoff Johns)! Man did I miss reading my monthly installment of Captain America! I really don't have anything left to say... This series is easily the best thing coming out of Marvel today.
Score: 9 out of 10.Heh-heh, Nick Fury said "asshat"...