Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Captain America #607

Captain America #607: Writer: Ed Brubaker. Pencils: Mitch Breitweiser.

Review: This issue gets underway with Falcon being rushed into the hospital emergency room while Bucky broods. Meanwhile, outside the hospital, Baron “Hey, I'm evil again!” Zemo sends Iron Hand Hauptmann into the hospital to create a scene with Bucky. Once Hauptmann enters the hospital, Zemo calls the cops and alerts them to the disturbance at the hospital. Bucky(who is still somewhat groggy thanks to Zemo's drugging of him last issue)is barely able to hold his own against the Nazi, and decides to take the fight outside, throwing Hauptmann out the window. Bucky joins Hauptmann outside, and finds himself surrounded by a bunch of Nazi stormtroopers, so he does what any good American does when they find themselves in such a situation, he hands the stormtroopers a righteous beating. While Bucky is thrashing the stormtroopers, Steve Rogers arrives on the scene and stops Bucky's assault. Bucky is confused as to why Steve stepped in, until he realizes that the men he was beating up weren't Nazis, but were in fact police officers! Whoops! And to make matters worse, Hauptmann managed to escape during the fray. Steve takes the disturbed Bucky back to Avengers Tower, and after some tests, Steve and Bucky learn that Bucky was still suffering from the drugs that were introduced into his system last issue, and that the drugs were releasing controlled doses of a hallucinogenic and a muscle relaxant. After the doctors eradicate the drugs from Bucky's system, Bucky, Steve and Black Widow get together and try to figure out who drugged Bucky and why. Oh, and to make matters worse, footage of Bucky beating up the police is picked up by the media... Well, when it rains, it pours! Steve decides to go back to the hospital to check on the injured Falcon, while Bucky and Black Widow figure out that the bartender who served Bucky his drinks the prior night must have been responsible for his drugging. After learning the name and address of the woman who served him the tainted drink, Bucky and Widow head to her home, only to be attacked by a woman wearing modified Beetle armor and carrying a bazooka. This issue concludes with Baron Zemo purchasing secret files from a former KGB agent detailing the Winter Soldier Project.

What I Thought: What did I think? What do I usually think after reading an issue of Captain America? It was great! Granted, I'm still a bit miffed about Zemo's sudden(and thus far unexplained)decision to become a villain again, but I'm confident that by the end of this storyline Ed will have given an adequate reason behind Zemo's villainous shenanigans. Besides that, the fight scenes were good, the story is moving forward at a brisk pace, and I really don't have anything to complain about. What more can I say?

Score: 9 out of 10.Oh those wacky Nazis!


  1. This post looked lonely, so I thought I'd comment! The back-and-forth with the Zemos has always been confusing to me. In fact, I'm not sure how many there actually are, probably because the whole good/bad thing confuses me...for all I know, there might be only one Zemo and he just keeps changing his mind! But I'm pretty sure there's at least one more, like a nephew or something...gah, help me out here X!

  2. Ha, no problem Marc, allow me to shed some light on the Zemo clan. There have actually been several Baron Zemos, but that's like hundreds of years back, when they actually WERE Barons. The only two Baron Zemos who are important to Marvel history would be Heinrich(sp?)Zemo and his son, Helmut Zemo.

    Heinrich was the Baron Zemo active during WWII, and he's the one who "killed" Bucky on that plane. Heinrich Zemo wound up leading the first incarnation of the Masters of Evil(I believe)and ended up meeting his fate when Cap "accidentally" buried him under a mountain. So Zemo #1 was a proud member of the Nazi party, and as such was always evil.

    Zemo #2(Helmut)started his career by following in his father's footsteps, and menaced Cap and the Avengers repeatedly with his own versions of the Masters of Evil(with his greatest success coming when the Masters broke into Avengers Mansion and nearly defeated the heroes). Eventually all of Helmut's major foes "died" during Onslaught, which caused him to turn his latest version of the Masters of Evil into the original Thunderbolts, who he hoped would weasel their way into the publics trust before he'd turn on society and take over the world(or some such nefarious plot). Several T-Bolts enjoyed working on the other side of the fence and when the time came to turn, the T-Bolts split, with the majority of the team turning on Zemo and tossing him from the team.

    Fast forward a bit and things start to get weird... Zemo ends up getting killed by the Scourge, but his consciousness ends up getting put into the body of the original Citizen V, who was in a coma at the time... I think. Eventually Zemo's consciousness winds up in the body of his unscarred Counter-Earth self, and he resumes leadership of the T-Bolts after helping them out on Counter-Earth and seemingly having had a change of heart. Or so it seemed...

    By this point Zemo and the T-Bolts are good guys, but Zemo once again tries to take over the world(to save it from itself or something), which leads him into conflict with the Avengers and Captain America. So the T-Bolts and the Avengers battle and T-Bolt Moonstone goes crazy and tries to blast Cap into smithereens, but Zemo throws himself in front of Cap and his face is horribly scarred again, but that act seems to solidify Zemo as a hero.

    With Moonstone crazy and in a coma, Zemo takes possession of her moonstones and gains massive, almost god-like power. This power caused Zemo to decide to save the world again(AKA take it over for its own good), and he ended up facing off against, and defeating the Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe, but in the process was betrayed by longtime T-Bolt Songbird, who didn't trust Zemo holding that much power. Songbird breaks the moonstones and Zemo winds up getting sucked through time to meet his various ancestors during the Born Better mini, which in a way was like Return of Bruce Wayne, but better!

    Eventually Zemo returns to the proper time period and laid low until this recent Cap storyline... Whew! Sorry about how long this comment turned out, but as you can tell, Baron Zemo is one of those characters I really do like. So basically Zemo #2 was evil until he "died", at which time he decided to dedicate himself to saving the world, whether the world wanted to be saved or not. Except now he seems to have fallen back to his old, "crazy super-villain with a grudge" mode. I personally enjoy the more conflicted hero Baron Zemo, but what can ya do? Huh, I should have just did a Baron Zemo post!

  3. Wow, thanks a ton for that, X-Man! You have no idea how much confusion that cleared up for me. I didn't realize the Zemo running around today is the same one from the beginning of the Silver Age. I always just figured the one who first fought the Avengers was the same one who killed Bucky.

    My knowledge of the Thunderbolts has always been a bit hazy, other than the central concept of them being "villains turned good," so again, that makes much more sense now. I also never knew who the hell Citizen V was until now, although I've certainly heard of him and I think I even have some Citiven V and the V-Battalion comics. All this makes me really want to bone up on some more Avengers/Thunderbolts history!

  4. Well I'm happy to help Marc! I'm just glad you were able to get something out of all of that! Wow was I feeling wordy when I typed that out!!! Sheesh!

    Yup, Zemo #1 died in like one of the very first Avengers titles. All he really did was "kill" Bucky and get buried under a mountain. Everything else is attributed to Zemo #2. As for the T-Bolts, I'd HIGHLY recommend the first 12/13 issues or so. That's about how long Zemo and his forces stick around that title. There was also a Avengers/Thunderbolts trade from maybe 7 or 8 years back that was pretty good. As you can probably tell, I'm a pretty big fan of the early T-Bolts!