Overall: This issue kicks off with Machinesmith trying to sell vials of the Super-Soldier Serum to some of the more unsavory world leaders. While Machinesmith is peddling his wares, Steve Rogers and one of Machinesmith's robots, who had gone rogue, are hunting the insane robot down. Steve, the rogue robot and Beast come up with a plan to deal with Machinesmith, and eventually arrive at Machinesmith's secret location. Steve attacks, sending the crooked leaders scurrying, and pitting Machinesmith, and his ability to jump from one electronic device to another, against Steve. The two old foes battle, and Steve manages to disable all of the electronics in the vicinity, while the rogue robot had managed to destroy every electronics system in Machinesmith's base, as well as blocking all cell towers and satellite reception. With his body destroyed and only one place left to go, Machinesmith takes Steve's bait and jumps into the body of the rogue robot, who had reconfigured herself to only allow wireless traffic in, but not out. With Machinesmith stuck in the rogue robot's body with no means of escape, the rogue robot detonates herself, presumably destroying Machinesmith as well. With that bit of business done with, Steve collects the samples of the Super Soldier Serum Machinesmith was trying to sell and takes them to Beast, who after running some tests on them discovers that they were absolutely useless, leaving Steve to ponder what the sense of all of Machinesmith's actions were... The epilogue of this story reveals that Prof. Erskine(the grandson of the scientist who originally created the Super Soldier Serum)had faked his death earlier in this mini-series and was working with Machinesmith in order to gain a sample of Steve Rogers blood. Now armed with that blood sample, Erskine(with the backing of the Shadow Empire)is free to try to perfect the Serum, planning on testing it on subjects that resembled Steve back when he first became Captain America.
And this ladies and gents is why Ed Brubaker is the best comic book writer in the industry today. Hands down. I'll admit that I wasn't really overwhelmed by parts of this mini-series, but by the end I was hanging on EVERY page. The battle with Machinesmith was great, the rogue robot(who was created to look like an old flame of Steve's from back during WWII)sacrificing herself was very well done, and the epilogue was splendid. Nope, not a single complaint to be voiced here. I especially loved the epilogue, with Erskine and his evil accomplices from the Shadow Council secretly watching young men who resembled a young Steve Rogers, since Steve Rogers was the only candidate able to become a true super-soldier with no side effects. So the story was great, the art(which was done by the immensely talented Dale Eaglesham)was great, the dialogue was great and the epilogue was great... With all that said, what do you think I'm going to give this comic score-wise?
Score: 10 out of 10.Machinesmith is one of those characters who, in the right writer's hands, can be one hell of a menace.