So I was going to put this comic with my next batch of Quick Hits. Then I read it and realized that if ever a comic deserved it's own post, it was this one!
Captain America #614. Writer: Ed Brubaker. Pencils: Butch Guice.
Review: This issue kicks off with Falcon and Black Widow getting captured by Master Man and his goons after a swift sneak attack. From there we head to Bucky's trial, where the prosecution tries their damnedest to show that Bucky wasn't brainwashed during his Winter Soldier days and that he was a willing accomplice if the Soviets. After the prosecution wraps up their case, the defense takes over and calls Dr. Faustus to the stand, much to the rage of the prosecution, since they thought Faustus was a fugitive(he actually wasn't). Faustus explains that Bucky was indeed brainwashed, and explains how the Soviets could have accomplished such an act. He then uses his own hypnotic abilities to convince the prosecutor to attack the bailiff with the judges gavel, further proving how easily one could be brainwashed by the right people. The judge is naturally pissed by that performance, and things devolve further into chaos when a man stands up from the general seating in the courtroom and tries to shoot the prosecutor. Bucky and Steve Rogers(who was attending the trial as moral support for Bucky)quickly bring the man down, and he reveals that he had a tape to show them from Sin. The judge allows Steve, Bucky, the prosecutor and Bucky's defense attorney into his chambers to watch the tape, in which Sin reveals that she had captured Falcon and Widow, and would blow up the Statue of Liberty if her “agent” Bucky wasn't returned to her by sunset. Bucky asks the judge to let him head to Liberty Island to prevent Sin from doing anything rash, but the judge refuses. Steve promises Bucky that he'd take Sin down, and leaves to figure out a strategy against the Red Skull's insane daughter. While confident in Steve's abilities(I mean Steve HAS defeated Sin and her old man numerous times), Bucky can't help but feel helpless since it was him that Sin was calling out. With the trial suitably ruined for the day, the judge calls a recess and Bucky and Faustus are loaded into a van to head back to lock-up. Faustus begins to play his patented mind games and starts to chat with Bucky, stating that while Steve will almost certainly succeed and defeat Sin, what happens if he doesn't? Bucky's trial would always be linked to the destruction of the Statue of Liberty, meaning everyone would always link Bucky to the Statue's destruction. Faustus points out that the only sure way to prevent Sin from blowing up the Statue would be if Bucky himself went to Liberty Island to meet with Sin as she demanded. Faustus then offers to assist the surprised Bucky in escaping the prison van, so he could deal with Sin himself. When asked how, Faustus reveals that he had already gained mental dominance over the two guards driving the van. Bucky decides to take Faustus up on his offer, and Faustus has the guards let Bucky out, while Faustus remains behind to continue on to jail. When asked why Faustus was doing all this, Faustus simply responds that he had an opportunity to assist Bucky in throwing away the slim chance he had left, which was something he couldn't pass up(AWESOME!). After grabbing his spare costume and retrieving his shield, Bucky arrives on Liberty Island to deal with Sin, ending this issue.
Thoughts: There wasn't a single part of this comic I didn't love. Not like, LOVE. The trial itself was awesome, especially the way Bucky's defense attorney battered several of the prosecution's witnesses(especially the way she handled Norman Osborn!). But not only was the trial wonderfully done, so was everything else, from Faustus's role both at the trial and then in the van, to Bucky making the(Faustus assisted)decision to head to Liberty Island to deal with Sin even though doing so would turn him into a fugitive. Ed Brubaker wrote the best Dr. Faustus I have EVER read here! And I've read TONS of Captain America stories! I have literally ZERO complaints about this comic. The only complaint I could possibly have is that this issue was so good waiting for the next issue is going to be utterly torturous! From the first page of the story to the last, I was hooked and couldn't wait to turn the page. If a comic like THAT doesn't deserve a perfect score, I don't know what does!
Score: 10 out of 10.ZING!