Saturday, 7 May 2016

Captain America, Volume 1 Review (Ed Brubaker, Steve McNiven)

Cap’s being targeted by another blast from the past. This time it’s a fellow soldier and former ally called Bravo that got left behind on a WW2 mission and has somehow survived to the present day - and is now allied with Hydra! 

This is a decent Captain America book but I think Ed Brubaker’s gone back to the well of WW2 and brought back a new forgotten character/nemesis of Cap’s one too many times at this point. It’s also hard to care about the latest person from yesteryear with a grudge against Cap for this or that - we’ve just met the person but we’re instantly meant to be invested in their revenge scheme? Hmm. 

I liked some of Brubaker’s flourishes like the Inception-esque dream states in Jimmy Jupiter’s dreamworld, and the 18-foot tall android in a Cap uniform, Ameridroid, was amusing in a campy way. It’s also cool to see some elite Hydra soldiers causing trouble for Cap - somebody in that organisation’s gotta be dangerous, otherwise they’re just (even more of) a joke!

Steve McNiven’s art is once again a highlight - basically every time this guy’s on a book, his artwork becomes the best part about it. He has a very appealing cinematic style that’s really clean, making it look like you’re watching a bright HD screen - lots of wide-shots and big panels show off the action superbly. And I liked that this was still when they were using the classic Cap outfit with the scaly chainmail, the wings on the helmet and the bitchin’ corsair boots. I like the modern Cap uniform too but the classic look is classic for a reason! 

Ed Brubaker is still the best writer to read on a Captain America book but this one came out some 7-8 years after Winter Soldier and it feels like his inspiration for the character at this point is running low. It’s not Brubaker’s most engaging effort but it’s not bad and Steve McNiven’s art is always worth checking out. Cap remains the man out of time who can’t escape his past no matter how much you wish he would and deal with present dangers instead!

Captain America, Volume 1

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