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In Memoriam

June 22, 2009

     The road to the resurrection of the original Captain America is now laid before us.  With Captain America: Reborn coming out next month, there was a ton of hubub all about this issue.  To be honest, it’s not entirely worth that craziness, since for everyone who’s actually been reading this book, the method for Cap’s return was telegraphed well over a year ago.  This issue doesn’t provide any sudden revelations.  However, it does briefly show each of the characters touched by Cap’s death.  In particular, Sharon Carter, Bad Cap, Rikki Barnes, Patriot, Crossbones, Sin, the Red Skull, the Black Widow, Luke Cage, the Falcon, Ronin, and of course, the current Cap, Bucky Barnes.  Sharon Carter realizes that her memory of killing Cap is a bit faulty and that, perhaps, she wasn’t the killer.  Then, at a rally to mark the one year anniversary of his death, Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Iron Patriot, steals Cap’s thunder by saying that the rally was done with H.A.M.M.E.R. approval.  Then, Sharon reveals her findings to the gang.  Plus, we get little revisitations of the Cap run by Roger Sterns and a great emotional story by  Mark Waid, as well as a reprinting of a great quick origin story by Alex Ross and Paul Dini.

     This is a great tribute issue that does the job of moving forward the plot while looking back.  Again, Ed Brubaker doesn’t suddenly drop some revelation in our laps about the return of Cap.  It’s handled more smoothly and smartly than that.  I’m happy to see all these characters given their little time, and he does wonders with them, of course.  And the art team for this whole issue is just superb.  Butch Guice, David Aja, Mitch Breitweiser, and Rafael Albuquerque are all quite good.  The only weak point is Howard Chaykin, as his art is rather obnoxiously stylized.  As for the other two segments, I never read Roger Stern’s run on the series.  It’s really nostalgic, and quite cute, but it doesn’t hit me much personally.  For fans of that run, though, I’m sure it’s quite welcome.  Mark Waid’s story just gets to the heart of Captain America in the best way.  I actually mistakenly believed that this story had to do with his run on Captain America, but it’s really just a great stand-alone little tale.  Also, Kalman Andrasofszky and Dave Eaglesham are quite good artists.  Marvel is lucky to get the latter.  I’m still unsure of how I feel about Cap coming back, but as Ed, the guy who owns the comic book store I frequent, says, “In Brubaker We Trust.”

Plot: 9.0      Art: 9.4      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.2

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