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The Epilogue Before the End

January 5, 2010

     So by now, I’m sure everyone knows about the ridiculousness of Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? being released before the end of Captain America: Reborn, so I won’t say a word about that aside from how it affects reading the story directly.  Steve Rogers thinks back to World War II and how it defined both him and Bucky Barnes, remembering in particular one time when Bucky talked to him about how inspiring he can be.  Bucky talks to the Black Widow and Luke Cage about who will be Captain America now, and Steve and Sharon Carter share some intimate moments.  Black Widow and Bucky go out for one last run as Captain America, and Steve also goes out as Cap because he can’t sleep.  They all happen upon Mr. Hyde trying to escape from the Raft, and Black Widow and Bucky have things under control.  At one point, when Hyde looks like he’s getting away, Bucky tosses the shield to Steve, and Steve manages to stop him.  Then, the two of them talk alone.  Steve basically tells Bucky that Bucky is Captain America now, and that it all means something different to Bucky than it ever meant to him.  When Steve returns home, he mentions something about seeing a future where Bucky may die if he isn’t Captain America (MORE SPOILERS).  Then, later, he goes to the White House to speak with President Barack Obama and receives a presidential pardon as the president tells him that he may need his help in the days ahead.

     Well, I don’t think that could have been handled any better.  I am so glad that Ed Brubaker decided to leave Bucky as Captain America, showing that you don’t always have to have the most iconic person in the costume.  He’s done superb character work with Bucky, and it’s nice to see the Marvel Universe actually change for longer than a year.  I’m curious to see what role Steve will play in the post-Dark Reign Marvel Universe, especially considering that ominous teaser of him being handed Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor.  Now, that thing about Bucky is a big spoiler that just really weakens the story of Captain America: Reborn, since we’ll know that’s going to be shown when we get the last issue.  And I am quite tired of people seeing future timelines and alternate timelines and all that jazz.  But it’s Ed Brubaker, and after this, I’ve learned to trust him.  Butch Guice and Luke Ross’ art is superb in this issue, to the point that I can barely tell whose art is whose.  Bucky does occasionally look too… broad in the face, but I really love whoever (Butch Guice, I think) drew Cap at the beginning of the issue in the style of Jack Kirby.  That just looked superb.  Captain America is still in the best of hands, as he has been since that most recent relaunch.  Now we just wait to the finale of the story of epilogue of which we just read.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.3      Overall: 8.9

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