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The Birth of a Legend

January 30, 2010

     With the previous issue of The Marvels Project, the stage was set for one of the most monumental events in Marvel history.  And in this issue, it happens.  Steve Rogers undergoes the fateful experiment, and Dr. Erskine is murdered by the Nazi assassin.  Steve continues to train, and one of the other Nazi operatives is killed by his fellows who secure his copy of Erskine’s formula.  The Angel investigates, and he hears of Adolf Hitler’s masked man: the Red Skull, to whom we are introduced as he slaughters a bunch of innocents to draw resistance fighters (Nick Fury, Red Hargrove, and Jack Steele) into the open.  Fury and Hargrove tell Steele that they’re heading back, but Steele decides to stay in Germany.  Nazi scientists try to crack Erskine’s formula, and Steve Rogers fights his first fight as Captain America.  The Angel tries to help, but he nearly gets killed.  Cap rescues him, and the Angel realizes that this man is different.

     Ah, the payoff of finally getting to see Captain America.  It’s rather clear at this point that Ed Brubaker has no plans to incorporate Weapon Plus into his origin, so take that as you will.  Personally, I think tying Weapon Plus into Cap’s story was a bad idea in the first place, so I’m not exactly upset.  Our first view of the Red Skull is particularly chilling, reminding me that the Red Skull is one of the top villains in comic books.  As you can expect, this latest issue is just another superb part of the story.  Ed Brubaker’s revision of Marvel history is both bold and exciting, and even though I know a lot of this story (particularly what happens with Cap), each issue keeps me wanting more.  And a lot of that is thanks to Steve Epting as well, whose pencils in this book put him at the top of the Marvel stable of artists.  When an artist is able to both make everything look realistic and accurate, as well as cool, you know he/she is something special.  I mean, the whole action scene with Cap’s debut is so dynamic and energetic, and nothing is anatomically, proportionately, or perspectively wrong.  So, I’m excited for the last three issues, if I didn’t make that clear.  Ed Brubaker has definitely caught my interest with this story.

Plot: 9.2      Art: 9.5      Dialogue: 9.3      Overall: 9.3

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