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Undercover Fail

March 11, 2010

     Obviously taking place before Captain America: Reborn, the current arc of Captain America continues with the fight between Bucky Barnes and the evil Cap, the former Grand Director.  Said Bad Cap reminisces about his past before getting news from his Watchdogs subordinates about Bucky’s training.  He also mentions that he has a plan for Bucky.  Bucky and Falcon take out a group of Watchdogs that night.  The next night, Bucky tries to sneak in to the command center for the Watchdogs operation, but when he does, he finds that not only is Bad Cap waiting for him, it isn’t even really Bad Cap, but rather one of the Watchdogs dressed up as him.  He gets captured by the Watchdogs while Bad Cap leads an attack on Falcon for the purpose of getting the vibranium in his wing harness, which his techies are apparently going to use to make a massive bomb.  Then, in the Nomad backup, Nomad and Araña manage to take out a few of the robots, but they carry Mad Dog away.  Nomad walks off in a huff, and she’s unable to find any further info on the Secret Empire.  After a somewhat existential crisis, she realizes that she should go back to the scene of the abdjuction to find clues.  Elsewhere, Professor Power informs his superior that he has a plan to ensnare Nomad, and when Nomad returns to the sewers, she finds Araña, who has some info for her.

     I’m not sure if it’s the controversy surrounding the previous issue or what, but I can’t help but feel like this issue is lacking some of the excitement of Ed Brubaker’s previous work on Cap.  The story is technically sound in every way, but it’s just not crackling with energy like everything else Brubaker has done in this book.  maybe Brubaker had wanted to make more political commentary with Bad Cap but had to back off because of the controversy last issue.  Or maybe not.  Whether that’s the case or not, this issue is just missing something.  You would think that this subplot that Brubaker’s been nursing all this time, with the former Grand Director, would have been as exciting as the Death of Captain America.  Ah well.  Luke Ross’ art is quite superb in this issue, much better than it was on his first arc.  Maybe it’s the coloring and/or the shading, but it just seems to fit him better.  Faces are more consistent and alive, his fight scenes are more dynamic, etc.  At any rate, despite this issue sagging somewhat, Captain America is still one of the top superhero books today.  If this or even Captain America: Reborn is the worst Brubaker can put out, then I hope he never leaves this title.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 8.8

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