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A Sinister Plot

April 16, 2010

     Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s ambitious retelling of the early years of the Marvel Universe reaches its penultimate point with The Marvels Project #7.  Namor is being kept in prison, but no one knows just who he is.  In Germany, the son of the original Union Jack, Brian Falsworth, becomes the Destroyer after drinking an experimental serum given to him by the former Nazi doctor who was sent to a camp for being Jewish.  The doctor dies when they are discovered, and the Destroyer pledges to continue fighting.  Elsewhere, John Steele sneaks into a Nazi castle to discover the Red Skull meeting with a Japanese general and plans for twin strikes on Washington D.C. and Hawaii.  He then escapes the castle to deliver the information to the United States.  Back in New York, the Human Torch teaches Toro, the lone survivor of a train crash due to his powers, how to control his flames, and the Torch begins to feel human.  Bucky Barnes becomes Bucky, Captain America’s partner, and the cover story that he happened to walk in on Cap changing is propagated by the military.  The Angel spots U-Man and Nazi agents meeting on the coast by Washington D.C., and Cap and Bucky fly in to stop them.  Seems John Steele’s message reached the U.S. in time.  Angel assists them, but U-Man manages to escape back into the ocean.  Fortunately, they manage to knock out the Nazis and one of the Atlanteans who came with U-Man, so they should still be able to get some answers.

     This book is almost over, and all I can think about is how I wish this was an ongoing series.  Ed Brubaker writes all these characters so masterfully, with such a clear intent, that it will be disappointing to see him unable to follow through with them into World War II and beyond.  I don’t think he wanted to disturb the vast body of work that previous writers have done on World War II, so that’s my guess as to why the story only goes this far.  Oh well.  It’s been good while it lasted.  Plus, it’s nice to see his retelling of Bucky’s origin woven into the story.  It seems very natural as a part of this story, despite the controversy of the original retcon back when Brubaker first brought him back as the Winter Soldier.  Steve Epting’s art is as great as it has been in every previous issue, which unfortunately leaves me little to talk about.  He’s just so consistently good that he doesn’t have anything that’s stands out as above the rest or stands out as subpar.  Well, the last issue’s coming up, and I’m sad to see this book end.  It just whets my appetite for more Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting stuff.  For the former, that’s no problem, what with Captain America, the upcoming Secret Avengers, etc.  I’m not really sure where Epting is going after this book, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to top his work here.  At any rate, let’s hope Brubaker can finish this with a bang!  Oh, who am I kidding?  Of course he can!

Plot: 9.0      Art: 9.4      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 9.1

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