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His New Job

July 13, 2010

Steve Rogers may not be Captain America anymore, but that doesn’t mean he’s just sitting around, twiddling his thumbs.  In fact, he’s busier than ever as the U.S.’s newest top cop.  In Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1, the first issue of his new miniseries, Steve has to deal with the grandson of the man who created the super soldier serum. Dr. Erskine.  In the prologue, some doctor/whistleblower is killed by a fire that starts in his car, and he is unable to get out.  Then, Pete Wisdom meets with Steve and informs him not only that Erskine has a grandson, Jacob Erskine, and not only is his father someone else recruited into Project: Rebirth with Steve, Tyler Paxton, but Erskine now plans to sell the super soldier serum to whoever wants it.  And the whistleblower was someone working in his company, Nextin Pharmaceuticals, who was trying to deliver that news.  Steve, acting on this information, travels to Madripoor, where Erskine is having some gala to meet with potential customers.  He breaks in rather smoothly, but he notices that Erskine’s wife looks a lot like someone he once loved way back from World War II.  As he sneaks up through the hotel to get to the V.I.P. room, where he thinks Erskine is, he bumps into security guards who have been subjected to the serum.  He manages to beat them, but during the fight, one of them has some sort of aneurysm and dies.  Steve makes it up to the top of the building, where he finds Erskine.  However, after telling Steve that his father spent the war cracking military codes, he claims that he’s going to use the serum to cure cancer, not to sell it.  He is shocked to hear about the security forces, but just as he wonders about what’s going on and why Steve seems to recognize his wife, he is shot by a sniper and dies instantly.

Well, good to know that Ed Brubaker hasn’t lost his tough with the original Cap.  Even though Steve doesn’t don the classic red, white, and blue once, and even though he doesn’t have his shield (though he does have that old energy shield from Mark Waid’s run, which is a nice continuity reference), he’s still as interesting as ever.  A lot of people are getting a big James Bond vibe from this story, but to me, it doesn’t feel much different from a normal Cap story.  Only that he’s not Cap.  Brubaker has worked wonders with Steve and his origins, so it’s good to see him expand on Dr. Erskine with his grandson.  I’ll admit, I’m confused with who that woman is.  I thought Steve’s only wartime love was Peggy Carter, who, although she has black hair, is currently very old and in a nursing home.  Not dead.  She’s even in the reprint of the first issue of Captain America in the back of the book, which does make me wonder if there’s a retcon coming up.  I know it’ll be fine, but I’m curious as to who she is.  Dave Eaglesham is a perfect fit for this book too.  Alright, so he doesn’t fit in with the artistic style that has normally accompanied Brubaker’s work on Cap.  At all.  But he’s great with big, muscly people, which is exactly what people with the super soldier serum are.  He gets all the action and excitement of the book down perfectly too.  My only complaint is that his take on Steve and Paxton when they were skinny is just grotesque.  I know that they were skinny, but these guys don’t just look weak.  They look so unhealthy and emaciated that it’s a wonder they can stand.  Don’t get me started on their head proportions.  Although you only see them like that for one page, it’s one ugly page.  Anyway, I’m glad to see that Brubaker isn’t done with Steve Rogers.  If the next issues are as good as this one (which I’m sure they will be), I’ll start wishing Steve had his own ongoing again.

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

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