Go Father Figure — Captain America #7 Review

www.hypergeeky.com
www.hypergeeky.com
Marvel

Marvel NOW!’s Captain America series is probably the most sadistic title in Marvel’s stable. Some might say that’s a better descriptor for Deadpool, with its penchant for violence, but while Motormouth takes on dead presidents for comedy, readers have seen Steve Rogers lose years off his life far from home in Dimension Z. The drama contained in Captain America’s recent run does much for the material, and the wringer he’s been pressed through would have downed less-capable superheroes.

An existence filled with this much strife — Captain America fights off a virus, protects his young charge, and leads the native Phrox, all the while searching for a way home — has only tempered Steve Rogers into something stronger, emotionally and physically. In Captain America #7, Rogers continues his uphill battle for home and family as he singlehandedly storms Arnim Zola’s fortress, fighting gravity, fatigue, and overwhelming odds.

www.hypergeeky.com
Marvel

Writer Rick Remender continues to twist the screws into Captain America with setback after painful setback, and readers get to see Rogers freeclimb, freefall, crash through a glass roof, and land on his shield — all in the span of a few pages — and just as the book hits its midpoint. This isn’t Captain America and the Avengers — it’s a solo battle pitting one man versus many — and the lonely climb to the top becomes even more forlorn when Rogers duels with Princess Jet Black and finally finds Ian.

www.hypergeeky.com
Marvel

Readers might be relieved now knowing that the Captain spared Jet Black’s life last issue. The act proves to be instrumental as the devoted daughter defies her father and decides to follow her conscience. The journey to find Ian, escape the planet, and keep Zola’s plan from succeeding becomes that much easier with a powerful ally by the Captain’s side, and it’s a momentary respite before Rogers goes down with another injury by the person he cares for most in Dimension Z.

For seven difficult issues, readers have become reacquainted with the first Avenger. His decisions in the heat of battle and the persistence he displays show what kind of man he is. John Romita Jr. hasn’t missed a single page as penciller, and though his artwork is a little less consistent than usual with strange proportions — it still maintains that consistent look with a ragged, haggard Captain scaling Zola’s fortress like Sisyphus.

The colors by Dean White seem a little more polished this issue. For the most part, the atmospheric shades and tones feel a little more vibrant — probably due to the sun rising on Dimension Z — and it’s a welcome change as the current story reaches its climax.

That’s not to say all will be well when this story ends. The current story arc might see Captain America return home, but there’s no guarantee he will save the Phrox, Jet Black, or even Ian. Zola figures to be a greater villain in Rogers’ universe, and what he’s done won’t be quickly forgotten by the Captain.

If and when Rogers returns home, it remains to be seen how long after he leaves Dimension Z that the events will leave him in peace.

Captain America #7 (2012)
Marvel
Words: Rick Remender
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna and Klaus Janson
Colors: Dean White
Letters: Joe Caramagna

Previous Issue: Captain America #6 Review
Next Issue: Captain America #8 Review

Buy Captain America #7 from Things From Another World!

Save 10-50% on Captain America Comics, Apparel, and More!

Continue Reading

War: Captain America #5 Review

www.hypergeeky.com
www.hypergeeky.com
Marvel

The battle for Dimension Z begins as Armin Zola’s army descends upon the last of the Phroxians. Captain America and his young charge, Ian, after finding a possible exit to Earth, rush back to fight alongside their comrades.

From the get-go, things aren’t looking great for Steve Rogers. It almost feels like an understatement to say he goes through some difficult times in issue #5 as the virus that manifested itself in Rogers’ chest goes through its last stage, threatening to take over mind as well as body. Tasked with killing the Captain if the virus gets out of control, Ian must deal with the possibility of losing his adopted father, his countrymen, and his own life. The young boy has grown up tremendously within the span of a few issues — his training from his adopted father and the attitude he displays in stepping up to fight for an alien race’s survival shows what he’s capable of and also what he’s made of.

With the forces of Zola relentlessly and viciously attacking the Phroxians, Princess Jet goes on a personal vendetta to hunt down Captain America sparking a showdown that could have ended with a corpse without Ian’s interference. Jet’s blind rage succumbs when she comes face to face with her long lost brother, and the discovery enrages Zola, pushing him into a physical battle with the Captain.

www.hypergeeky.com
Marvel
www.hypergeeky.com
Marvel

So far, it’s the best issue yet. Rick Remender has crafted a story that’s percolated over several issues with themes relating to resiliency in the face of extreme hardship, the search for home, and the strong bonds of relationships. Issue #5 is a culmination filled with action, urgency, and gut-wrenching panels . The pacing is quick without being sparse, and the emotional gravity is felt without getting bogged down by narration. There’s a quirky little bit of camp when the Princess talks up her tachyon fu style, but for the most part, Remender’s scripting is precise and poetic.

John Romita Jr.’s pencils are some of his best so far on the series as well, though are some glaring flaws with awkward limbs and some confusing action bits. Romita Jr.’s panels are grandiose and filled with action, and the battle that takes place between Jet Black and Captain America with the rain falling down sells the drama with punch and bite.┬áThere’s a Frank Milleresque vibe that sits on the noirish side, and Romita Jr.’s storyboards could be used for a stylish and action-packed animation. The colors by Dean White and Lee Loughridge work — they just do — and the otherworldly vibe from the unnatural color schemes make Captain America seem like it could be one of the most original titles being released each month.

It’s very possible that the next issue could even go above and beyond what’s happening here, which doesn’t discount how well this book is written, drawn, inked, colored, and lettered. The creative team is stretching further and further with a reach that’s going for fever pitch. What Captain America does so well as a title is bringing the legend face forward in a very relevant and relateable way. Readers familiar with the character don’t need to be told who he is — and the series has avoided becoming stagnant through movement and intelligent storytelling.

Captain America #5 (2012)
Marvel
Writer: Rick Remender
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Tom Palmer and Scott Hanna
Colors: Dean White and Lee Loughridge
Letters: Joe Caramagna

Previous Issue: Captain America #4 Review
Next Issue: Captain America #6 Review

Buy Captain America #5 from Things From Another World!

Save 10-50% on Captain America Comics, Apparel, and More!

Continue Reading

Captain America #4 Review

www.hypergeeky.com

www.hypergeeky.comCaptain America continues the fight against Arnim Zola in Captain America #4 which takes place 11 years after the events in issue #3. Last seen in a moment of horror, Steve Rogers uncovered his chest in to find Zola’s face embedded into it.

Since then, the past decade hasn’t been kind to Rogers and his young charge, Ian, as they hunt together for food while keeping themselves and the Phrox tribe from being discovered. The pair have bonded as father and son with Ian being taught how to wield the Captain’s shield. Captain America doesn’t plan to live much longer as the Zola Consciousness Virus eats away at him mentally, prompting him to raise Ian as a fighter and hero.

After downing a quarry, the duo gets ambushed by a mutate. Searching the grounds, Rogers finds a computer with a map to Zola’s headquarters — a discovery that could potentially bring Captain America back home.

Rogers doesn’t have the monopoly on discoveries this issues as Ian finds out who his real father is. Ian also comes face to face with the virus exhibiting itself on Rogers’ chest, and both know it’s only a matter of time before Rogers turns. To save Ian and the Phrox, Captain America has to return home and call in the Avengers.

www.hypergeeky.com
Back at Zola’s headquarters, Jet Black — Princess Zola — brings in a Phrox hostage, a banished chief who goes on a rampage attacking his captors, but not before mind readers reveal the circumstances of the Phrox Chief’s banishment. As Princess Zola tells her father that it was Captain America who banished the chief, Zola’s shocked to discover his enemy is still alive. He gives his daughter mutates bearing variants of the Captain’s shield as soldiers tasked with finding the man she believes killed Ian.

www.hypergeeky.com

Rick Remender does a great job of bringing readers up to speed — Zola’s reign of terror has spread, and it’s right on the Phrox tribe’s doorstep. Things aren’t coming easy for the Captain, and after 12 years, he finally discovers a breakthrough that could finally bring him home. It’s a radical departure from standard comic book fare which resolves conflicts within a few issues, and it will be interesting to see how Remender deals with the lapse of time.

Captain America will also have to deal with the relationship he has with his “son” Ian. Will Ian become a part of the Marvel Universe as a new Bucky? This story arc could be the basis for many more stories involving Ian, and while it doesn’t feel like an origin story — it could very well be a part of Ian’s lore.

With each new issue, the title adds more layers to a well-developed story that’s complex but solidly laid down. Captain America #4 continues the pace adding new developments in a way that doesn’t dilute or distort the plot with unnatural twists and turns. Remender isn’t afraid to fast forward years into the future because he knows how to steer the plot, and it’s in very capable hands.

John Romita Jr.’s pencils add to the book’s consistency, and readers get to see what 11 years of wear and tear can do to the Captain’s uniform. Rogers appears gaunt, and disheveled, but his body and form are still excellent. While it’s nice to see Romita instead of a three-and-out — hopefully he remains for the entire story arc — his pencils aren’t as good this month as last’s — things just seem a little more bland this time around. There’s a bit of character fatigue — everything is starting to look the same, from the featureless Phrox to the featureless mutates. All life outside of Rogers, Ian, Jet Black, and Zola are made of shapes without defining features or characteristics that make them memorable apart from each other.

www.hypergeeky.com

The colors by Dean White and Lee Loughridge look a bit muddy. It’s understandable why the landscape looks as bleak as it does, but the palette isn’t appealing with its kaleidoscope hues. It probably doesn’t help with the Phrox and mutate figures looking the way they do as it’s hard to add dimension and shades in the absence of detail.

Captain America is still one of the better books in the Marvel NOW! relaunch, and anticipation is building for a duel between a desperate Captain America and the man who stands in the way of him getting home. Rogers has waited too long, and fought too hard to fail. For now, the odds are stacked against him, but one can’t help but hope for the best because it’s easy to relate to a hero who’s far from home.


Previous Issue: Captain America #3 Review
Next Issue: Captain America #5 Review

Buy Captain America #4 from Things From Another World!

Continue Reading

Captain America #2 Review

www.hypergeeky.com

www.hypergeeky.comA year passes in between issue #1 and issue #2 of Captain America, and the bearded superhero with his young charge have survived off instincts.

The never-ending quest to find his way back home has numbed Steve Rogers, but it hasn’t broken him though the thought to end it all with a self-inflicted wound is tempting. Captain America #2 follows with the themes Rick Remender put into place in issue #1 — even when physics and nature are against him, Captain America keeps standing up. But Rogers isn’t alone. Ian, the boy Rogers rescued from Zola’s lab, has grown, and Rogers wills himself to keep fighting to save the lad.

That means braving unknown territory, fighting hostile creatures that could attack at any minute, and maintaining an aggressive approach to getting home without stable cursors to guide them in the right direction. The goal is there, but the journey towards it feels like a ride in a hamster wheel. Another flashback to a defining moment in Captain America’s childhood further develops the reasoning behind Rogers’ persistent personality even in the face of daunting challenges.

There’s very little dialogue in this issue — most of the text is from Rogers’ thoughts — and the result is a introspective re-examination of a well-known character. It’s like readers are being reintroduced to Captain America who is being stripped down to his essence. Without any weapon but his shield and whatever he picks up, things are much more treacherous with no technology or cheat code to save the day. Blood, sweat, and tears are all the First Avenger has in his disposal.

Continue Reading