Sunday, December 20, 2009

Comic Book Review: Captain America: Reborn #5

Captain America: Reborn has been a mixed bag so far but I have to admit I did enjoy the last issue of Reborn and thought it was the best issue we have gotten so far. Brubaker and Hitch seem to have picked up the pace of this mini-series. It is too bad that Marvel has taken all of the mystery of what happens in this mini-series with the reveal we got over in Invincible Iron Man last week what happens in these last two issues. But even with the massive spoilers I am still willing to enjoy how Brubaker and Hitch are going to end this story even if we already know how it ends. Let's see how Captain America: Reborn turns out with the latest issue.

Creative Teams
Writer: Ed Brubaker

Artist: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Butch Guice
Colorist: Paul Mounts

Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue begins with Steve back in New York City but what looks to be NYC from the 1930s or 1940s. Steve feels that there is something wrong with the city and he then sees the whole city covered with Nazi symbols. One of the soldiers on the streets stops Steve and starts firing at him. Steve runs into an alley and he sees Red Skull's image plastered all over a wall with the words "Uncle Skull Wants You…..To Lie!" on the posters.

In AIM Transport ship Sharon yells at Steve not to let Red Skull win but Red Skull tells her he already won and kicks her in the face. Sharon questions Red Skull why he would work for Norman Osborn. Red Skull says he is only doing
this deal with Norman for his own amusement.

He then says he is going to meet the President to tell him the real Captain America is back after he captures all of Sharon's friends. Sharon asks what friends Red Skull is talking about and he says the Avengers. At that moment Vision comes in through the walls but is captured in a sub-particulate force field by Sin.

In the Avengers Quinjet Captain America (Bucky), Clint Barton, Falcon, Black Widow, and Henry Pym are trying to catch up to the Red Skull. Before they can reach him the Red Skull launches a bunch of missiles at them which causes the Quinjet to crash by the Lincoln Memorial.

Red Skull lands his ship right by the Quinjet and sends out all of his men to attack the Avengers. The Avengers come out of the Quinjet and a big brawl between them and Red Skull's men
begins.

We then see the Red Skull taunting Sharon about how she was just bait. Before he can finish something happens to stop him.

Inside of Steve's head Steve punches through the brick wall with the Red Skull posters and jumps through the whole telling the Red Skull he will find Skull. The Red Skull can't believe Steve found him inside his head. Steve states that Red Skull should have realized that he, Steve, has been breaking out of Red Skull's traps for decades.

Back inside of Red Skull's ship the Red Skull starts suffering from headaches from Steve's mental attack. Sin asks her father what is wrong. Skull just tells her to get the shock troops ready. Zolo
says they are ready.

We shift to outside of the Lincoln Memorial were we see Crossbone send out the shock troop, who turn out to be an army of Super-MODOKs, to fight the Avengers. All of the Avengers fight off the Super-MODOKs. Bucky spots the Red Skull and Sin and tells everyone to cover him as he is going after Red Skull and Sin.

Sin says that Bucky is fast and run towards him to fight. Bucky swats Sin away with his shield and goes after Red Skull. Both Red Skull and Bucky punch each other at the same time in the face. They start to fight and Red Skull states that Bucky is pulling all of his punches. Sin shoots Bucky in both his shoulders allowing Red Skull to grab his shield.

While Bucky fights Red Skull inside of Steve's mind Steve and Red Skull are fighting. Steve states that his friends know what Red Skull is doing. Red Skull states he isn't responsible for what happened to Steve but Sharon.

Outside Bucky grabs his gun but is unable to fire it. Steve yells from inside his mind for Bucky to shoot him but Red Skull tells Steve that Bucky can't hear him. Red Skull says that this is his day and the day Steve dies.

Back outside Red Skull uses the shield to cut of Bucky's mechanical arm and says that it is over. He grabs Bucky by the neck ready to finish him off with the shield and says "Time for a new morning in America." End of issue.

Commentary
The Good: Captain America: Reborn #5 was a fun action packed issue and the best issue of this mini-series yet. Brubaker provides some great psychological drama for all of our heroes with
Red Skull in control of Steve's body. All of the characters in this issue had their own unique voices and Brubaker showed he has a good understanding of all the characters involved in the issue.

One of the things that I have been pleasantly surprised by throughout this mini-series is how well Brubaker writes all of the Avengers. Reborn is the first time that I have seen Brubaker handle the Avengers as team in a whole issue and overall he has done a great job writing all of them in this mini-series. He continued that very good writing of the team in this issue. I actually wouldn't mind seeing him write one of the Avengers books after Siege with Clint, Pym, Vision, and Captain America (Bucky or Steve) as part of the team as he writes all of these characters very well.

Brubaker also did an excellent job handling Red Skull's takeover of Steve's body. He does a great job showing us that this is what he has been building towards ever since he started his run on Captain America. For Red Skull it is not enough to kill Steve but he also wants to drag Steve's
name through the ground while all of Steve and Steve's closest friends watch him do it.

Red Skull's rant to Sharon was perfect in this issue. Though I usually dislike evil rants I got to say something about hearing one of Red Skull's rants just fits great with who the character is.

While the ending has been spoiled Brubaker did a good job convincing us that there is a chance Red Skull can win even if we know he doesn't. Red Skull was basically fighting two
battles at the same time with Steve and Bucky and he was still able to get the upper hand in both fights. Even though Red Skull can handle himself in a fight by himself his greatest weapon has always been how he has been able to take advantage of his opponents psychologically to win which is what he does in his fights with Steve and Bucky.

Brubaker also did a great job handling both Bucky and Steve as well in this issue. I liked that Bucky was able to hold his own with the Red Skull controlled Steve. Even though Steve's body was at half its usual power level it is still a superhuman Bucky is fighting. Bucky's only superpower is his mechanical arm. But even with only being human Bucky was able to hold his own for a while, even pulling his punches, before Sin shoot him the back during the fight. And I laughed when I saw how easily Bucky swatted Sin away in order to get to the Red Skull controlled Steve.

And I liked that Steve did not just stand around in shock at the world he was in and instead knew that the Red Skull was behind everything. Outside of Millar's Ultimate Steve Rogers it is Brubaker who writes the best version of Steve and he showed it in this issue. Steve came out as a bit of a badass with how he went head on to face the Red Skull instead of just standing around
doing nothing about the world he was stuck in. It showed Steve has that a never say die attitude and he always believes he can win in the end even in the most hopeless situation.

Also it was cool to see MODOK be used in this issue. It has been a while since I seen the character be used in a Marvel comic. Even though he didn't have large other than a road block for the Avengers to face in order to allow Bucky and Red Skull fight it was cool to see the character be used again.

As always Bryan Hitch provides some great artwork. Though there were a couple panels were Steve looked weird overall the issue continued the blockbuster movie type look that this mini-series has had since the beginning. He does a great job choreographing all of the fight scenes as things really get intense with some heavy action for the last half of the
issue. I also liked how he drew the mental world Steve and Red Skull where having their fight in.

The Bad: With that said I have to admit even though I tried to ignore the fact that Marvel spoiled the ending to this mini-series while I was reading the issue I still hate the fact Marvel did that. For the big event Marvel has been proclaiming Captain America: Reborn to be they really mishandled this mini-series. It is not even Brubaker or Hitch's faults as Marvel always had it planned to have this mini-series end in December and they are the ones that added an extra issue to the event. So they knew it since they are the ones that added the extra issue and it really is the fault of Marvel's editorial team for dropping the ball on how this event ends as they took away all of the suspense from at least questioning whether Steve or Red Skull would have control of Steve's body at the end of the mini-series.

As for this issue itself the only complaint I had was that Brubaker does seem to stretching out some of the dialogue in this issue there was some recycled dialogue from the previous four issues of this mini-series. Though I have no doubt that Captain America: Reborn will read better when I am able to read all of the issues in one sitting I hate the fact that the story reads like it is made for the eventual trade and not the monthly setting.

Overall: Captain America: Reborn #5 was a good read that was not as great as it could have been since Marvel has decided to spoil what happens in this mini-series ending already. With the ending already spoiled it is a bit harder to get excited for the final issue of this mini-series. Still Brubaker and Hitch have done a solid job on this mini-series so far and I look forward to seeing how we reach the ending of Steve being back. If you have not picked up this series up yet I recommend picking it up in trade as I have no doubt that this mini-series will read much better as a trade than it has been in single issues.
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Kevin

1 comment:

hANOVER fIST said...

Guice does an incredible job of inking Hitch here, and I think it would be criminal to leave out his role in this series.