Review by: JohnnyDestructo

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.0
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Ed Brubaker
Art by Steve McNiven & Mark Morales
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover by Steve McNiven, Mark Morales, Justin Ponsor, John Romita Sr., Joe Sinnott, Val Staples, Neal Adams & Olivier Coipel

Size: pages
Price: 3.99

There are just so many reasons I don’t have a long-running history with
Captain America and why I have always had trouble getting into him as a
character. For starters, his name is CAPTAIN AMERICA. It just sounds
ridiculous. He has a giant Arial “A”, in BOLD, on his forehead. He
dresses in a giant flag. He has pirate booties, and wings on his head. Think about it. If good ole Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
didn’t come up with him waaay back in 1941, and someone introduced this
character for the first time, today….we would all laugh and assume it
was either a prank or something created by Rob Liefeld. And if I had to
conjure up a Captain America from the state of the country as it is
today, Cap would be swathed in corporate logos, he’d be a good 267 lbs
overweight, and would sling Happy Meal boxes instead of his iconic
shield. Also..for someone who was created to fight the Nazi’s, I’ve
always found it interesting that Cap was, for all intents and purposes, a
6-and-a-half-foot member of the Aryan race.

That being said: this issue was fun! I would have preferred for
Bucky to remain as Cap, but what the hey. The status needs to be quo’d
all to hell, lest we see lasting change in the comic industry, and
really…who besides me actually wants that? Also, let’s be honest: Cap
Movie. The boy scout who does everything right is back in the suit and
it feels good. This issue reads like the best bits of the Bourne and
Bond films all mixed into one. (Also, throw in the what we’ve seen of
the upcoming film THE DEBT for good measure.) There’s intrigue,
mystery, action out the whazoo, and old timey spy shit! This is a great
place to jump on, or to give to someone who is interested in the Cap
movie. It’s not bogged down in Marvel continuity, there’s no mention of
his death at the hands of Sharon…though you’d think there would be
SOME tension there. Even Bucky is noticeably missing. This is a very
clear attempt to cash in on the movie, and I think it works!

Also, let’s not forget that this book is drawn by Steve Motherlovin’
McNiven! He’s clearly having some fun with his page layouts and his
panel placement, and that fun comes across. I am a little surprised to
see that even though he’s given some thought to his panels, that he
didn’t do anything with his borders, design-wise, to distinguish the
difference between the story that takes place “in the now” and the bits
in the past. Just something I noticed, but nothing that detracts from
his story-telling in the slightest. This book wouldn’t look any better
if Jesus himself came down and penciled it.

As far as I’m concerned, Steve Rogers is basically the writer’s
equivalent of Chicken. Chicken for dinner is ok, but really …it’s what
it’s cooked with that makes it so good. And these om noms are tasty!

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. I know that first paragraph was probably a little fun for you to write.
    But it is really unnecsary or it doesnt make sense.
    Cpatain America Wasn’t created today- anyone who looks at the character for 5 secs knows that.
    Just llike when a team wears a throwback jersey you don’t say- Oh i hate their new uniforms.
    He is supposed to represent a different time classic ideals in a new era- and example.

    Not the avergae american- the peak of what you could be – so no he wouldn’t be 267lbs either.
    So often reviewers write just to see their cleverness in print- not to actually adresss the subject.

  2. Fun review. I used to be baffled by Captain America’s appearance as well but once you get past it he’s a character rich in experience and adventure.

    Marvel’s done a lot to deconstruct Cap. My fondest recollection was Greunwald’s run back in the 80’s but certainly Civil War stands out as well.

    Glad to read from your review that this issue reads clean for new readers to see discover what Cap’s all about for themselves.

  3. Smasher: Thanks! He’s always reminded me of a sort of Captain Marvel-type character, “aw shucks and good golly” but ON PURPOSE, like CM is, if that makes sense. And that’s another reason I’ve had trouble locking on to him as a character..same with Superman, for that same reason.

    he’s a character rich in experience and adventure.” I agree! And I think that fits in with my Chicken analogy..all that experience and adventure is the sauce he’s cooked in, but a human being and as a character is just so..bland. 🙂

    ericmci : Actually it wasn’t fun for me to write. I assumed that there would be backlash about me being “Un”American and would take heaps of slack for not liking a character that people enjoy. So, actually..i was filled with a bit of nervousness writing it, but decided to do so since it’s 100% what I believe to be true about the character and my experience of him. I was going for “honesty” not “clever”, but I’m glad to see that you think it WAS clever. Apparently I’m more clever than I thought! 🙂

  4. @JohnnyDestructo

    The comparisons to Superman are definitely there (I’m not too up on Capt. Marvel). In many ways these are heroes who are more inspirational than relatable.

    …although as I finish that sentence there’s bound to be a story out there. Maybe it just hasn’t been written yet.

  5. @JohnnyDestructo:  You doth speak truth!  Captain America is a product of when he was created, and he is hokey as all hell by today’s standards.  You’re not saying he isn’t cool, or have very redeeming qualities, you’re just saying, as a reader, you have to get past his appearance to truly appreciate what he offers.  I had the same problem.  Now, I just roll with crazy costumes.  I mean, after you accept the appearance/existance of Batroc the Leaper (and that he’s actually very cool character), everything else is easy to accept.

  6. I agree 100%, Smasher. You make a great point.

    I was just having this conversation with R-SON (from Black Tribbles Podcast) the other day. Superman is his boy, and he’s always loved him. He finds inspiration from that character, which is just awesome. I think we all pull some amount of inspiration from these books, otherwise we wouldn’t bother.

    I personally have trouble pulling inspiration from characters that always seem to know exactly what to do and have the means at hand to just do it like Cap or Supes. As a screw-up myself, I pull inspiration from characters that are themselves screw-ups, but still manage to find a way to reach past themselves into victory. Spider-Man, to a certain extent Scott Pilgrim, so on and so forth. I even find Bucky Cap to be more relatable since he had to really work to live up to the Cap America mantle.

  7. The moniker ‘Captain America’ is iconic itself to me, funny that you don’t get that yet you recognize the shield to be as such, almost like you’re contradicting yourself there but not really.  There are people out there who relate to heroes like Cap and Supes, they’re called “decent.”

  8. @Franktiger  Waitasec…I don’t relate to Captain America always being perfect, but relate to Peter Parker who makes mistakes…and so I’m not a DECENT person? Really? That’s your argument? I respectfully disagree with your insult, sir.

  9. @ctrosejr  Thanks for getting it! I’m always fascinated by people who get offended because someone doesn’t like something as much as THEY do. I have yet to accept Batroc as a cool character, but then, I don’t have much experience with him. He always strikes me as a joke villain, like Stilt-Man! Is there a story where Batroc is awesome? What am I missing out on?

  10. @JohnnyDestructo  you misunderstand my insinuation, sir.  I’m simply stating that heroes like Cap and Supes represent an ideal, something ordinary peeps aspire to or revere.  The characteristics that you alluded to in a hero such as Capt Marvel is part of a broader representation of what some people would expect from a larger than life hero such as Cap or Supes, i.e. they would expect someone like Cap or Supes to be perfectly “decent” people.

    Hope you understand what I’m getting at, wasn’t trying to insult you, but if you took it that way, for that I apologize.

  11. @Franktiger  Oh, yeah. Haha, I totally misread that! It sounded like “decent people relate to captain america and superman..etc”. Whoops!

    I definitely get that characters like that are meant to be the ideal and something to aspire to, and I love them for that. Those types of characters are better suited in team situations, I think, as someone for the other characters aspire to. They are necessary archetypes, but that brand of super-hero doesn’t get me to spend my money on a monthly basis. I quickly get tired of reading them and so I only read the stories I hear really good things about. The same goes on the other side of the coin, with characters like The Punisher. Yes, I get it. He punishes criminals. Usually with guns. Blah blah blah. But as boring as I tend to find that character, dagnabbit if I haven’t been LOVING Jason Aaron’s Punisher Max series!

  12. @JohnnyDestructo  Back in May, “Captain America and Batroc the Leaper #1” was a pretty cool one-shot.  Here is a review from Comic Alliance:

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