• October 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Sep    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • Advertisements

Showing off the Shelves: Captain America and Black Panther

While there are several Captain America volumes I’d still like to get sooner than not (Captain America vs. Red Skull, the Fighting Chance volumes), for the most part, I think I’m just about where I’m good for now with the character.

showing_off_the_shelves_captain_america_and_black_panther

Of course, the "core" of the collection is the Brubaker Omnibus volumes, collecting about seven years of his work on the character.

And because it’s its own thing and on the shelf immediately preceding the Cap books…I did not crop out the Black Panther by Christopher Priest 4-volume series collecting that series’ run. Though in typing that…it reminds me that there’s also the Captain America and Falcon by Priest volume out there that I’ll want to track down as well…

I’d certainly enjoy a Captain America by Mark Waid omnibus, whether it includes pre and post Heroes Reborn material, or just post. Heck, it’d be great to have a single volume of the Fighting Chance story instead of two half-length volumes.

But it is Marvel, so…yeah.

Anyway…with the addition of the Return of the Winter Soldier Omnibus, this is my current (as of January 2017) Captain America collection.

Advertisements

Why not price stuff on a standard?

18issues

  • Deadpool & Cable Ultimate Collection vol. 1.
    18 issues, Paperback, Standard size: $40.
  • The Invincible Iron Man vol. 1.
    19 issues, Hardback, Oversized: $40.
  • Captain America: The Death of Captain America Omnibus.
    18 issues, Hardback, Oversized, the word “Omnibus” branded on the cover: $65.

Because pricing something based on issue quantity/pagecount or trim size and having a hardcover or not would make too much sense, no?

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #4 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good
Story Title: Chapter 4: Depression

Spider-Man mourns the loss of Cap, but still has to deal with stuff that life throws at him…

fallensonthedeathofcaptainamerica004 Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: David Finch
Inks: Danny Miki
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
From an Idea by: J. Michael Straczynski
Assistant Editor: Alejandro Arbona
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Art: David Finch | Variant by: Michael Turner
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This story has certainly lost much of its impact–on me–by being stretched out so much. That’s not to say it’s entirely devoid of impact…but going through these "stages of grief" or "loss" or whatever the official phrasing is would work much better had this series been more immediate and timely. After all, I have had what? A quarter year (or more) now to get used to the idea of Captain America being "dead," and to partake in the online culture of communication that has really lessened the character’s death–as I have come to really agree that within a couple years or so, we’ll have Steve Rogers alive and well, having "got better" after this ordeal…or worse, turn out that THIS Steve Rogers was a certain alien poser.

That meta-textual stuff aside…this was a good issue. This issue’s focus is on a "depressed" Spider-Man as he deals with the loss of a man he’d looked up to as a hero–not just a "fellow" super-hero or colleague, but as an actual hero far above his own "level," by whom it was an honor to even be so much as acknowledged. And while spending time in a cemetary, Spidey/Peter realizes that he’s got an audience…and when his spider-sense goes off, he leaps into action, lashing out at the clear and present threat. The issue winds down with Spidey and Wolverine (which helps hold this series together, not merely "jumping" from one character to another, but maintaining some continuity as the characters interact).

There’s a lot that could be said and analyzed and "read into" the text, based on knowledge that’s been made public about events the writer has faced, and I’d like to acknowledge that fact without getting into it beyond this statement.

The story seems to fit Spidey…I haven’t followed the character all that much for a number of years, so I might be getting something that’s not there, depending on the nuances one pulls out. For me, though, this seemed to be a solid reflection of Spidey acting in context of having just lost a mentor/father-figure/inspiration…and that he’s in the black suit lends yet further loss based on what he’s apparently been dealing with in his own book(s). The threat faced in the cemetery elicits the expected reaction from the character, while simultaneously providing a nice twist, breaking just a bit from a clichéd sort of formula.

I liked the art here. Finch isn’t an artist I’m terribly familiar with of late, only dipping into Marvel here and there the last several years…but the art is definitely recognizable, and carries a certain realism to it that (while allowing one to still subconsciously recognize it as "just" 2-d comic book art) adds a lot to the visual enjoyment of the story. And I think that is the best-looking version of the "villain" I can ever remember seeing.

As a whole, this issue (to me) is an example of how enjoyable story arcs can be as a series of stories that CAN be taken alone, but are also part of a larger arc, rather than a series of chapters that FEEL like they are 1/6th segments of a single story…and that makes it certainly worth its cover price.

If you’re following the series already, this isn’t an issue to skip on; and if you’re just interested in Spidey…you’ve got a good dose of him dealing with another loss in his life, mixed with some action here, and I think it’s fair to say you probably don’t NEED to have read the earlier issues to get/follow/enjoy this issue. I do think these may read better in a collected volume in one sitting, though. Of course, you can do much worse by way of single issues.

Ratings:

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Captain America: Reborn #4 [Review]

By: Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Covers: Hitch, Guice and Mounts; John Cassaday and Laura Martin, Joe Kubert and Laura Martin
Assoc. Editor: Jeanine Schaefer and Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I’m not 100% certain I bought/read issue 3 of this, offhand. Even if I not only read issue 3 but also reviewed it, I don’t at present recall issue 3. Despite that, it’s almost an irrelevant point as this issue finds Cap still bouncing through time, the Skull and crew still getting things assembled, and Cap’s allies still playing catch-up.

Skull and crew arrive in Latveria at invitation of Doctor Doom. Doom fixes their time device, while Cap’s allies are finding out what happened with Sharon and how she–and her blod–hold the key to what’s going on with Cap.

As Doom’s device is activated, things come to a bit of a head as a body is present, though all may not be quite as promising as it appears.

The art’s easily the best part of this story. Hitch draws a great Doctor Doom, and I found myself enjoying the visuals even as the story sped through its own pages. Brubaker’s done a great job overall with the Captain America saga. This series seems just a bit much, though, and something feels a bit “off” from what I enjoyed in reading the first omnibus and the 1.5-year saga following up on Steve’s death and Bucky’s installation as the new Cap.

If you’re specifically a fan of Brubaker’s work you’ll probably enjoy this; ditto if you’re a fan of Hitch’s art. If you’ve been following this mini thus far, probably worth finishing out the story. Otherwise, you’re probably just as well holding off for a collected volume.

Plus, with a collected volume…you won’t have two different titles for the same story (three, if we count the fact that this essentially IS the Captain America title right now, outright replacing the main title for its duration).

Story: 5.5
Art: 9
Overall: 7

Captain America: Reborn #2 [Review]

By: Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Covers: Hitch, Guice and Mounts; John Cassaday and Laura Martin, Tim Sale and Dave Stewart
Assoc. Editor: Jeanine Schaefer and Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Well, I’m glad I picked the cover I did for the first issue…it seems that that was indeed the “standard” cover, meaning if I follow through with this entire series, I won’t be left feeling like one of my covers is out-of-place with the others.

I continue to be baffled as to why this couldn’t just be issue #602 of Captain America (or better yet, #53 or whatever without the renumbering). After all, while we have a different artist in Hitch on the visuals, the story is still Brubaker’s, and honestly looks and feels like any other issue of Captain America. If it’s about the chance at a #1 in the face of combining all previous runs to make the fat ol’ #600…then surely part of the trade dress for this story could have displayed a “part #1” or “part #2” while having the actual issue number in small print.

As said…this story is very much a Brubaker issue of Captain America. Amidst some Lost-styled time-hop scenes of Stever Rogers reliving scenes of his earliest days as Captain America (and his transformation from scrawny kid TO Captain America) we learn a little bit about the time-flashing that likely foreshadows something significant for later in the story. We also see the present as the current Captain America–formerly Bucky–and the Black Widow face Norman Osborne’s “evil” (or is that “dark?”) Avengers and see that Norman’s now got a stake in things as he issues an ultimatum to act as the issue’s cliffhanger.

It seems almost a given to me that Brubaker’s writing is high quality and in top form here–whatever “event” this is billed as, and whatever elements may or may not have been “forced,” he makes the story work in and of itself in its own sandbox that we’ve seen since his run started…while incorporating obvious and relevant elements from the larger Marvel Universe as a whole.

Hitch and Guice provide excellent visuals that capture the tone of the story very well. Though the art may not match up 100% with what the bulk of the Cap series has had, it certainly fits very well with it…having its own style without being a departure from what longer-time readers are likely familiar with. In itself, no complaints from me on the art.

Taken as a whole, this issue was pretty good. I was actually intending NOT to buy this issue due to the price tag and figuring on waiting for the collected edition if anything–but with Marvel’s pricing of late, it’s probably cheaper this way, and I have the feeling this pulled-out-into-itself mini-series will greatly inform whether or not I return to the monthly Cap book this fall.

If Cap’s your thing, this is well recommended. Otherwise…you would probably be more satisfied waiting for a complete arc to read.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7/10

Captain America: Reborn #1 [Review]

By: Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Covers: Hitch, Guice and Mounts; John Cassaday and Laura Martin, Alex Ross, Joe Quesada, Danny Miki and Richard Isanove
Assoc. Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

After the reveal in Cap #600 that the gun we thought had killed Steve was something other than a simple gun, this issue picks the story up and moves forward. We see what appears to be a flashback to Steve’s time in World War II, though we quickly discover there’s a bit more to the scenes than just flashbacks. In the present, we see the other players of the story gather, and discover the nature of Steve’s flashbacks–which also seems to set up what is to come later in the story. We also discover through terminology and visuals that it would be really quite simple to set “Lost” square into the Marvel Universe.

As returns go, the story seems to be plausible enough in terms of comic book returns. I’ve enjoyed just about everything I’ve read from Brubaker the last couple years, be it Captain America, Criminal, Incognito, and what-have-you. I recently read through the Captain America by Ed Brubaker Omnibus, which gave me a great appreciation for the story he’s told the last few years in the main Cap book (it’s that reading that also convinced me that I think it far, far too soon be seeing Steve brought back). However, as stories go, this seems upper-middle-of-the-road to me, mainly because my first thought at a couple of scenes was of Lost (and reinforced when I saw comments pop up on Twitter on that subject).

The art is good stuff, and seems to fit the tone established across Brubaker’s tenure on the main Cap book–high quality, and nothing jarring me out of the story for any particular visual issue. It’s not spectacular, but it is good–and I really have zero complaint on the art…at least on the interior. I do have a bit of an issue with the variants, but that’s a usual complaint from me–I don’t like ’em.

On the whole, this is not a bad start to this mini–but the cover price combined with its place (presumably) within the ongoing Captain America story…I don’t plan to pick up later issues, and will await the collected volume(s). If out-of-title event minis–or Brubaker–or just Cap–are your thing, you’ll probably enjoy this. I do expect this is going to read a LOT better as a collected single story, though.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7/10

Chiming in on Captain America

So, Marvel–or the comics news sites, or some combo therein–managed to hook me.  Last week while I was at my primary local comic shop, I asked if I could be put down for a copy of Captain America #600.

I had picked up the first couple issues of Brubaker’s run when they came out, and didn’t find it to my liking at the time.  I returned with issue #25, and stayed on til #45 (18-part Death of Captain America epic, and the first three “Bucky issues.”  Decided to bail on the book to wait for the trades (and lookie here, I only lasted the equivilent of a single arc and I’m coming back).

I don’t know what the “big news” will be next Monday–whether it’ll be a Return or actual Rebirth of Steve Rogers.

But to be honest, I sincerely hope the news does not involve “the” (nor “a”) return of Steve Rogers. At least not yet.  I just last week finished reading the Captain America Omnibus (1-25 plus a couple specials), and adding that to what I read in singles from 25-45…it’s just far too soon in my mind for them to be bringing Steve back. With 25 issues of build to get to the death, and another 18 issues to get Bucky officially into the costume…I can’t honestly believe they’d (Marvel) force Steve’s return when Bucky’s only actually BEEN in the costume for 9 issues.

I think back to the 1990s and changes wrought–remember the bone-claws Wolverine?  That particular change stuck for a full SIX YEARS (real-world time). So much so that I think that version of Wolverine was actually starting to get a bit of notice outside of standard comic book readers (I have zero stats to back that up, though).  (But when one looks at stuff like the Ultraverse crossovers, the Overpower card game, possibly video games, etc…)

I hope that Bucky stays in the costume for at least a few more years.  Even then, at this point I think I’d find Steve much more interesting in a General Hawk sorta way–circa the latter issues of the first Devil’s Due G.I. Joe series.

But hey…time’ll tell. Right?

%d bloggers like this: