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Captain America #45 [Review]

Time’s Arrow – Part 3 of 3

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Pencilers: Luke Ross with Butch Guice
Inkers: Rick Magyar, Mark Pennington and Butch Guice
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Production Irene Lee
Assoc. Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover: Steve Epting
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Bucky (well, Captain America) continues his battle with Batroc and a mysterious assailant with ties to the past. By the time all’s said ‘n done, Cap finds himself facing an even bigger threat than he’d initially thought.

No real complaint on the art here for me. Art duties are shared a fair bit according to the credits, but nothing on-page took me out of the story or got me to pause and think about having seen different art–which is credit to the team for keeping a consistent enough style to not jar me outta the experience. (Which is not to say one can’t find the differences).

The story’s solid as usual for the title, and we’re really seeing all the more a tonal shift from the “super-hero” stuff to the spy/espionage stuff. The costume, shield, and title of the series are Captain America…but with a diferent man under the mask and different relationships with supporting cast, this is beginning to feel like a much different character and title.

There’s a fairly decent ending to this issue, closing out this 3-parter; but we’re still left with a to-be-continued note, as this story “cliffhangers” into the next.

As 3-parters go, this is not a bad initial post-Steve, Bucky-actually-IS-Cap-now story. However, having been brought on-board with the Death of Cap back in #25 and following that and checking this out, I get the feeling that this is going to read much better in collected format, and so plan to discontinue purchasing the monthly issues and wait for the collected volumes to follow this. Brubaker’s story is fairly deep, layered, and well-done…but I’m ready to break from his single issues and wait for full stories.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Captain America #44 [Review]

Time’s Arrow – Part 2 of 3

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Luke Ross
Inkers: Fabio Laguna & Rick Kagyar
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Production Joe Sabino
Assoc. Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover: Steve Epting
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Bucky (Captain America, really) and Black Widow decide to split up to tackle their “problem” from two different angles–each taking the angle their strengths play to. While “Captain America” might get some results, Bucky is able to fall back on his reputation as the “Winter Soldier” to get answers, and eventually get his rematch with Batroc…and then face a figure from his past.

I’m not terribly familiar with Luke Ross–by name–in terms of prior work; but what we have in this issue, I really like. There’s a very realistic feel that lends something extra to the story. Though this plays in a world with super-spies and super-heroes, it feels like it takes place in a real world much moreso than a comic book world.

Brubaker continues to provide a strong story that goes beyond “simple” super-hero vs. bad guy, and exploring the world he’s crafted with Captain America now as a “legacy character.”

Despite this, I find myself checking out a bit. There was a certain excitement and interest locked up in the epic The Death of Captain America, and now that that story is behind and there’s no imminent sign of Steve Rogers returning, I feel like we have a new status quo that is interesting conceptually, but more well-suited for collected volumes. Barring learning something particularly engaging about the next story, I’ll likely finish out this arc, then let this title go for a bit, and possibly just wait for a collected volume of the next arc.

On the whole, definitely a solid issue of the title, and well worth getting if you’re interested in seeing the new Captain America in action, with the status quo left by the end of the aforementioned epic. This is, after all, the first “original” story OF the new Cap.

Especially if you can find the previous issue, this is well worth picking up–this is part 2 of just a 3-part story (a nice break from the 6-issue “acts” of an 18-issue epic).

Story: 8.5/10
Art: 9/10
Whole: 8.5/10

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