Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Origin: Ross, Dini & Klein
One Year Later: Brubaker, Guice, Chaykin, Albuquerque, Aja, Breitweiser, D’ Armata, Delgado, Hollingsworth & Breitweiser
In Memorium: Stern, Andrasofszly & Garcia
The Persistence of Memorablia: Waid, Eaglesham & Mounts
My Bulletin Board: Simon
Captain America Comics: Lee & Avison
The overly hyped, over-sized, strangely numbered, five dollar sixth-hundredth issue is here! This comic stood zero chance of living up to the major publicity and controversy prior to being shipped. Whether it was the debate about what “Reborn” was all about or the speculation about Marvel’s press release or the angry retailers over the early, Monday release, this comic has had a ton of build up. Alas, the comic is a good read but is fairly a standard “status quo check-in” issue. Sure, there is a lot of material here, contributed from a lot of resources, but the comic doesn’t have anything that is particularly memorable, certainly nothing worthy of the mammoth build up.
The comic is constructed in parts, some are reprinted material. The opening is a reprint from 2002 called “Origin” which is a shorten origin of Captain America. It serves as a decent opening for a new reader or one that hasn’t followed Brubaker’s run. It’s certainly better than just a regular old recap page.
The next part is the bulk of the new material called “One Year Later”. This essentially visits most, if not all, of the key characters from the entire Brubaker run. The characters are all dealing with the one year anniversary of the death of Steve Rogers. For the most part, the short stories (about four pages per character) help to establish the mindset of the supporting cast. This will not only help newer readers, but even well-read readers because some of these characters haven’t gotten ample page space in a year or two.
Perhaps the most important part of the entire comic in terms of plot is the development with Sharon Carter. She is beginning to regain her memories. With them she is starting to remember key details about her role in the death of Steve Rogers. She begins to piece together how she killed him and what she used to kill him. This is the launching point for the Reborn series.
The art is mostly consistent, though, as you can guess from the credits that the art is not all seamless. For those that have followed the run all along with Epting or Guice in the art chair you will feel fairly conformable with the presentation in this story. It holds the darker, shadowy tones almost in each story. It presents itself as somber story just as it should. Considering the number of hands in this story I’d say it would be very difficult to look any better than it does.
In Memoriam deals with Steve’s old girlfriend Bernie and how she is handling the weight of Steve’s death. This story is very good. I’m not sure new readers would embrace it because she really isn’t framed very well as a key character in the Captain America history, but it does make for an interesting question about her role in the coming story, if she is indeed to have one.
The final story is about two characters that are dealing with memorabilia of Cap’s and publishing Captain America comics. One man is stricken with emotions that make him want to defend the honor of Cap. While the other guy is looking to cash in on the fact that Cap was considered a traitor when he died. It’s a good look at two sides of the public’s perception of Captain America. I’m not sure if either one of these characters had a role in a previous story or if they will ever be seen again but it’s a good story set in the familiar atmosphere of comics.
The comic is rounded out with a 1942 reprint, a cover gallery and a little note from one of the creators of the character, Joe Simon. Incidentally it appears in counting up to six-hundred issues, Marvel has ignored the Captain America comics published by Timely Comics but included them in the cover gallery. However, they did count the Tales of Suspense issues, including the ones when it was just “Featuring the Power of Iron Man” in the six-hundred issue count. Still, the cover gallery is a nice addition.
This comic is a good way for a new reader to hop on board. If it was a new reader I would strongly urge them to pick up the previous fifty issues of the series because that’s where all the good stuff happened. For those that have followed the series all along you will get some good material in here and with a hefty page count you will be kept busy for a little while. However, this comic is not going to knock your socks off, but you at least get your bang for buck with a thick, comprehensive comic. If you have room for your budget then this is worth your money, otherwise just read the recap page in next month’s Reborn series.
3.5 out of 5 geek goggles