Friday, November 14, 2014

Special Review: Dan on All-New Captain America #1

All-New Captain America #1
Story: Rick Remender
Pencils: Stuart Immonen
Inks: Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Marte Garcia & Eduardo Navarro

We are officially neck-deep in the Avengers NOW! era, with Wednesday seeing the releases of All-New Captain America #1, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1, Superior Iron Man #1 and Thor #2. Of the four, this was the one I was most excited about; no offense to Lady Thor and Jerkface Iron Man.

As a quick referesher, Sam Wilson, the former Falcon, is now Captain America, after Steve Rogers had the Super Soldier Serum sucked out of him. His partner is the new Nomad, aka Ian Rogers, Steve Rogers’ adopted son from Dimension Z.

The series opens with Wilson on a mission to foil a Hydra doomsday plot, standard Cap fare, obviously. But the cookie-cutter mission is exactly what allows us to see the characters interact in the new order. Sam takes point, Ian works undercover and Steve gives orders from a boat in the middle of a lake, where he is supposed to be fishing and enjoying retirement.

If you loved the banter between Steve and Sam in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you’ll be pleased. The commlink discussion between the two about “frills” alone is worth the price of admission. Sam and Ian’s relationship, meanwhile, is decidedly more headbutt-y. The two snipe over when it’s time to kill, who’s better with the shield, etc., which is to be expected of new partners raised in two different dimensions, one of whom just happened to sleep with the other’s sister.

Though All-New Cap is decidedly less bleak than Uncanny X-Force or Uncanny Avengers, it wouldn’t be a Rick Remender book unless every major villain were trying to destroy our hero at the same time. Keep that in mind as you reach the last page.

Before that, however, there is Batroc. Couple issues here: America’s favorite leaping Frenchman appears to have traded in his classic purple-and-yellow duds for garb that makes him look like Brown Arrow. Also, his role in Hydra’s doomsday scheme seems to run counter to the classic Roger Stern/John Byrne run, when he turned on Mr. Hyde upon realizing Hyde saw fit to kill thousands of New Yorkers. Also also, he calls Sam a diabetic burger-eater, which I’m pretty sure is racist.

The FalCap costume is a bit of a mishmash, admittedly, combining elements of the classic Cap costume (the red-and-white torso stripes), the classic Falcon costume (the wings and gloves), the Commander Rogers costume (the white star on the chest), the darker blues that generally connote substitute Caps such as Bucky or U.S. Agent, and goggles that add more red to the costume but also give Sam bug eyes. Also, if someone can tell me why the new Nomad costume looks like the Constrictor’s duds, I’ll give you a no-prize.

Nevertheless, Stuart Immomen’s art combines with inks by Wade von Grawbadger (best name ever!) and colors by Marte Gracia and Eduardo Navarro to give the book just the right amount of lightness to balance Remender’s ever-gathering darkness, for a series I intend to keep reading.

P.S.: Deadpool fans, keep your eyes peeled for a supporting character from Fabian Nicieza’s Cable & Deadpool.

No comments: