Thursday, March 08, 2007

Chris' Reviews 3/7, Pt. 1

Good God a'mighty, it's review time! Things have calmed down here at Frobozz Software (and points to commenter Anonymous who got the reference in the apology post last Thursday), so it's back to comics. Here's the deal: this part of reviews is dedicated to one comic only (because it deserves it), then I'll get to the rest of my pile tonight or tomorrow morning.

I cannot stress this enough:


One more time for the cheap seats:



Well, it happened, didn't it? It's not so much a story as it is an event, and a well done one at that. The short version: as Cap's escorted into a courthouse, Crossbones shoots him with a sniper rifle, prompting a Bucky/Falcon team-up to find the shooter. In the ensuing chaos, Cap gets gut-shot again three times by...

wait for it...

wait for it...

A brainwashed Sharon Carter, acting under a spell/mindscrew/something courtesy of Doctor Faustus and the Red Skull.

So yeah, he's dead, regardless of the nonsense you may have seen in Civil War: The Initiative. (And we'll be getting to that pile of crap a little later.)

Steve Epting brings his "A" game as usual, with scenes such as the Bucky/Crossbones fight really delivering the impact, and smaller ones like Bucky leaping over cars in traffic conveying action exceptionally. Additionally, the panel showing Bucky and Crossbones punching through a billboard Iron Man was just awesome on two or three levels. I have to admit I didn't care for Epting when I first started reading Cap, but he's become one of my favorite artists.

Three things that make this a good comic:

1) The Falcon. Very nice flashback scenes with Green Jumpsuit Falcon, even! Sam's internal monologue makes it clear how much he appreciates and admires Cap, and he even gets a few good action scenes. We need to see more of the Falcon, period.

2) The twist at the end. Sharon's sudden remembrance at the end caught me completely off guard, and managed to get me fired up about even a Cap-less Captain America comic, which is what I suspect we'll be getting for the foreseeable future, stupid Punisher hints dropped in Civil War notwithstanding.

3) Cap, having been shot, is laying on the ground, and instead of screaming like the rest of us would be, what is he doing? TELLING PEOPLE TO GET THE CROWD TO SAFETY. That, friends, is a hero. I don't mind telling you, it got a little dusty in the room when I read that.

Best Moment: I'm going with the twist at the end. I was totally unprepared for it, because I'm stupid. But it was great.

Worst Moment: Well, if "Captain America gets killed" isn't a worst moment, I don't know what it.

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5. An outstanding issue, and thank God Marvel let Brubaker do this instead of having Millar hack out this in Civil War. Action-packed like the best issues of Cap, and filled with fond memories. Buy this comic.

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Blogger fenixrisingxl said...

I thought this was a great issue overall, but also feel it would have benefited greatly from a special 48-page count. Don't get me wrong, the flashback scenes were well done, but it almost felt like they were mandatory to get everyone familiar with the characters Cap's death would impact the most (including the 'speculators'; I hope that's the first and last time we use that term in this decade).
I could've gone for a couple of reactionary shots from Tony, Peter, etc., but I guess that's why I've got the Initiative, Mighty Avengers, et al coming via DHL tomorrow.
It also kind of sucks that this wasn't part of a massive arc in Cap's title (Civil War notwithstanding). To me, the best part of the Death of Superman was the whole lead-up, knowing that no matter what happened during that storyline, he was going to bite it. It was kind of more impactful (apologies if that's not an actual word) watching/reading the whole ordeal, as opposed to being done-in-one.
Sad to see him go, but this was handled exceptionally well.
Now I'm waiting to see if Jeph Loeb drops the ball. I think he's good if he's given his own pocket universe to play with, but anything in-continuity just doesn't jive with me.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

Wait! Bucky is alive?!

2:51 PM  
Blogger kyle-latino said...

This will go down in the books for as a major event. Even people who didn't care about comics came to the memorial service I organized last night (video up on the site).

It shocked me and I hated it (at first) but now, I hope the cynic in me isn't right and Cap comes back inside of 6 months.

This should stick for a while, because it's a death that matters. The death means something.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

fenix: the fact it came out of (virtually) nowhere also made it seem more impacting, I think. No huge Marvel hype, nothing to indicate that this was a Must-Buy Gimmick™

Spencer: Damn it, didn't you see the spoiler warnings?!?

kyle-latino: your dedication and enthusiam are to be admired and feared. Mostly feared. :-)

3:46 PM  
Blogger fenixrisingxl said...

I agree it coming out of nowhere makes it more impacting, Chris, but it seems like a wasted opportunity, as it comes so close after Civil War. I would have preferred to have had Bru stick to his original plan, as opposed to moving up the schedule.
It just seems like a glass half empty, since the rumors were swirling he'd bite it at the end of CW. It wasn't really expected to happen in his own title shortly thereafter, but it was kind of expected nonetheless. Had this actually happened a year or two down the road, far removed from any company-wide crossover, I think it would've truly been a blindside hit.
You are right, however. I damn sure wasn't expecting it this week.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I do think this was a missed opportunity from the stand point that this issue is pretty much completely sold out and no one's getting any more for like two weeks. That's a lot of possible readers that they're eliminating (not necessarily non-comic readers, but people like me who read it in trade). Also, it does have the taint of Civil War on it, so I have a hard time accepting that this is actually good.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

Is it so good that I should "buy this comic" for $75 on eBay?

Because that would have to be one hell of a twist ending.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Derek: um. No.

No comic is that good. :-)

11:41 PM  

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