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Monday, April 13, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Captain America #1

Now, I’m in the present… or at least 2004. It’s close enough. Today’s issue is Captain America #1. This was the start of Ed Brubaker’s long run on Captain America and it all started with the Winter Soldier arc. As you can probably tell by the title, most of Brubaker’s arc influenced the recent movie from 2014. I don’t know if I picked up the first trade to Brubaker’s run because of the movie or because of word of mouth. The issue was written by Brubaker. I haven’t read much of his work outside his stuff on Captain America. I know he’s been on Batman and Daredevil. The artist is Steve Epting and I even know less about him. So, let’s get to it.

Captain America #1
Writer: Ed Brubaker
 Artist: Steve Epting
 Colors: Frank D’Amata
 Letters: Randy Gentile
Editors: Tom Brevoort, Andy Schmidt, Nicole Riley, and Molly Lazer


“Out of Time Part 1”
 The story starts five years in the past. The Red Skull has come to Russia in order to get new weapons from a disgraced general named Alexander Lukin. After Lukin reluctantly takes care of some business, he shows Skull his stockpile of weapons. As they walk, Skull sees a hyperbolic chamber with a familiar man in it. Lukin says he’ll trade the man for the Cosmic Cube, a source of power that the Skull previously owned. Skull scoffs at the idea and proclaims that he will get the cube back. We then cut to present day New York where the Red Skull has finally gotten hold of the Cube. He gloats on how he will finally bring Captain America down.

We find Steve Rogers in his new apartment as he’s being evaluated by Sharon Carter aka Agent 13 (SHIELD agent and Steve's ex-girlfriend). While she’s come to evaluate him, she also wants to know what has been up with his recent activity. Since the Avengers disbanded (this was after "Avengers Disassembled"), he’s been a bit reckless with the job. In a flashback, we see him brutally take out some terrorists. While he got the job done, there was a lot of collateral damage. Steve tells Sharon that he’s fine but he has been having weird dreams. Afterwards they talk about the terrorists and a few other things. Unbeknownst to Steve, someone is watching him.

That person watching him turned out the Red Skull in disguise. The Skull heads back to his high-rise apartment and is about to activate the Cube (how does that thing work anyway?) when General Lukin calls. He knows that Skull has found the Cube and is still willing to barter for it. Skull refuses the offer. Suddenly, the Skull gets a sniper shot to the chest and falls over dead. The issue ends as the assassin (sent by Lukin) comes into the apartment and steals the Cube.

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I thought this was a nice issue. The overall story and dialogue was pretty good. Since the Red Skull is Cap’s most known villain, I liked that it centered on him. It also introduced a new element into Steve world but it's one we don't see till later in the arc. The ending is a shock but know that the Red Skull has died before. I also liked Cap’s part of the issue. It was interesting seeing him be a little more reckless than usual.

The artwork was pretty good. Everything looked good in general. The big action scene on the train was done well. I also liked how everything was laid out. My only question about the art is the Red Skull himself. What is up with his face? How does it all work? It’s just weird. Overall, this was a good issue and a nice start to a good story arc. Well, I’m off to do something else. Peace, God Bless, and someone get me a shield for my birthday.

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