(MARVEL COMICS, 2012) – Reviewed by Feral Fang
I have never been much of a Captain America fan. I guess I just always found him to be cheesy, either in character or his costume, or even a mix of both. I used to regard Superman in the same way, but that changed over time to a full-on love, and the same thing is happening for me with Captain America. Mostly based on his steadfast ‘voice of reason and safety’ position during the whole “Avengers Vs. X-Men” and it’s lead up story lines, since I’m not exactly all that well versed on his comic adventures. The film “Avengers” made up for the somewhat crappy earlier Cap film, so I’m sure that helped, as well. Either way you look at it, Marvel NOW! has launched with Captain America #1 being one of the main titles, and this is a book of high quality. The pulp-y feel of this title (heightened by the first ‘present day’ scene of Cap fighting in a WWII era bomber) brings a timelessness to Cap, making it seem all at once his past and our present. A large part of this perfectly crafted first issue is the always awesome John Romita Jr., who seems able to capture any setting or character without it looking awkward or out of his artistic range. He’s been quite the fun artist to watch – from the old flat noses he used to have on just about every character’s face, to the damn beautiful work he’s done in Amazing Spider-Man. I’ve enjoyed his work throughout, and this was no exception. With the amazing Klaus Janson on inks, the images jump off the page, powered by the perfectly rendered artwork. I was surprised to see the book open on a flashback scene to the 1920’s, with Steve Rogers/Captain-to-be as a child. His father is in the middle of abusing Steve’s mother as he hides under the kitchen table. What struck me the most was the Father’s mention of ‘ever since we moved to this country’, and how they were Irish immigrants. I had never seen this portrayed in such a way before, and it struck me – Captain America, the old-time, classic American figure, was probably the first of the family to be born in the United States (he’s rather young in the flash back), but it’s that idealistic dream of this country, the one never realized, where every nationality, race, etc. meant nothing as far as status or worth. America was you and them, all of us as one solidified country. It was a nice idea, and by now mostly nostalgic in its truth, but that was the dream. Having Steve Rogers as a part of one of our country’s experiments with mass-immigration, that wonderful dream of a ‘melting pot’, makes him all the more American, in my eyes. Rick Remender’s script is tightly woven, and a damn good story, if a bit quick to get to some scenes. If you’ve seen any of the advertising for this book (and there was quite a lot), you know that this first adventure has Cap traveling (not by choice) to a place known as ‘Dimension Z’, an unearthly ‘Dimension’ where he will have to fight to survive. This is actually one of the things that made me so excited to get my hands on this – I had wondered how they would treat the new title, and this premise is both unique and creative in many ways. Take Cap out of his element. Awesome. I recommend a lot of books on here, but if you are even remotely interested, I’d say go for it – jump in the ride and see where it takes you. You might be very happy you did.
— 5 out of 5 Misplaced Superheroes