Rating: 4.5/5 – Steve Rogers Takes Center Stage for Cap’s 75th Anniversary.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
The iconic Captain America Comics #1 that featured Cap punching Adolph Hitler came out in March 1941, 75 years ago. Steve Rogers doesn’t have his own comic at the moment, so he pretty much takes over Sam Wilson’s book for this anniversary issue.
There is a lot going on in this oversized $5.99 comic. It ties into the Avengers Standoff event, which I’m not reading, but Nick Spencer’s story did a very good job of bringing me up to speed on what is going on so I was able to follow along with the story, already in progress, just fine. The opening 8 pages, illustrated by Angel Unzueta and Matt Yackey, features Sam Wilson and the Winter Soldier arriving in Pleasant Hill, the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. prison facility that is the main location for the Standoff event, and starting to get an idea about just what is going on. At this point we get a story recap page that brought me up to speed on Standoff and introduced Kobik, an entity composed of Cosmic Cube fragments that has chosen to manifest itself in the form of a four year old girl. We then get a 32-page story illustrated by Daniel Acuña starring Steve Rogers.
As befits an anniversary tale, Steve ends up encountering bad guys that include Crossbones, the Wrecking Crew, and Baron Zemo. We get flashbacks to his origin and a number of key moments from his career culminating is a really beautiful 2-page spread by Acuña that gives a capsule history of Steve’s career (which makes a nice pun, yes?) The issue ends with a key reveal that will lead into the new Steve Rogers Captain America #1. I think everyone saw the culmination of this issue coming for a long time, I know I did. That said, the way they have managed to undo the story point that we all knew would need to be undone works quite nicely as a logical outcome of the Standoff storyline presented here.
The issue is rounded out with 3 short stories featuring Steve Rogers as Cap. The first is a 9 page story by Joss Whedon, illustrated by John Cassaday that I thought was a bit over-done. It attempted to shoehorn a modern sensibility onto the WWII era Captain America Mythos. The second is an 8 page story by Tim Sale that features a great 2-page spread illustrating Cap working his way through a Hydra base leaving a bunch of Hydra agents on the floor in his wake. The third short story is a 7 pager by Greg Rucka with art by Mike Perkins that has Steve stopping an assassination attempt at the ballet, guest starring the Black Widow.
At 64 pages of story for $5.99, I certainly felt I got my money’s worth. Fans of Sam Wilson may come away feeling short changed, but I think we can be a bit forgiving since it is Steve Rogers’ 75th anniversary. Nick Spencer presented a story that was a fitting tribute to Steve’s career and sets him up for a return to his former glory. The entire package was nicely done and it has gotten me interested in picking up the upcoming Nick Spencer penned series starring Steve coming in May.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture