Review: Ultimate Comics Captain America #1

Published on January 7th, 2011

It’s about time we get an Ultimate Captain America series! I get that part of the point of the Ultimate Comics line is that it’s not supposed to be so convoluted with a ton of different books, but should we have gotten an Ultimate Comics: Thor book before Cap? Well Thor’s movie comes out first so I suppose it’s appropriate, but still, it’s about time! This book is written by Jason Aaron who we know from Wolverine, Ghost Riders, and PunisherMax (What happened to that book?), and is drawn by Ron Garney who worked with Aaron on Wolverine: Weapon X and almost every one of Marvel’s flagship books at one point or another.

ultimatecomicscapamerica1So this first issue starts with Captain America as a prisoner to this unknown guy who’s kicking the crap out of him. Then the guy puts his gun to Steve’s head, but instead of going on the offensive Cap just starts praying. A little odd, but it seems to shock his unknown captor and buys him some time when the guy decides to leave Cap in his cell to see if God will come to his rescue.

The book then moves to six weeks earlier in North Korea where their scientists are testing out their own super soldier by having him kill a bunch of their own people. There’s an upper room in the building where an American in a black mask is conversing with the North Koreans about how promising their soldier is, then everything goes red because alarms are going off. Enter Captain America who’s blasting away at the North Korean soldiers with a machine gun. He’s also getting yelled at by some MI5 guys who are bitching at him for wearing the American Flag when he’s supposed to be on a covert mission. Like Captain America is gonna take down Communism in secret?! That’s not the Captain America I know and love.

So Cap and his team are there to capture the North Korean super soldier, but the guy in the mask cuts the soldier’s throat and blows up the body before Cap is able to get to him. An MI5 agent stops to get a blood sample while Captain America goes after our mystery man. When Steve catches up to the guy we find out that this guy is gonna be a problem, especially when Cap gets a boot to the face. The two fight for a few awesome action-packed pages, but in the end Steve ends up the loser. At least until the guy in the mask gets in his helicopter and Steve throws his shield through the propellers and crashes it. The guy gets out of the helicopter and now he’s pissed, he grabs Cap and knees him in the face and then continues to beat the Holy Hell out of him. As Cap is lying on the ground the guy takes off his mask to reveal a face with the American Flag tattooed on it. He then proclaims that he was the Captain America of Vietnam and he’s gonna show Steve what America REALLY stands for.

I was really looking forward to this book, mostly because I was a big fan of Wolverine: Weapon X and Jason Aaron in general. Unfortunately it didn’t quite meet my expectations. I can’t really pinpoint what I didn’t like about this book, maybe I just don’t like seeing Captain America use a gun like he does in this book. I know he’s a soldier and it would be stupid to think that a soldier would never use a gun in the real world, but I always figured that Steve Rogers was the kind of hero that didn’t need a gun. The action sequences are really good, and Aaron is able to sneak in a couple of good jokes so it’s a good read. I was really surprised at the end when I found out the guy in the mask was the Ultimate version of Nuke, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in this universe. I haven’t seen him since his appearance in Wolverine Origins which was awesome, and I’m confident that Aaron will do some cool stuff with him in this book. I really like Ron Garney’s art in this book, he makes Cap look like a force to be reckoned with and I loved seeing Steve take out the helicopter with the shield. Overall this was a good first issue, but it’s probably gonna be a few issues before I make up my mind about this book.

Ken Zeider