Review: Captain America #1

Published on July 19th, 2011

The last of the regular Captain America series was issue # 619 and gave us the end of the Gulag story starting James “Bucky” Barnes as Captain America. The series had Ed Brubaker giving us a great come back story for Bucky. It ended nicely but still had lots of questions unanswered. Mainly where does this leave Cap? With Bucky seemingly dead in the pages of Fear Itself and now Steve back in the old blues, it seems to leaves us back where we started, with a man out of time. This is a new starting point with Brubaker and Steve McNiven guiding us in a bold new direction for Steve Rogers in Captain America #1 but is it just an excuse to cash in on the movie or does it bring us back to basics?Read on to find out.

captainamerica1I have to start out this review by saying I LOVE that I got to review the last regular issue and now I get to tackle this one! Many of you know I am a big supporter of Brubaker and  have loved his run on Cap and while I have seen a lot of McNiven’s artwork, he is not someone I can say I have followed. While honestly I had faith in Brubaker, I just wasn’t sure how this book would distinguish itself from his last run. Well, all I can say is lesson learned! This book has already started out with HIGH action and has planted seeds that we will surely see in the next 50 issues to come.

Brubaker’s writing is thrown out there like Cap’s shield and it is hitting all the right plot points! We are not only treated to some great writing but some AMAZING artwork. Seriously, I read Wolverine: Old Man Logan and thought McNiven killed that. Then I saw his work on Civil War and thought, “Ok he is consistent,”  but  nothing can touch the work he is doing on Captain America! His clean lines and crisp artwork make this readable art in every way. He has taken someone who loved the darker more gritty feel that Butch Guice or Steve Epting had been putting on the page and turned them into someone who is not only OK with the lighter look but now can’t wait to buy more issues solely for the artwork. This is not to say that McNiven is carrying Brubaker’s story at all because that really is not the case. In fact I would say that Brubaker is telling a Cap story that he has never told us before. He is reaching into his tool box and crafting something very special. I had a lot of fear that this book would just be something, well, less than special, something that felt forced or just there because of the movie, but I can happily tell you that this feels like a true issue #1 that is starting a build to even bigger, better stories starring Steve Rogers as THE Captain America.

Final Verdict: Many number one’s feel forced, but this feels like a logical reintroduction to Steve and his stories. We will never forget Bucky as Cap, but right now it is nice to see Steve Rogers given back to us and in the more than capable hands of Brubaker and McNiven. May this be the begging of a LONG run for these two.

Sheldon Lee