By Ed Brubaker (writer), Steve Epting (art), Frank D’Armata (colors)
Captain America #37 begins Act 3 of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s now epic storyline. I think it’s safe to say that this entire run will go down as the best Captain America story of all time. While this issue’s ending is no where near shocking as last month’s offering, it’s definitely going to leave you with another “What the hell is going on!?” kind of feeling. Brubaker has really mastered how to slowly unravel a plot, giving us just enough story to keep us coming back month after month.
Titled “The Man Who Bought America”, this first installment delves more into the Red Skull’s plan and his motivations. Of course, we all know the primer for his motivation was the defeat of his Nazi Party during World War II to Allied (but more specifically, American) Forces. After years of losing to the hands of Captain America, Red Skull now has free reign to do as he pleases. With his supporting cast, it seems like he’s finally hatched a perfect plan to destroy America… by crippling her infrastructure. It’s a well-contructed plan, too, and Brubaker deserves a lot of credit for burning this plot slowly enough to where it almost coincides with what’s been going on in the real world. It’s scary, scary stuff.
I’m also enjoying the fact that Bucky isn’t superhuman. He’s just an average guy who happens to have very good military training and a bionic arm. The fact that we’re shown how much time he spends conditioning himself with Cap’s shield proves exactly why he’s fit for the role. He cares about Cap’s legacy and he’ll spare no expense to honor it. And what about the person Sharon ran into at the end of last issue? It’s exactly who you think it is, but something seems very off.
Lastly, Steve Epting returns to art duties this issue. To be honest, I can’t say that I missed him. If that isn’t saying something about Butch Guice’s fill-in work, I don’t know what is. Either way, it’s great to have Epting back where he belongs. His art, as always, flows in harmony with Brubaker’s script. Though I have to say I miss some of the day lit outdoor scenes of the last couple of issues. It was nice seeing some bright colors in this book. Now we’re back to the moody and muted earth tones again. (Grade: B+)
– J. Montes