By: Rick Remender (Writer), John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson (Artist), Dean White (Colorist)
The Story: Eleven years later, Steve Rogers goes on a hunt with Ian and makes some key discoveries about the boy and how to get out of Zolandia.
The Review: Some people may have already got accustomed to it, but it is still a little bit weird for me to consider this title a sci-fi one. It is quite a jump from a genre to another, but the tone is so different from the previous volume that it is hard to not feel a little bizarre about all this.
I mean that in the most positive of ways.
A strange thing to say, I admit, but this feeling of utter strangeness from the shift of genre and tone is actually also felt in the book in itself, just like us readers. Remender throws dozens of concepts at once during the issue, not explaining most of it, yet the majority of these ideas are simple enough for us to understand. From the very first page of the book, Remender takes us unaware and just continues like this, creating something completely surprising in many ways.
One of those surprises lays in the character interactions themselves, with Ian having seemingly grown and Steve Rogers having seemingly grown some kind of connection with Zola’s kid, even though we saw none of it. Remender uses this to its full advantage by showing us even more concepts and advancing some of the key concepts of the story with merely these two characters. We still get some continuation of previous themes despite the eleven years gap storywise, which is also a nice touch, as the ending of issue three was much too shocking to not be properly exploited.
Another thing that continues, though, would be the past sequences set in the thirties, with the young Steve trying to take care of his mother. Despite the fact that they are well-written, they are a bit confusing to see just how they actually add to the whole dimension Z story. It does show how Steve got the strong morals he always possessed and what kind of hardship he had to go through, but it mostly disconnect us with the much more interesting sci-fi action and concepts.
What also works mostly, yet not to its maximum potential, would be Romita Jr. and Janson art in this issue. In most places, it shines as they show just what they can do. The monster concepts, the machines, the technology all look superb, as does Captain America. The designs here, for the most part, are very well thought-out and it shows. Sadly, there are several areas where they are lacking. The environments lacks in details in the first pages, where Steve and Ian are hunting, for one, and it seems that John Romita Jr. still has some trouble with drawing the child characters without making them look a bit deformed, specifically their head. It is most evident when looking at Ian or in the thirties segment, as their head look much too big for the rest of their body. Still, most of the art is very strong in key parts, with most of it being obviously influenced by Jack Kirby, a key influence that elevates the whole thing. Another thing that does help a lot would be the very talented Dean White with his smart choices of colors. His color work is constant in its quality, bringing the good both in the thirties and the sci-fi parts of the book.
The Conclusion: This bizarre sci-fi adventure is still something that feels at odd with Captain America, which is exactly what the title needs, making for a good book full of surprises. The art does not always follow the quality of the script and story, but it is still good in the key parts, making this new chapter in Steve Roger’s adventures a must read.
Hugo Robberts Larivière