By: Rick Remender (Writer), John Romita Jr., Tom Palmer, Scott Hanna (Artists), Dean White, Lee Loughridge (Colorists)
The Story: Zola invades the Phrox ground and kills the tribe while his daughter tries to kill Steve Rogers during the attack.
The Review: Is it already the time for more science-fiction goodness from Rick Remender? It seems so, as another issue from this definitely different take on the adventures of Steve Rogers is upon us and this one is decidedly great in many ways, but suffers in other parts.
What is pretty great here would be the story, as many of the points developed by Remender during the first four issues of the series meet here. Jet Black, Zola’s daughter, along with her dad comes head to head with Steve, Ian meets his father, Steve manages to find a way to remove the Zola virus and the fate of the Phrox tribe is all shown here, to great dramatic effect. Although it had been kind of chaotic at times, many of the threads introduced by Remender manages to get even bigger and weirder in this issue, showing us that we cannot even begin to see what is ahead for the series.
Speaking of bigger and weirder, it seems that Remender has gone even further with some of his concepts, giving us the captains of Zolandia, Doughboy, and the martial art of tachyon fu to look at. I have to say I pretty much loved the captains of Zolandia, particularly in what they represent and how they behave. Being evil and corrupt versions of Captain America with hulking bodies created by mad science, it’s hard not to enjoy such a campy and silly concept when they are played in such a serious way.
Of course, we were able to enjoy all the action, science-fiction and those concepts because unlike the other issues in the series, the story was not interrupted by the 1930’s flashback. This is a surprisingly effective thing here, as the escalation of the story and what happen to the Phrox and to Steve Rogers deserved a whole issue without anything to stop the readers from grasping what is happening. Remender shows a great sense of pacing here, with constant threats being thrown at Steve Rogers without restraint, towering over the implacable captain until the very end of the issue. The final pages of this comic, with Steve Rogers showing us exactly who he is and why the title of Captain America is his is absolutely glorious considering what we’ve seen from this series.
However, this kind of praise cannot be completely attributed to the whole art team, which has expanded quite a lot to replace the absence of Klaus Janson. John Romita Jr., continues to bring some absurdly pleasant monster designs to the table and most of his characters are good-looking. However, most of his panels are much too busy and some of the action is a little bit imprecise to say the least. There is a panel where Ian fights a captain of Zolandia where he kicks one in the jaw that is pretty confusing, to say the least, as we get no explanation on how Ian achieves a certain position to attack the monstrous creature in such a way. Another small fault here would be that some of the inks are just not as well done as in previous issues, with some of the background and some of the details coming as a bit murky as a result. There’s not any true fault to be attributed to the coloring, though, as Dean White does a good job here, helped by Lee Loughridge. The colors are atmospheric, greatly helping to set the mood the big conflict set during the issue.
The Conclusion: This issue may be a little bit reduced in the art department in terms of quality; it still brings the good with great concepts and a good story, helping us with more of this exciting sci-fi take on Captain America.
Hugo Robberts Larivière