CAPTAIN AMERICA #5

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.

Conclusion: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière

Grade

Conclusion


  • Having become a fan during the “Englehart Cap & Falcon” era I have seen many takes on Cap. This reminds me of the Kirby “Madbobmb” era a bit. But IMO Remender is only Kirbylike in his effort to take Cap into a realm outside the norm. This arc is unique and proves Cap would be a hero anywhere, anytime. Because Steve Rogers is a brave soul who was forged from his childhood. The formula just gave him the added power he needed to step up to the big league. If he were still 98 lbs. he would be fighting the good fight in another way.

  • Anonymous

    I’d say this was the best current Marvel book if it wasn’t for Hickman’s New Avengers.

    • It’s in the top spots, to be sure, but I really love Thor: God of Thunder and I am astounded Bendis of all people got me into the X-Men with his All-New X-Men.

  • Paladin King

    It’s funny, I didn’t even dislike the flashback sequences, unlike a lot of readers, but I’ll admit I had more fun and felt it was a more cohesive experience without them.

    • I didn’t hate them per se. There was some good explanation about what kind of hell Steve went through in his childhood, but they did not truly seem to connect with much about what was going on in each issue they were in. That was the heart of the problem for me.

      • Much happier without the flashback sequences. An unnecessary distraction. Overall a solid issue – Ian is still a little lacking in the personality department but Jet Black is a good compensation, in all her Barda-ness. Still digging this.

  • Atomak

    I can’t seem to get into Cap America myself. This whole “different take on the adventures of Steve Rogers” probably only works, if you read the previous take, to understand the contrast. I came to the Cap America book as a newcomer… really, the movie version convinced me to have a try. But all I find here is a comic writer more interested in the sci-fi stuff that just happens to have Cap America in it. It’s not about Cap America – it’s about the set up and the writer showing off his techniques like the time jumping. Do we need Cap America set on another planet to show how heroic he is? Somehow, it’s hard to empathise with his actions, when the people he’s helping are a bunch of badly-drawn aliens.

    • I disagree. By showing us Captain America out of his element and explaining to us how he got this way, we can actually see what the character is made of. The big finale of that issue shows it to us in an important way.

      Still, I have to agree he gives a lot of focus to the more sci-fi elements to explain Dimension Z and some of the time-skip stuff are jarring. For a new reader that don’t know much about Steve Rogers, it is not very helpful. If your own introduction was the WW2 themed character from the movie, this Jack Kirby inspired take on Captain America is very, very different.