Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting
Colorist: Frank D'Armata
Story - Old Friends and Enemies: Part 1
While this issue says that it is part one of a new story it is just a continuation from the last arc. From the looks of it Brubaker is doing the same thing that he did with "Death of Captain America" arc. Were he will be using small arcs that are all interconnected to build up to a much larger event in this book.
The initial story of this book was all about Steve's final missions as Captain America up to his death and all of his friends dealing with the death, Bucky taking up the mantle, and all of Steve's friends and allies getting revenge on the ones who killed him. But this new story is all about Bucky and building him up as the new Captain America by introducing new villains that are from his past as Cap's partner in WWII and as Winter Soldier. I am interested to see more of Professor Chin and the Man With No Face and what there plan is and how it involves Bucky.
Brubaker does a nice job writing the relationship between Bucky and Namor. For as bad as most people try and make Namor out to be he is still a character that cares about the people close to him and that he respects. And it was nice that Brubaker shows that even though Bucky has just come back and taken up the role as the new Captain America, Namor still considers him a friend, and one of the few people he calls a friend, and shows that he still has a lot of respect for Bucky. Even though Bucky was hesitant to ask Namor what he thought of him as the new Captain America the moment were Namor breaks his silence and says that Bucky was the right choice to pick up the mantle goes a long way for both Bucky and the reader.
I also continue to enjoy the relationship between Bucky and Natasha. Even though they do not appear together in this issue it is good that Brubaker address the issue of them being an official couple by having Natasha reject that guy in the bar and saying that she will get the answers she is looking for in another way (poisoning his drink). Though I kind of wonder what her position is within the Marvel Universe is now since Norman has taken over and SHIELD being no more. I hope Brubaker addresses this fact soon since it would be nice to see what is her standing within the Marvel Universe.
While I would like to see Sharon and Falcon being a part of the story I am fine with Brubaker wanting these next few issues being about Bucky and him excepting his new role as Captain America. And I am sure we will be seeing those two soon enough since this book is coming close to the 50th issue.
Also while all of the artist on this title have done a great job maintaining the consistency of this title on the art side there is nothing like Steve Epting's Captain America art. Epting's perfectly matches the espionage tone of this book. And he does a great conveying the emotions of each character throughout the issue.
Story: 9/10 - Brubaker continues to do a great job building from the momentum from the last arc. The team-up of Bucky and Namor was great to see and shows that these two are life long friends no matter how long they have not interacted with one another.
Art: 9.4/10 - It is good to see Epting back on this title. He does a great job with both the talking heads, which was took up most of the issue, and the action scenes.
Overall: 9.2/10 - It looks like we are going to get another big long storyline that will incompase many small arcs. The difference is that this storyline feels more like Bucky's own story and not the story of Steve, Bucky, and all of Captain America's supporting cast.
Monday, February 2, 2009