Friday, February 27, 2009

Captain America #47 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Butch Guice
Colorist: Frank D'Armata

Story - Old Friends and Enemies: Part 2 of 3

Captain America has always been one of the strongest and most dependable read month in, month out and this issue is no different. Ed Brubaker has done an excellent job making Captain America feel more like an epic espionage book that is masquerading as a comic. The truth is that Captain America, along with Ultimate Spider-Man and Green Lantern, is one of the few ongoing comics published by Marvel and DC that feels like it is telling its own story and not being forced to have to tie into company wide crossovers or direction.

One of the reasons Daniel Craig's has become my favorite James Bond is because his version of Bond is unrefined and make up stuff as he goes without having to rely on some sort of super advance technology to get him out of the situations he finds himself in. It is for those same characteristic why I continue to enjoy Bucky as Captain America. Even though he has been a soldier for a long time and has plenty of experience going in on top secret missions he is still trying to get acclimated to being the new Captain America which has caused him to become very impulsive and full of self-doubt about filling his new role.

And this issue is a perfect example of that impulsive and self-doubt that Bucky is filled with as he takes up the Winter Soldier costume again when facing off against Doctor Chen and his men. It is interesting to see that the reason Bucky goes on this mission as Winter Soldier instead of Captain America is not just because he doesn't want to disgrace the name of Captain America. The real reason Bucky took up the mantle of Winter Soldier again is because he feels guilty for what he did to Chen in the past and that he deserves to take any punishment he gets in this mission as Winter Soldier not as Captain America.

What makes this aspect of the story even better is the fact that Natasha is able to quickly figure out the real reason Bucky is doing what he is doing without telling her. This helps to make the relationship of Bucky and Natasha even more compelling as Bucky will not be able to keep telling lies to Natasha since she knows what Bucky is thinking. It really sets this relationship apart from other comic book relationships as we will not have to see either one be able to BS the other since the other will call them on their BS.

Also Brubaker continues to do an awesome job in how he is handling Namor in this story. Namor has always been a cool character with tremendous untapped potential. The problem is that writers just don't seem to be able to be balance out the villainous nature of thee character with his 'hero' nature. It always seem that writers will either try and make him a complete asshole that you can't root for or a push over. But Brubaker does a nice job showing that tough take no BS attitude while also showing Namor is a man that cares about the few friends he has as he helps out Bucky with his mission. All I can say is that I did not see the ending of this issue coming at all and I can't wait to see were Brubaker takes the Dr. Chen/Human Torch storyline and how Bucky and Namor are going to get themselves out of their situation they find themselves in.

While Brubaker does a great job with all of the dialogue it was Butch Guice dark espionage artwork that help drive home the blockbuster feel of this book. He and his colorist, D'Armata, do an awesome job balancing all the dark shadows along with the explosions going on in the background to make all the action going on this issue stand out. This book feels like I am watching one of the Bourne or James Bond movies with all the great fighting going on in this issue. The only problem I had with Guice's artwork is that their were a few panels were some of the characters faces looked like they have been stretched out vertically. But that is just a minor complaint that does not take away from the enjoyment of this issue.

Issue Rating
Story: 9.4/10 - Brubaker continues to do an excellent job creating suspence within the book without ever making the dialogue feel rushed.
Art: 8.7/10 - Minor inconsistencies aside, Guice does a nice job making Captain America feel like one of the big blockbuster espionage movies we have gotten over the past years.
Overall: 9.1/10 - Captain America #47 was another great read for the comic book that has become the rock of my pull list.