Overview

Captain America #31

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Captain America #31

Credits

  • Words: Ed Brubaker
  • Art: Steve Epting
  • Inks: Steve Epting
  • Colors: Frank D?Armata
  • Story Title: The Death of the Dream: Part 2: The Burden of Dreams
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 10, 2007

With Cap still listed as being dead, Bucky Barnes takes centre stage and now he must deal with the manipulative Dr. Faustus.

We are now beginning the second big arc spinning out of the much talked about "Death of the Dream" storyline which saw the Captain succumb to his enemies on the heels of giving up at the conclusion to Civil War. So now we get to focus on the supporting cast following those drastic events and much of it revolves around Cap’s old partner Bucky Barnes.

Of course these days Bucky goes by the name of the Winter Soldier and lately his misdirected anger against Tony Stark has gotten him into hot water. Call it short sightedness if you like, but Bucky’s situation has been comprised as he finds himself caught between enemy lines landing squarely into the clutches of the Red Skull. Unfortunately Bucky not only miscalculated on his efforts, but he also fell directly into the hands of the manipulative Dr. Faustus and must face his cutting edge brain washing techniques. It all comes down to a battle of wits and Bucky does his best to fight against the conditioning being forced upon him, but it may not be enough when it’s all said and done.

Now this arc appears to be treading in the same vein as did the opening story line and writer Brubaker truly knows how to work the beats over. I can say for sure that this has been the most thrilling Captain America adventure in a long time, and because of it I can’t wait patiently enough for the next installment. I could be a sucker for this type of drama, but you have to admit Brubaker knows how to write one walloping tale after another. The highlights here include: Stark’s continual incompetence and watching Bucky relive his most treasured memories working alongside of Cap and having them distorted via Dr. Faustus’ mind controlling techniques. It’s moments like these that build quickly into a crescendo and that’s why Brubaker is one of the top storytellers in the business.

The one notable difference with this issue comes down to the art chores being handled by Steve Epting without the aid of Mike Perkins. It’s not that I didn’t mind these two greats working together as a bona fide team, but I will admit that it’s pleasant to see Mr. Epting flying solo once again. As always Steve supplies octane enhanced visuals throughout the entire issue and those pages detailing Bucky’s memories of World War II are stunning to look at. It’s safe to say that good talents like this are hard to come by and Steve is obviously going to be placed among the greats who have all taken a turn charting Cap artistically over the years.

Now as far as opening story arcs go, this one gets thumbs up from me for a number of reasons. Largely though the intrigue is fined tuned every issue and Brubaker’s level of plotting is sound enough for my tastes. I do get this feeling that the Winter Soldier’s destiny is somehow entwined with becoming the new Captain America and is it any surprise that in January of this upcoming year a new Cap is debuting? Will this new Cap turn out to be Bucky when this is all said and done? There is certainly enough evidence pointing in that direction and only time will reveal if my hunch about this is correct.

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