Overview

Captain America: Reborn #5

Review

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Captain America: Reborn #5

Credits

  • Words: Ed Brubaker
  • Art: Bryan Hitch & Butch Guice
  • Colors: Paul Mounts
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 16, 2009

After issue four, the powers that be decided to extend this mini-series to six issues, in order to let the story breathe and pace out the finale appropriately.

Thank you, Powers That Be.

Captain America: Reborn is a big action book that hits all the right sweet spots. Tensions that have been rising since Brubaker took over the title five years ago are coming to fruition under the spectacular art of Hitch and Guise (Hitch providing the pencils and Guise laying on the inks). As the earlier chapters of this series just felt like the next issue of Cap, one wondered why a separate mini was necessary. Finally, this story is coming together as the giant crescendo worthy of fifty previous issues.

We open the book to see Steve Rogers’ shattered mindscape, now effectively corrupted by an in-control Red Skull. At the end of issue four, Steve was successfully pulled from the time stream, albeit with his consciousness taking a back seat. One of the Marvel Universes greatest villains now has complete control over America’s greatest weapon and symbol of hope. The New Avengers are in pursuit of Red Cap, on his way to Washington to align himself with Norman Osborn and watch America crumble. What ensues is an aerial dogfight resulting in a spectacular crash atop national landmarks. Those Avengers can’t seem to just land a jet.

To say this book kicks into high gear is an understatement.

Without giving away too many of the beats, a high point here is most definitely the juxtaposition of both Captain Americas (Bucky & Steve) fighting the Red Skull. Steve and Red Skull fighting over control of his body with Bucky fighting a heinously corrupted version of his mentor is a pacing masterstroke. Not wholly original, but massively effective. Both are men of honor and both are fighting for the life of Steve Rogers and his legacy.

Being aware of Bryan Hitch’s strengths as an artist still doesn’t prepare you for some of the subtle touches he allots each scene and character moment. He is really excelling here, from the opening pages panel layouts, using swastikas and contorting familiar American visuals, to the simple body language and acting of Red Cap. He looks like Captain America, but he effectively makes the character foreign and menacing with simple positioning and gestures.

When this is collected, it will no doubt stand as a Cap hallmark; a seminal moment in the character’s sixty-year history.

Having read the whole series leading to this, it’s hard to distance one self and judge it on the merits as a stand-alone miniseries. Could you have just as much fun, not having any knowledge of what came before? Just knowing Captain America was killed and is now coming back is enough to enjoy this as a great action movie by itself. There’s fist pumping moments aplenty to make you gleam over the denser plot developments you may not get right away.

In the previously released Avengers Annuals, it was revealed twice over that Steve Rogers’ Captain America has returned, once in uniform and once without. For a story that we already know the ending to, this book is more entertaining than it should be.  Brubaker and gang have truly put together an accessible and rewarding tale.

And it isn’t even over yet. Delays be darned, this book is just too much fun and worth the wait to be done right.

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