Archive for the ‘Bucky Barnes’ Category

Winter Soldier #14

December 17, 2015

Winter Soldier 14Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
March 2013
***

A KGB superspy wipes love for Bucky from Black Widow’s memory. Brubaker erases this character’s past way too tidily (see also Agent 13’s pregnancy), and focuses on his hero’s wound. It’s the Widow who’s been attacked! That leaves a bad taste, but it’s not the first long run to end in mediocrity.

last issue: Winter Soldier #13
next issue: Winter Soldier #15

also indexed for Mar. ’13

Winter Soldier #13

December 16, 2015

Winter Soldier 13Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
February 2013
***

Ed B nods to his other major Marvel run, pitting brainwashed Bucky against his kidnapped GF’s ex, Daredevil. It’s no character piece, nor is it particularly well-staged; just a rainy nighttime NYC fight with Wolverine, Hawkeye, & Cap jumping in. At least they all chew Bucky out for his stupidity.

last issue: Winter Soldier #12
next issue: Winter Soldier #14

also indexed for Feb. ’13

Winter Soldier #12

December 15, 2015

Winter Soldier 12Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2013
***

Bucky agrees to revert to his Soviet self and execute a mission for the superspy who’s kidnapped his GF. Our hero’s taken impulsive actions before, so at least it’s in character—but it’s astonishingly stupid. Brubaker has one foot out the door, and Guice, no longer inking himself, is looking ragged.

last issue: Winter Soldier #11
next issue: Winter Soldier #13

also indexed for Jan. ’13

Winter Soldier #11

December 13, 2015

Winter Soldier 11Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
December 2012
***

One drawback to Guice’s robust approach to superspy adventure is that it compunds one of Bru’s flaws. Their men have only a small range of emotion, mostly centered on machismo. It means that character dynamics are undercooked, even tho’ the point of #11 is to team Bucky up with fan fave Hawkeye.

last issue: Winter Soldier #11
next issue: Winter Soldier #13

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #18
Captain America #19
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #23

Winter Soldier #10

December 10, 2015

Winter Soldier 10Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
November 2012
****

Black Widow has been kidnapped & mind-raped; regressed to her Soviet self (well, a 21C version of it); killed a longtime SHIELD agent, & had all memory of her romance with Our Hero erased. It’s all to torture Bucky emotionally, natch. But Guice’s art looks retro & contemporary all at once.

last issue: Winter Soldier #9
next issue: Winter Soldier #11

also indexed for Nov. ’12
Captain America #17
The Fantastic Four #610
FF #22

Winter Soldier #9

December 8, 2015

Winter Soldier 09Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
October 2012
****

Visually this arc matches the best of the run. Lark stages the SHIELD shutdown of a Lincoln Center ballet with urgency and clarity. Brubaker’s plot twist, however, doubles down on the Black Widow’s psychological violation. Brainwashed, she fakes lucidity till she’s on the helicarrier, then attacks.

last issue: Winter Soldier #8
next issue: Winter Soldier #10

also indexed for Oct. ’12
Captain America #16
The Fantastic Four #609
FF #21

Winter Soldier #8

December 6, 2015

Winter Soldier 08Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
September 2012
****

Brubaker has made Nat Romanov formidable in her own right, so why’s he casting her as the damsel-in-distress here? She’s made into a pawn in a duel btw Bucky & an ex-KGB sleeper agent. It’s perilously close to fridging: she’s not just another brainwashed character in the run, she’s a violated woman.

last issue: Winter Soldier #7
next issue: Winter Soldier #9

also indexed for Sept. ’12
Captain America #14
Captain America #15
The Fantastic Four #608
FF #20

Winter Soldier #7

December 4, 2015

Winter Soldier 07Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
late August 2012
*****

Lark stages an exceptional action sequence—a high-octane firefight on motorcycle & camper van—but also some narrative flashbacks that are artfully quiet. Note also how realistically Brubaker directs the action as a mission op, recalling the excellent indie Queen & Country as much as, say, Bourne.

last issue: Winter Soldier #6
next issue: Winter Soldier #8

also indexed for Aug. ’12
Captain America #13
The Fantastic Four #607
FF #19
Winter Soldier #6

Winter Soldier #6

December 2, 2015

Winter Soldier 06Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
early August 2012
****

My favorite of Brubaker’s artists takes a curtain call with this late-run arc about a KGB cryo-tube agent, an obvious foil for the title hero (he even kills an ex-Bucky!). Bru’s brought back to his hard-boiled, realistic side; take a sec to note how smoothy he shifts from last arc’s Doom & Apes!

last issue: Winter Soldier #5
next issue: Winter Soldier #7

also indexed for Aug. ’12
Captain America #13
The Fantastic Four #607
FF #19
Winter Soldier #7

Winter Soldier #5

November 30, 2015

Winter Soldier 05Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
July 2012
*****

A two-fisted showdown in a rocket silo! Dr. Doom vs. Super-Apes! Not only does this arc give great spyfi action, it turns the villainess into the kind of super-terrorist Latveria would spawn, & a foe worthy of Doom. Guice draws great hand-to-hand, w/ surprising angles & distances adding kineticism.

last issue: Winter Soldier #4
next issue: Winter Soldier #6

also indexed for Jul. ’12
Captain America #11
Captain America #12
The Fantastic Four #605.1
The Fantastic Four #606
FF #18

Winter Soldier #4

November 28, 2015

Winter Soldier 04Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
June 2012
****

An odd team-up of Kirby creations: Bucky Barnes & Dr. Doom prevent a terrorist bombing at the UN! Effectively Bucky Barnes, Agent of SHIELD, this mag is as good as Brubaker has been since Cap Reborn. It looks great too, as Guice has added Steranko layouts & Adams figures to his arsenal.

last issue: Winter Soldier #3
next issue: Winter Soldier #5

also indexed for Jun. ’12
Captain America #10
The Fantastic Four #605
FF #17

Winter Soldier #3

November 25, 2015

Winter Soldier 03Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
May 2012
****

A great match-up: Widow & the Winter Soldier vs. Dr. Doom! Doom wins on his home turf, the Latverian Embassy in NYC. It’s all a sequel to Bendis’ misfire Secret War, a mini that helped pioneer the Marvel vogue for post-9/11 superheroic espionage, a subgenre that this run epitomizes.

last issue: Winter Soldier #2
next issue: Winter Soldier #4

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
Captain America #9
Captain America & Bucky #628
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Winter Soldier #2

November 22, 2015

Winter Soldier 02Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
late April 2012
****

Not content to continue the run’s Bourne-like action, this first arc pits our hero against a Commie gorilla with a jetpack & AK-47! It’s a ’60s Soviet hench-ape! But #2’s real story is Guice, adding maturity of layout to the Maleev photoref style. It’s gorgeous (except for his rubber-limbed Widow).

last issue: Winter Soldier #1
next issue: Winter Soldier #3

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America #8
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1

Winter Soldier #1

November 20, 2015

Winter Soldier 01Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
early April 2012
****

Bucky finally gets his solo mag, hunting Soviet cryotube killers w/ GF Black Widow. I wouldn’t want to delete Buck’s tenure as Cap but this is what the character’s meant for: a throwback to Cold War superspy stuff rather than the watered-down War on Terror espionage of the concurrent Cap run.

continued from Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
next issue: Winter Soldier #2

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America #8
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #15
Winter Soldier #2

Captain America & Bucky #624

November 13, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 624Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
January 2012
***

Cold War espionage rounds out The Secret Origin of Bucky Barnes. Plus a bit of sentiment as he visits his elderly sister in a nursing home. So let’s applaud this creative crew! Andr. has nailed the period’s idiom (he’s better than Bru), & Samnee does it all: A+ layout, acting, drama, pacing, & atmo.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #623
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #625

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America #4
The Fantastic Four #600
Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
FF #12

Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1

November 12, 2015

Fear Itself 7.1 Captain AmericaEd Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2012
****

EB got to conclude Civil War in his mag, & here’s the trade-off: another event mini, Fear Itself, hosts the fatal confrontation btw his creations Bucky & Sin. Fair? Maybe, but it’s bad storytelling. So Bru plays a trump: a dose of SHIELD’s secret serum revives Buck (again).

continued from Fear Itself #7 of 7
continued in Winter Soldier #1

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America #4
Captain America & Bucky #624
Fantastic Four #600
FF #12

Captain America & Bucky #623

November 11, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 623Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
December 2011
*****

Sidekicks Bucky & Toro discover the awful fact of the Nazi death camps. The creators produce a bona fide war comic for mainstream Marvel. Nothing profound, just bearing witness to the human horror of war. But it’s a problem beyond the superheroes’ range, so #624 ends w/ Cap & Buck’s exit from WW2.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #622
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #624

also indexed for Dec. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4
FF #10
FF #11

Captain America & Bucky #622

November 10, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 622Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
November 2011
****

The monthly flashback to WW2 continues with an Invaders mission. But what’s clever is how it doubles as Brubaker’s Bucky: Year One. The parallel is esp acute due to Samnee’s aesthetic: a post-Mazzucchelli one, like M. Lark’s but with more elan, perfect for what’s effectively an all-ages comic (shh!).

last issue: Captain America & Bucky  #621
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #623

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
Captain America #3
FF #9

Captain America & Bucky #621

November 8, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 621Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
October 2011
****

Eager to enter the war, Bucky helps Cap fight a circus train of Nazi terrorists! The creators have ample precedent for WW2 adventures, but Cap/Buck is more Kirby/Simon than Kirby/Lee. The circus is a classic Golden Age setting, & a WMD threat updates ’40s evildoers for post-9/11 readers.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #620
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #622

also indexed for Oct. ’11
Captain America #2
FF #8

Captain America & Bucky #620

November 6, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 620Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
September 2011
****

As Disney revises its IP to match its hit movie, it re-assigns Bucky for team-up assignment back in WW2. The first ish is Brubaker’s chance to lay out his creation’s retconned origin as a GI orphan & roustabout who’s combat-trained as Cap’s sidekick. Worth it for Samnee’s evocation of the era.

last issue: Captain America #619
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #621

also indexed for Sept. ’11
Captain America #1
FF #6
FF #7

Captain America #619

November 4, 2015

Captain America 619Ed Brubaker // Mitch Breitweiser, Jackson Guice, & Chris Samnee
August 2011
***

Proving a worse spymaster than Nick Fury, Cap edges back towards status quo ante. Bucky, however, gets a new mission, going rogue to catch KGB sleeper agents. And Black Widow brazenly rescues him from a gulag—behavior that finally proves (to me) that she’s a romantically plausible partner for Bucky.

continued in Captain America #1
continued in Fear Itself #1 of 7
last issue: Captain America #618
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #620

also indexed for Aug. ’11
Annihilators #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
FF #5

Captain America #618

November 3, 2015

Captain America 619Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Chris Samnee
July 2011
****

Bucky continues to dominate this run, even as he’s shifted back to sidekick. Guilt-soaked dream montages delve into his Winter Soldier psyche & hint at KGB backstory. Samnee pencil-&-inks a dynamic spies-in-catsuits subplot. He’s in the retro school, w/ simple lines & expressive faces.

last issue: Captain America #617
next issue: Captain America #619

also indexed for Jul. ’11
Annihilators #3 of 4
FF #3
FF #4

Captain America #617

November 2, 2015

Captain America 617Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato, Jackson Guice, & Chris Samnee
June 2011
***

A triptych of plots to spring Bucky from a gulag, where he’s pitted against ex-Soviet super-agents in death matches. Guice gives his plot a superb sense of place & atmo, while Samnee’s pages look snazzy. In that, Steve Rogers works w/ DC pols in a realistic cloak’n’dagger plot—till robots attack!

also indexed for Jun. ’11
Annihilators #2 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
FF #2
Secret Avengers #12

Captain America #616

October 31, 2015

Captain America 616A-story: Ed Brubaker // Ed McGuinness
B-story: Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
C-story: Howard Chaykin
D-story: Cullen Bunn // Jason Latour
E-story: Mike Benson // Paul Grist
F-story: Frank Tieri // Paul Azaceta
G-Story: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel // Pepe Larraz
May 2011
A-story: ***
B-story: ***
C-story: ****
D-story: ****
E-story: **
F-story: ***
G-Story: ***

Double-sized to celebrate Cap’s debut in May ’41. True Cap gets the A-plot, New Cap gets the B. Narrative gravity starts to pull Rogers back into action, Bru’s chance to indulge a Batman brood. The tone clashes w/ McGuinness’ helium style. Deodato’s noirish shadows fit Bucky’s tale better, tho’ his he-man physiques grate. The non-Brubaker back-ups are good too, esp. a Chaykin period piece!

last issue: Captain America #615.1
next issue: Captain America #617

also indexed for May ’11
Annihilators #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
Captain America #615.1
FF #1
Secret Avengers #10

Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes

October 28, 2015

Captain America 615A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
April 2011
A-story: ****

The Red Skull’s heir gives the Statue of Liberty a black eye; Bucky pleads guilty for his Manchurian Candidate crimes but gets a lenient judge. The mag has taken a while to get its rhythm back, but it does sound like the story Brubaker wanted to tell. And a few of Guice’s layouts channel Steranko!

last issue: Captain America #614
next issue: Captain America #615.1

also indexed for Apr. ’11
The Fantastic Four #588
Secret Avengers #9

Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes

October 26, 2015

Captain America 614A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
March 2011
A-story: ****

Brubaker revives Buck’s brainwashed backstory, a link to the early heyday of this run. #614 combines ‘street-level’ tropes (violence in the courtroom!) & supervillainy (rants & bombs), & offers a good perf by the manipulative Dr. Faustus. And many inkers on hand, which improves Guice’s pencils!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #613
next issue: Captain America #615

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
The Fantastic Four #587
Secret Avengers #9
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation
#1 of 1

Captain America #613: Bucky Barnes

October 24, 2015

Captain America 613A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
February 2011
A-story: ***

Sin (her burn-scarred skull matches Dad’s) sets a bomb on Liberty Island & sabotages the trial of Bucky Barnes w/ media leaks! As legacy characters go, she’s okay: her taste for hunky musclemen is vaguely kinky, while her sociopathy has matured from Natural Born Killers into real supervillainy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #612
next issue: Captain America #614

also indexed for Feb. ’11
The Fantastic Four #586
Secret Avengers #8

Captain America #612: Bucky Barnes

October 22, 2015

Captain America 612A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2011
A-story: ***

Bucky, on trial for his un-American activity under mind control, realizes he likes being Captain America. ‘Cap in jail’ is a conflict w/ potential, as he’s a state-sanctioned masked man & not an urban vigilante. But JG’s art is abnormally sloppy: his Bernie Rosenthal looks like a man in drag!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #611
next issu: Captain America #613

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
The Fantastic Four #585
Secret Avengers #7
The Thanos Imperative
#6 of 6

Captain America #611: Bucky Barnes

October 19, 2015

Captain America 611A-story: Ed Brubaker // Daniel Acuña
December 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky’s past makes his role as Cptn. A untenable from a political POV. For this talky issue, Brubaker’s Cap ventures into the corporate/celebrity mode of Bendis’ Avengers (which I think Acuña then did?). He’s got a great style, tho’ he’s more glossy & cool than the run’s standard gritty melodrama.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #610
next issue: Captain America #612

also indexed for Dec. ’10
The Fantastic Four #584
Secret Avengers #6
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes

October 16, 2015

Captain America 610A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
November 2010
A-story: ****

Amid castle ruins on the fatal North Sea isle, Zemo tests Bucky to see if the haunted hero will choose death after all. He doesn’t, natch. But there’s a weird level on which the villain, stage-managing an episode of psychological torture for the protag’s benefit, is Brubaker’s in-story deputy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #609
next issue: Captain America #611

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four #583
Secret Avengers #5
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes

October 13, 2015

Captain America 609A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
October 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky gets himself captured by Baron Zemo. I like the character’s impulsive stupidity, which gives this match-up some juice: Barnes’ muscle is outclassed by Zemo’s mind. I also enjoy Guice’s retro art, which reminds me of ’70s Sal Buscema, w/ stronger layouts amid Kirby-isms & anatomic mishaps.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
next issue: Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582
Secret Avengers #4
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes

October 10, 2015

Captain America 608A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
September 2010
A-story: ****

Bucky’s caught in a media storm when his secret ID as Cap & his history as the Winter Soldier get leaked. The defamation is by Baron Zemo, a clever supervillain w/ several classic schemes already. He’s a worthy foe for Bucky, and this rivalry could be stretched from an arc into an epic.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #607
next issue: Captain America #609

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes

October 8, 2015

Captain America 607A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
August 2010
A-story: ***

A standard plot—supervillain manipulates the hero via sneak attack & defamation—that the creators lift #607 above convention. Bucky has a two-fisted personality: brave but dumb. More interesting is the artwork, which merges Mazzucchelli realism w/ a Kirby homage, a good baseline look for this mag.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #606
next issue: Captain America #608

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Fantastic Four #580
Secret Avengers #2
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Captain America #606: Bucky Barnes

October 6, 2015

Captain America 606A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
July 2010
A-story: ***

I like this hero’s twisted psyche: less a deathwish than a pain-as-penance hang-up. But the arc’s elsewhere: Baron Zemo learns Cap’s secret ID! As the hooded son of the Nazi who’d “killed” Bucky in WW2, he’s a natural enemy to test our hero’s mettle. This has potential to revive the flagging run.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #605
next issue: Captain America #607

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579
The Marvels Project #8 of 8
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

The Marvels Project #8 of 8

October 4, 2015

Marvels Project 8 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2010
***

Like much of Brubaker’s Cap run, his WW2-era mini is haunted by the ’01 attacks. His cinematic finale has the H. Torch & sidekick dogfight at Pearl Harbor while the other Invaders prevent an Atlantean assassination of Churchill. A subsequent montage of super-GI mobilization is anti-climactic.

last issue: The Marvels Project #7 of 8

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Captain America #605: Bucky Barnes

October 3, 2015

Captain America 605A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
June 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky stops the nutso Cap by plugging him; the Falcon pitches a goon into a ravine. Bru’s 21C Cap is a liberal hawk, his enemy a revanchist döppel-Cap threatening the homeland with a militia bomb atop the Hoover Dam! But Ross stages the fight poorly—he never shows us the Wonder of the West.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #604
next issue: Captain America #606

also indexed for Jun. ’10
Fantastic Four #578
Guardians of the Galaxy #25
Nova #36

Captain America #604: Bucky Barnes

October 2, 2015

Captain America 604A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
May 2010
A-story: ***

Most of #604 has Sam Wilson fight cyber-armored goons on a bomb-laden train bound for the Hoover Dam; echoes of 2001 are implicit. But I’m impressed that Brubaker would draw a link btw Tea Partiers & Al Qaeda! Picking up on #603’s homoeroticism, Bad Cap demands that Bucky cosplay in his old uni.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #603
next issue: Captain America #605

also indexed for May ’10
Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
The Marvels Project #7 of 8
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

The Marvels Project #7 of 8

October 1, 2015

Marvels Project 7 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
May 2010
****

The Marvel U’s supersoldiers contribute intel for American readiness, helping Cap stop an Atlantean attack on DC—part of the Axis plans for Dec. 7, 1941! Tho’ it arcs over a year of action, TMP might work better collected. It’s paced like a Le Carré novel, all its threads knotted in conspiracy.

last issue: The Marvels Project #6 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #8 of 8

also indexed for May ’10
Captain America #604
Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Captain America #603: Bucky Barnes

September 30, 2015

Captain America 603A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
April 2010
A-story: ***

A classic Marvel plot: New Cap & the Falcon scope out a right-wing militia. The quality is concomitant w/ your enjoyment of that trope. Note the absence of women. Romance acts as a drag on this Cap run: the dialogue is awkward, & women mainly act like beards. Comics for two-fisted liberal men!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America#602
next issue: Captain America #604

also indexed for Apr. ’10
Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
The Marvels Project #6 of 8
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Captain America #602: Bucky Barnes

September 28, 2015

Captain America 602A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
March 2010
A-story: ****

Brubaker unpauses his plot about ’50s Cap, who’s in Idaho forming a militia. An anti-tax protest & other comments cast the psychotic, stunted, onetime McCarthyite as a Cap for Tea Party patriots. It’s a clever commentary on contempo politics in keeping w/ the mag’s liberal tradition.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #601
next issue: Captain America #603

also indexed for Mar. ’10
Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6
The Marvels Project #5 of 8
Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1

September 25, 2015

Captain America - Who Will Wield the Shield 1 of 1Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Luke Ross
February 2010
***

A cash-grab epilogue to Cap: Reborn, pre-empting its climax in #6. Ironically it’s the strongest of the 3 Cap issues this month. EB gets into his stoic warriors and their manly virtues—respect, honor, patriotism, heterosexuality, etc.—and ends w/ a new status quo as Rogers gets a SHIELD promotion.

continued from Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6
continued in Secret Avengers #1

also indexed for Feb. ’10
Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6
Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
The Marvels Project #4 of 8
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

September 24, 2015

Captain America Reborn 5 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
February 2010
**

Padding: a slugfest on the Washington Mall, as the Red Skull fights Bucky in Cap’s body, & Steve Rogers in Cap’s mindscape. This should’ve been #49, instead of #5 of 6 in another cash-grab event mini. Hitch draws okay panels (w/ figures very like Neal Adams), but he can’t lay a page out well.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’10
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1 of 1
Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
The Marvels Project #4 of 8
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6

September 22, 2015

Captain America Reborn 4 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
January 2010
***

Cap returns to Now to serve as the host for an uploaded Red Skull. It’s as good as Waid’s ’90s resurrection, but revivals are rarely as compelling as deaths. Here, non-Cap characters (eg Dr Doom) crowd out the book’s cast (eg Zola), with the Vision acting as Cap’s message-in-a-bottle.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’10
Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6

September 20, 2015

Captain America Reborn 3 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
November 2009
***

Although I’m enjoying this mini, I suspect it would fit better in the serial mag. BH’s pedigree (Authority, Ultimates) is stronger than his cinematic panels & dullish layouts. But it matches EB’s plot for #3, which is simply action-movie combat; he’s more interested in touring Cap continuity.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
The Marvels Project #3 of 8
Nova #29
War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6

September 18, 2015

Captain America Reborn 2 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
October 2009
****

Cap is stuck in a bardo between lives, or Nietzsche’s eternal return w/ sci-fi trappings. Whatever: he’s an unhappy onlooker in Bru’s hard-boiled captions as Hitch restages his tragic origin. Meanwhile Norman Osborne (a Ditko character!) pushes the plot as the new head of Marvel’s superspy agency.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Daredevil #500
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
The Marvels Project #1 of 8
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Captain America #601

September 15, 2015

Captain America 601Ed Brubaker // Gene Colan
September 2009
*****

Thank editor Brevoort for this extra fill-in—one of the run’s best issues! Bucky recounts a WW2 face-off w/ a vampire child noshing on GIs in the Ardennes! It resonates w/ the ugly work of occupation in contemp Iraq. But the real story is Colan, 83, whose penciled finishes are eerie & gorgeous!

continued in Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
last issue: Captain America #600
next issue: Captain America #602

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

Captain America #600

September 14, 2015

Captain America 600a-plot: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice with David Aja, Raphael Albaquerque, Mitch Breitweiser, & Howard Chaykin
b-plot:  Roger Stern // Kalman Andrasofszky
c-plot: Mark Waid // Dale Eaglesham
August 2009
a-plot: ***
b-plot: *****
c-plot: ****

Dubious accounting allows Marvel to claim that #600 follows #50. It checks in w/ all the plots, acting as a friendly prologue to next month’s resurrection. Yep, Sharon Carter suspects that she didn’t gun her BF down after all! Ironically, this ish means to memorialize the hero, but only the strong back-ups succeed. On an Astro City periphery, Stern draws on 9/11 by casting Bernie Rosenthal (his Cap run’s romantic foil) as a refugee from NYC after the hero’s assassination.

continued in Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
last issue: Captain America #50
next issue: Captain America #601

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Daredevil #119
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

Captain America #50

September 13, 2015

Captain America 50a-plot: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
b-plot: Ed Brubaker // Marcos Martin
July 2009
a-plot: ***
b-plot: ****

Brubaker mirrors his half-century on CA by celebrating Bucky’s birthday & flashing back to his notable natal revels during the Big One. Bru used this device better in a Winter Soldier one-shot, partly cuz the sentiment felt earned & partly cuz its pencils were stronger than Ross’s generic movietone. A few bonus pages, a mod origin recap from Marcos Martin, do more w/ #50’s higher page count.

last issue: Captain America #49
next issue: Captain America #600

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

Captain America #48

September 11, 2015

Captain America 48Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
May 2009
****

Brubaker’s past work w/ Greg Rucka shows itself in his Widow’s ultra-competence. Also, he—thru the agency of Namor—kills off both the villains introed in this act! The main baddie is a Yellow Peril riff (uh-oh) brought into the 21st century: a mad sci whose bioweapons will ‘solve’ overpopulation!

last issue: Captain America #47
next issue: Captain America #49

also indexed for May ’09
Daredevil #117
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

Captain America #47

September 10, 2015

Captain America 47Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
April 2009
****

Ultra-readable superspy comics. Brubaker gives his 21st century Cap a masochistic conscience over his Cold War crimes. He also creates a new character (!) in an old mold: a megalomaniacal supervillain! This Chinese Dr. Moreau splices the android DNA of Timely’s first mystery man into a viral weapon.

last issue: Captain America #46
next issue: Captain America #48

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Daredevil #116
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
Nova #22
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2