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Captain America #1: Review

Nov 2012
Rick Remender, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

Castaway in Dimension Z, Chapter One

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Captain America #1 Review by (November 24, 2012)
Comments: Includes a column “Letter to a Living Legend” featuring Rick Remender’s intro to his new series. First appeaence of Zola’s daughter Jet and his unnamed son—who will apparently grow up faster than expected; he may become a major character—and you saw him here first! Big Mystery: Why does Cap’s shield seem to have a ridge running through it? Review: The debut of new Captain America series was not promising, but I persevered and the issue became much better than I feared. To wit, first we have that bizarre cover, with a hulking Cap, his face obscured, looking monstrous. Then the opening pages reveal that Steve had an abusive father. Oh no, I said, they’re retconning Cap to have a traumatic childhood! Then after a few pages of campy heroics (the Green Skull? Really?), we find that Sharon Carter, hard and bitter for the last couple of decades, is now cute and flirty, proposing marriage to Steve. After this we’re hurled along with Cap into a sci-fi world overseen by Arnim Zola. So what to make of it? Remender puts it all in perspective in his last page essay: he wants to emulate Jack Kirby’s late ‘70s run. Whoa, now it all becomes clear (well, all except the abusive dad part). It’s an odd choice of Cap run to want to revive—Kirby’s stories of that period featured more adrenaline and imagination than sense—but Remender is jumping into it headfirst, even featuring Arnim Zola, who was Kirby’s biggest creation from that era. John Romita Jr’s pencils give us a more cartoonish look than we’ve seen in a very long time (and that would be a good thing if the shift from the Guice/Epting look weren’t so jarring) balanced by Klaus Janson’s dark and serious inks to keep the plot from floating away. Sci-fi isn’t the best venue for a patriotic hero to run around in but I’m really looking forward to what happens next. It’s been a while since comics were fun (despite the domestic violence opening).



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The tale opens in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1926. As a young Steve Rogers cowers under the kitchen table, his drunken father slaps his mother around for nagging him to quit drinking and stay sober at work. When she refuses to back down after the beating, Rogers storms out ashamed. Steve learns his first lesson: "You always stand up."

Decades later, as Captain America, he is clinging to the outside of a plane in a crash dive to the heart of New York. It is flown by an eco-terrorist, the fanatical Green Skull, who plans to save the environment by bombing the city with Omega Fertilizer to turn the area into a jungle, wiping out the human race. Cap crashes through the windshield, overpowers the henchmen, aims the plane toward the river, seizes the villain, and leaps from the craft. As a young woman on her way to a date complains to a police officer that strong sexy men don’t just fall from the sky, Cap lands by parachute, turns the Green Skull over to the cop and tells him to contact SHIELD about the bioweapon aboard the plane. He then heads to meet Sharon Carter; they change into civilian clothes and she gives him a present as today is his 90th birthday. On their way to their new mission, Sharon asks if Steve has considered her marriage proposal. No time for him to answer as they arrive at a subway station to investigate a mysterious subway car which has recently appeared on a long-disused track. Steve enters suddenly shackles trap his hands and the train vanishes into another dimension, where armed monsters appear and Steve is drugged by a hypo…

He awakens to find himself held fast to a lab table, his blood—and the Super-Soldier Serum within—being drained into a baby in a nearby tank. He is in Dimension Z, new stronghold of the bio-fanatic Arnim Zola. Cap musters his strength to stand up as his mother taught him all those years ago. He breaks free, snatches up his uniform and shield and slings the shield to wreck the lab, holding up the mutant henchmen; he shatters the baby’s tank and leaps from the window to hijack an aircraft. Zola oversees the wreckage, mourning the death of his bioengineered son who would match his young daughter Jet, and vowing vengeance against Captain America. The hero meanwhile, flies the craft onto a desolate rocky area where he crash-lands—and reveals that he has the baby, safe and unharmed. Now for the problem of what to do next….

 


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> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Dean White
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Arnim Zola, Ian.