Captain America Reborn #1 (of 5)
By Andy Frisk
July 3, 2009 - 21:46
Publisher(s): Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Ed Brubaker
Penciller(s): Bryan Hitch
Inker(s): Butch Guice
Colourist(s): Paul Mounts
Letterer(s): VC’s Joe Caramanga
Captain America Reborn #1 opens and ends with iconic images of Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, storming the beaches of Normandy, and battling in the streets of war time France. In between, we get an inkling of just what went on when Steve was “killed,” and just how he is going to “come back.” Without spoiling everything, the following exchange between Norman Osborne and Arnim Zola explains it all, sort of.
“So…Captain America, the real Captain America, isn’t dead?’
“He was and he wasn’t. How many times do I have to explain it, Osborne…Steve Rogers has become unstuck in time.”
It needs explaining many times apparently. Even though many comic book readers aren’t scientists, they are experts on sci-fi, and it’s doubtful many of us get it either. Perhaps that’s the point, and we are meant to slowly begin to understand what is going on with Steve over the course of the next four issues. Either way, Steve’s back, or coming back, and there’s no stopping it.
Confusing and mysterious as Steve’s return is shaping up to be, there’s nothing mysterious or confusing about Hitch and Guice’s art. It’s fantastic. They recreate World War II era ships and the science fiction ships of the present with great accuracy and detail. The dark and grimy colors and tones reflect the sea salt sprayed, and drenched landing boats of D-Day, and the modern day HAMMER helicarrier. The heroes look realistic in their outfits, which are styled and colored dimly, reflecting the darker mood of many heroes we see on the silver screen today. In fact, they look detailed and realistic enough to serve as ready made templates for the inevitable Captain America film. The fight scenes are well choreographed and action packed as well. All of these artistic accomplishments are hallmarks of Hitch and Guice’s, so they are expected, and appreciated.
The real questions surrounding Captain America Reborn do not involve the pacing, plotting or artwork of the series. Brubaker and Co. have shown, time and again, that they can craft, and create some very stirring and thrilling tales using these characters. This series should be no exception to this rule. The question becomes, do we really need a Captain America Reborn series to begin with? Was the death of Steve Rogers even necessary, if he’s just going to come back and reclaim his place amongst the heroes of the Marvel U, and move forward, continuing his fight against the never ending returns of his old Nazis enemies, like he has so often in the past? What about Bucky? Bucky has been a much more poignant, accurate, and interesting allegory for modern America as Captain America, than Steve was as Captain America. Make no mistake, Captain America the character, and the man under the mask, whoever he may be at whatever time, is an allegorical representation of America, seen through the eyes of his writers.
So, faithful readers of Captain America comics, comics in general, and The Bin in particular, what do you think about the return of Steve Rogers, the “death” of Steve Rogers, the assumption of the role of Captain America by Bucky, whether Steve should even be coming back, and the allegorical meanings of all these events? Speak your minds. You never know who’s reading.
I’ll start off the debate. I think Steve should stay dead. His character has run its course, and Bucky, with his troubled past and need for redemption, even though he is, and always was, a hero at heart, is a much better character to bear the mantle of Captain America in this day and age.
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