Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blogathon 17: Civil War: Captain America

[Discussed in this post: Captain America #22-25 and Winter Soldier: Winter Kills.]

I almost did all of Ed Brubaker's Captain America up until Reborn as well. I figure, since I'm doing storylines, it would have been only an additional eight or so posts. I would have cut other stuff if necessary. But, then I decided against it, because I don't think this format would suit the sort of story he's telling -- if only because he's still in the middle of it. Bendis introduces new status quos, but tells complete stories and where I stop with his work is just fine.

Ed Brubaker uses Civil War to further his plots quite well, I think. One issue is centred on Sharon Carter, one on the Winter Soldier, and one on Captain America plus the Winter Soldier special. Each offer a unique perspective on Civil War.

The Sharon Carter issue has her struggling between her SHIELD duty and her personal relationship with Steve. She should turn him over to SHIELD, but she doesn't. She doesn't know why either, because her career matters more to her. We learn a big secret about her then -- that she doesn't know and advances Brubaker's story. The tension between Sharon and Steve here is interesting as they have an actual conversation about their views. And there's no big fights or raised voices, just two people sad that things are the way they are.

The Winter Soldier issue barely relates to Civil War, it just has the Winter Soldier and Nick Fury taking advantage of the situation to allow Fury to get into SHIELD's database via a Fury LMD and steal some Cape Killer armour. The most 'advance Brubaker's story' issue of the bunch. I love how the Winter Soldier and Nick Fury are both almost above the whole Civil War bullshit -- they aren't superheroes, they're intelligence operatives and everyone paying attention to the guys in masks hitting each other just makes it easier for them. Neither like seeing Cap in ths position he's in, but there's not much they can do about it without sacrificing a lot of their work.

The Captain America issue shows something that Civil War didn't show much of: a superhero stopping some villains. He tries to take down a Hydra base. I understand this sort of scene not appearing in Civil War proper as it would distract from the main thrust of the story, but's nice.

Those three stories are drawn by Mike Perkins, who does some very, very good work. I love how he adopted a Steve Epting style when he drew Captain America, soft pencils, heavy shadows... Frank D'Armata's colours really help for the unified visual look.

Winter Kills is a nice nostalgia story drawn by Lee Weeks. Fury asks the Winter Soldier to stop three members of the Young Avengers from taking down a Hydra base since it's one that he watches -- and therefore learns from. It's the first time we see Barnes stepping into the role of a mentor/leader, hinting at his upcoming gig as Captain America. Also, we get his first meeting with Namor since WWII.

I originally didn't have Captain America #25 down as a book I'd be doing, but figured I should include it since Captain America dies in it. The issue itself is good, but works better within the context of Brubaker's run. I still would like to believe that if a guy like Captain America existed, people wouldn't turn on him so easy. Come on, folks!

In 30 minutes, New Avengers: Disassembled.

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]