Captain America #1

by tskavlan on November 21, 2012


Every now and again I come across a comic book that leaves me with nothing to say.  Usually, this is a good thing.  It means I’ve just been completely blown away and anything I might attempt to say about it would just fall short.  But in the case of the first issue of Captain America, the Marvel Now! re-launch, I don’t think it bodes well for Remender and Romita as they tackle one of Marvel’s biggest characters.


There is nothing inherently wrong with this first issue of Captain America, in fact it has a lot of things going for it:  one of the most talented writers in the business, one of the most respected artists Marvel has working for them, and the promise of a pulpy/sci-fi adventure for Cap.  I had extremely high expectations of this book.  For starters, I think the world of Rick Remender.  The guy writes amazing comics, there’s no arguing with that.  This issue however was just tepid.  First issues should be a freebie for writers.  You introduce a character and get your audience excited for the first story arc.  Nothing to resolve, no major character issues to wrap up, and few, if any, expectations to meet.  An almost guaranteed shot at putting out a quality issue.  So why didn’t this issue work?  Well for starters, there was almost too much going on in this issue.  We start with a flashback and then flash into the present day.  The entire time, Cap maintains an inner monologue that feels almost out of character and out of place.  The issue attempts to deal with Steve’s past, his relationship issues, his current heroing struggles.  The pacing for the issue however was very solid.  Aside from a page or two of seemingly out of place character work, the issue was a very fast paced, exciting read.  As I said before, there is very little complain about in this issue, the problem is there just is not anything to praise either.  Remender’s writing is serviceable, but not the quality I think most readers have come to expect from him.



John Romita’s art, however, is where this book really takes a down turn.  I try to give JRJR a lot of wiggle room.  He is an industry veteran who has done more for comics than a lot of other guys who have steady work right now.  I was really down on Romita when he was doing pencils for Avengers vs. X-men, and unfortunately I don’t think my attitude has changed since that event.  I don’t know if he’s just getting older and that explains the dip in quality or if art styles have changed and his pencils just feel outmoded, but there is just something off about this issue.  For starters, Romita cannot draw people anymore.  Creepy alien things? Yup.  Giant crashing planes?  Oversized extra-dimensional landscapes?  Absolutely!  But people just seem to give the guy trouble.  Whether it is magically changing hair color (From brunette, to blonde, and finally to red head all in one page!) or awkward human anatomy, it just seems like Romita has lost his touch.  Now, does this make the comic unreadable?  I don’t think so, but then again the art is surely not going to draw anyone to this title.


I can’t say that Captain America is a must read, nor can I say that you should unequivocally pass on it.  I am certain there will be people out there who enjoy it much more than I did.  Unfortunately, the first issue just left me very unimpressed and wishing Remender and crew had taken this in a different direction.  Hopefully the second issue improves because while there were a lot of missteps here, there is a lot of promise as well.

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A Look Inside