Marvel Studios has released the first promotional pic for next Spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Although we’re only shown the back of Captain America (Chris Evans) in heavy shadow, it does appear the costume will be closer to the one that appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger than the one Evans wore in The Avengers. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in theaters on April 4, 2014.
After growing disinterested in the end of Ed Brubaker‘s run on the character I was ready for a new writer to breathe life into Captain America. The first issue of the new series written by Rick Remender is a bit of a mixed blessing as Cap contemplates marriage to Sharon Carter and take on an old enemy in Armin Zola.
Yes, Remender takes the character in a new direction, but he also gives us a questionable introduction of Steve Rogers abusive father and a message (hamfistedly delivered at least three times over the course of the issue) that has been Cap’s guiding philosophy since childhood. I understand what Remender’s going for, but to start out a new series with a gross oversimplification of a character’s origins isn’t the best way to begin.
Although I don’t hate the art, I’m not sure John Romita Jr. is the right choice for the comic if, as Remender states in the afterward, the point is to take the series into the weird sci-fi stories the character enjoyed under Jack Kirby‘s run in the 1970′s. Hit-and-Miss.
Variety is reporting that Frank Grillo has signed on to play Captain America villain Crossbones in the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johansson, and Anthony Mackie as The Falcon
Express.co.UK is reporting that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will also soon have a Sharon Carter as well, (the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent who is Captain America’s current love interst) as Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay is now the frontrunner for the role
Captain America and the Falcon deal with the new threat of the Discordians, the latest weapon pointed at Cap and his friends by the triumverate of Codename: Bravo, Baron Zemo, and Queen Hydra.
Although the Discordians cause quite a bit of damage in a small amount of time they’re stopped relatively easily. Sure, the Falcon gets thrown around a little, but then again, he is the Falcon.
The best parts of this issue are the small glances and unsaid words between Captain America and Diamondback and later between Diamondback and Sharon Carter whose “stay the hell away from my man” vibe couldn’t be any stronger if she was shouting it at Cap’s ex.
Captain America #15 isn’t a bad issue, but the Discordians aren’t really that impressive and I’ve already grown tired of Bravo and Queen Hydra’s (failed) attempts to fuck with Cap far from the battlefield. It’s worth a look but not an issue you’ll miss much if you decide not to pick it up.
Captain America finds himself fighting the new Scourge, but long before Sharon Carter can arrive to tell him it’s one of his friends under the mask Steve Rogers figures out who is trying to kill him.
Most of the comic centers around Cap’s fight with Scourge and the immediate aftermath involve Sharon Carter’s actions to save the man she loved. It’s clear Cap can forgive her for using lethal force to take down a former friend, but the question that lingers as the issue comes to a close is whether Sharon will ever forgive herself.
The episode is a weird mix of art by Patrick Zircher and Mike Deodato, Jr. The two styles don’t really mesh all that well giving the comic a somewhat unsatisfying feel. The story itself works well, setting up more conflict and guilt for Cap with the loss of another friend (although I’ve never been a fan of D-Man and didn’t even know he was even alive somewhere in the Marvel Universe so it’s not like Codename: Bravo did this to the Falcon). Worth a look.
Captain America tracks down Jack Garrett, the leak in S.H.I.E.L.D. who has been supplying HYDRA with names of criminals in witness protection, which leads him one step closer to Henry Gyrich. We also see how Gyrich is controlling the new Scourge, who no one but a still unconscious Diamondback knows is Cap’s old friend D-Man.
The latest issue moves the plot forward, and sets the table, but other than a quick battle at the airport where Cap takes down Garrett (and the HYDRA agents sent to silence him before he talked), it is a little light on action.
Sharon Carter and Dum Dum Dugan set a trap that gets them Gyrich. However, Cap’s already in the field after the new Scourge before Diamondback wakes up, meaning he’s not aware he’s hunting a friend who has been brainwashed by HYDRA.
As to the big throwdown between old friends (teased on the cover but not shown here), we’ll have to wait at least another issue. Worth a look.
As S.H.I.E.L.D. doctors try to help Diamondback, who has slipped into a coma after the beatdown from the new Scourge, Captain America and Dum Dum Dugan set out to get a little revenge by attacking an underground HYDRA base and learning the secret of the S.H.I.E.L.D. leak.
We get a couple of revelations here including Sharon Carter‘s discovery of the leak within S.H.I.E.D. to be a brainwashed Henry Gyrich as well as a look at the face of the man wearing the new Scourge costume – Dennis Dunphy.
Although the inclusion of Gyrich and Dunphy does nothing to help sell me on the story, there’s certainly enough here to pick this one up including some good inner monologue from Cap during his attack on the HYDRA base and the art by Patrick Zircher whose action sequences really pop. Worth a look.
Dum Dum Dugan and Diamondback discover that someone out there, posing as the new Scourge, is killing former terrorists and minor super-villains who are now protected witnesses for S.H.I.E.L.D. Okay, it turns out they aren’t that well protected.
A little digging into the leak leads to the discovery of an even bigger problem when Captain America finds a HYDRA infiltrator in to the echelons of S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile the group tries to narrow down the list of potential targets the new Scourge may hit next which leads to a confrontation between the assassin and Diamondback and the murder of another witness.
I like the inclusion of Dugan and Dimondback here, the later (given she’s a former super-villain) will have a real stake in the case. Scourge, in one for or another, has been around forever in the Marvel Universe to help trim the fat. I’m intrested to see how writer Ed Brubaker uses the character in this new arc. Worth a look.
As Tony Stark tries to figure out a cure to turn skinny Steve Rogers back into Captain America and the Falcon searches for the villains behind the madbombs, Sharon Carter finds herself aboard the Hellacarrier in the fight for her life against Machinesmith.
Although Cap doesn’t get in on the action there’s plenty to go around. Agent 13′s battle with Machinesmith, which includes the super-villain taking over all aspects of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellacarrier, is a lot of fun. How Sharon manages to force Machinesmith’s cooperation not only fits into her character but opens possible new trouble for Cap and friends down the line. The Falcon’s story isn’t as compelling, but it gets the job done by moving the story arc forward.
If I have one big complaint about issue #9 it’s that the art by Alan Davis isn’t as consistent as I’d like. Although the closeups look good, many of the other panels look rushed – especially the faces of the characters in some of the action shots. Here’s hoping this is just a one-time problem. Worth a look.