It’s all out action in the mighty Marvel manner, and you’d better enjoy it while you can before the Civil War crossover starts. The Red Skull has returned and is now sharing a skull with General Lukin, who is the man who ordered Philadelphia destroyed in a terrorist strike. It seems there will be an attempt to bomb London, too, so Cap, Agent 13, Union Jack and Spitfire rush to stop it, only to find irrefutable proof that the Red Skull has returned.
This is a terrifically exciting and fun comic book. Not only do readers get action a plenty, but we also get some wonderful character development, a new mystery, and even a cool little scene where Bucky’s love for Cap is obvious.
I think my favorite scene takes place when Cap and Agent 13 run across the rooftops of London, talking about the case along the way. Not only does this scene feel like something out of the Lee/Kirby run, but it also works with a feeling of sublimated foreplay between the two characters. Here are two people at the height of physical condition who love to fight crime. Just as you can imagine two world-class athletes playing sports against each other as a form of foreplay, so too does it make sense for Cap and Sharon to do the same. It’s such a cool, quiet, natural scene.
After a page where a new mystery is shown, as the Winter Soldier finds something that enrages him, Cap chats with his friend Spitfire as they prepare for battle. Steve Rogers is a longtime family friend of Spitfire’s family, and the scene of the two characters together feels really natural. Though I do wonder why Jackie is barefoot in a robe chatting with Cap. Is that supposed to imply that something happened between the two characters, or did she just take a shower before going into battle?
From there, the story blazes into battle, a battle featuring flying cars and zeppelins, Nazi supermen and men falling from planes. This is all quintessential Captain America and is fun as hell.
Steve Epting’s art is as wonderful as Brubaker’s writing. His art feels realistic without looking stiff or plastic. Along with colorist Frank D’Armata, Epting creates a comic that has a realistic feel despite its unreal setting. And his depiction of the Red Skull is awfully spooky.
I’m dreading what will happen when this comic hits the Civil War storyline, but the current “Twenty-First Century Blitz” is great comics.