“Out of Time” (Part 6)
My goodness, Steve Epting can draw! I adored his work on the late, lamented CrossGen series El Cazador, and on Captain America he really shows off his chops. Behind a cover that looks like a movie poster, Epting draws a wonderful story. There are some scenes that take place on and around an old castle between England and France, and his art on that sequence is really striking. The castle looks so used and decayed, so far past its prime, that it almost becomes a character in that sequence of the story. Epting is tremendous, and Marvel’s lucky to have him.
It’s a shame that the story isn’t as good as the art. It seems a rogue Soviet general has taken posession of the reality-altering cosmic cube and is changing Cap’s memories around the death of his teenage sidekick Bucky. As Cap notes in his reverie as he walks around the castle, the story of Bucky’s death is continually shifting, changing his view of the past and of the reality he lives in. This is a neat way to explain away some of Marvel’s many continuity errors over the years. Unfortunately, that plot point seems to get lost among many other plot points.
There’s just a whole lot going on this issue: Cap’s struggles with his memories, Cap’s attempts to rescue SHIELD agent Sharon Carter, the work of another SHIELD agent to defuse a bomb, the general’s schemes, and, oh yeah, the shocking return of the supporting character you never expected to see!
What this all adds up to is a six-issue arc that doesn’t actually end at the sixth issue. In fact, no plot threads are wrapped up this issue. Everything continues into the next arc, where hopefully we can get some sense of closure on this plot. Brubaker has always been able to wind up his arcs on the DC books he’s worked on; I wonder why this comic is different.
So: wonderful art, mediocre story. Hopefully the next arc will answer some questions.