I know what you’re thinking. This is the cat that believes Tigra is love. He’s only giving Captain America Corps five bullets because Tigra and her former yellow-suited alter-ego appear. Phil Briones and Matt Milla grant both incarnations sinewy life. So, he’s probably Jonesing on that nip. The dude’s got a serious case of fanboy. I confess. You’re absolutely correct. Tigra is love, and I am Jonesing on the nip. However, these two felines aren’t the only reasons why Captain America Corps earns five bullets.
Somebody has been abducting Steve Rogers frozen in ice from each earth in the Marvel multiverse. The Elder of the Universe Tath Ki sees the disappearances as a chain of events that will orchestrate the end of all. So, he organizes a counter-team of Captain Americas: The American Dream, The U.S. Agent, Captain Bucky America, the Cap from the future Commander A and a neophyte World War II Captain America that the Big Bad missed snatching.
In this issue of Captain America Corps, we discover where the Big Bad collected her abductees, and Stern’s twist is brilliant. It’s utterly brilliant. The cage makes so much sense, and he integrates the confinement into the plot. This is primarily the source of the perfect score, not Tigra’s guest appearance, and there’s more.
The Captain America Corps contact the resistance in the alternate reality, and we get a jamboree of heroes and associates. Matt Murdock and later Daredevil also stand amidst the rebels. The multiple avatars are more than mere fan service. Stern indicates the success of the Captain America Corps through a restructuring of the timestream.
As the heroes inch closer and closer to victory, the alternate timeline rewrites itself to align with Marvel proper. So, the Cat becomes Tigra in mid-sentence. Matt Murdock shifts to Daredevil. It’s neat, novel foreshadowing. Stern anticipates that the reader should know by now that the heroes will win. We would be shocked and outraged if they didn’t. So why not bank on the success and do something interesting with it?
Stern’s writing is as sharp and smart as the artwork, which means it’s perfect. He precludes the expected misunderstanding fisticuffs theater by positioning Nick Fury as leader of the resistance. The Howling Commando knows Cap. Stern’s uplifting dialogue for the Captain acts as a tonic that immediately inspires the rebels into brash action, and it all just fits. Everything clicks. There’s not a single hiccup in the characterization, plot or dialogue. Everybody sounds the way they’re supposed to sound. Everybody behaves the way they’re supposed to behave. Spidey speaks a line that exemplifies his comprehension of science. Hank McCoy displays his classical education as well as his beastly agility. There’s redemption for Hank Pym, oodles of action, surprise and suspense, ala tales of. Captain America Corps mixes all the entertaining ingredients.
Ray Tate’s first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, “Spider Without a Web,” published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he’s young at heart. Of course, we all know better.