When you hear the name Captain America, you picture Steve Rogers effortlessly wielding his shield as a weapon or raising it for defense. You might think of him as the hero who is generally regarded as the leader of the Avengers. But you would never think of Captain America as “The New Guy,” would you?
Captain America: The Fighting Avenger, Marvel’s new one-shot from writer Brian Clevinger (Atomic Robo), is an origin story focusing on an elite, tight-knit WWII military team that is forced to adopt the United States’ first Super Soldier, whose name the military is still trying to determine. We, of course, will come to know this Super Soldier as Captain America.
The team, less than thrilled with their new addition, embarks on a mission to blow up a key Nazi supply bridge. As their run-in with the Nazis gets increasingly (and ridiculously) dire, tensions begin to fade among the unit and Captain America begins to gel with the team.
But it’s in the hazing process that Captain America goes through where the comic is at its funniest and most entertaining. Clevinger also breaks up the fast-paced action with moments of Captain America figuring out exactly what he’s capable of — the first time he throws his shield, needless to say, is priceless. The comic isn’t afraid to poke fun at all of the absurdities that come along with Captain America, much like Lee Black’s Cyclops one-shot.
The artwork from Gurihiru, the illustration team of penciller Sasaki and colorist Kawano, give The Fighting Avenger the slightest hint of anime influence that helps keep the action and story light yet engaging.
While die-hard fans will get a kick out of The Fighting Avenger, the comic is easily accessible for casual readers, a fan-base that Marvel will look to tap into with this summer’s release of Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger. It’s an enjoyable comic that you could pack up and take to the beach — a near-perfect read to kick off the pseudo-summer season.