Writer: Bruce Jones
Artists: Steve Rude (p), Mike Royer (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After visiting the home of a war veteran who was crippled by a trusted friend in combat, we see Captain America finds himself contacted by a shady businessman who wants him to travel to Las Vegas & rescue his daughter from a gangster who is operating out of that city.
Bruce Jones is doing some wonderful work over on the "Incredible Hulk", so one would think this creative genius would carry over into these pages, right? However this doesn't look to be the case, as this issue has adopted a tone that is very much in keeping with the early days of the Marvel Universe, where more attention was paid to the pure entertainment of the audience while the mechanics of the story took a back seat.
Where Bruce Jones looks to run into some trouble is that he's a writer whose work is largely dependent on its pacing & the mood it's able to establish, and as such having him deliver a story in such an overblown style is a bit like watching an athlete trying to run a marathon while wearing an oversized pair of clown shoes. Now there are a couple elements that I did enjoy in this issue, as Captain America has to deal with a war veteran who left the war paralyzed from the waist down, and not as the country's premiere super solider. The basic premise of Cap going undercover to rescue a young woman from a gangster in Las Vegas is also a fun sounding idea.
As for the art, while Bruce Jones might not be the ideal writer for this material, Steve Rude is the perfect fit, with his highly polished Silver-Age style. His work is especially impressive during the final action sequence, with the shield slinging kick being my personal favorite.
The first issue of this miniseries is a bit worrisome as it's clear this Silver-Age style mentality is not particularly well-suited toward Bruce Jones' writing style. This in turn results in some rather awkward scenes, such as the police being able to lay out the mattress to catch the young woman who was dropped off the roof, in the handful of seconds that it took the man to deliver his villainous speech. One is also left wondering why Captain America suddenly decided to accept this assignment, as the book has him abruptly changing his mood about the entire affair without really justifying why. Still this issue does offer up a nice bit of tension as Cap deals with an injured fellow soldier, and the basic idea of Cap heading to Las Vegas to rescue a young woman from a mob boss is a solid enough premise that I'm intrigued. Then there's the always impressive work of Steve Rude who doesn't seem to get nearly the amount of work he deserves.
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