Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Joe Bennet and Jack Jadson
As Cap shows signs of the stress of this ongoing adventure with the sickly “super-sailor” (aka the “Anti-Cap”), pressure heats up for the Falcon, and caught in the crossfire are J.J. Jameson and the Scarlet Witch.
So much. This is easily the best issue yet of this series, not least because Priest finally has an artist capable of delivering the emotions and the action sequences required by his dense script. Bennet does great work this issue, again only failing slightly when it comes to differentiating a few of the older male characters.
Falcon and Cap look great, though, and there’s great sardonic humor when T’Challa’s diplomatic representative Omoro delivers an upgraded costume and set of spiffy new wings to Sam personally. It’s the one bit of good news he’s had since this whole mess in Cuba started, and seeing his joyous expertise in taking the wings for a spin during a heated chase is one more example of Priest making these heroes into real people doing highly skilled jobs.
A courtesy he extends to Wanda as well, who reminds Cap in a pivotal scene (featuring a clever indication of her magic by Bennet not through energy bolts, but by her stance and the way her hair seems to be dancing in the air) that she’s his colleague and ally, not just his friend.
In fact, that’s not all Cap gets reminded of, as this issue at heart is a psychological study of the man in crisis. Other characters (including a nifty Yellowjacket in cameo) comment on his history, while Cap himself is flashing back to two very significant events: Bucky’s death, and his own cryogenic deep freeze that rendered him a relic in the modern world. That’s a bit deeper than we usually get with Cap, and it perfectly sets up the “not an imaginary story” development on the cover, which I never knew I was longing for until it happened.
Not so interesting:
Nothing. Well, there’s still the Cuban stuff to resolve, and the Anti-Cap is pretty much off-screen this issue even though he’s driving the plot. Things are a bit hectic. But the developments all make sense for steady readers. I’m glad I stuck with this book, because it’s rising as high on my reading list as Black Panther did before Velluto left. With the right artist, Priest is on par with best Marvel has to offer of the “guys in tights.”
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