Writer: David Morrell
Artist: Mitch Breitweiser
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: The same as last issue.
Commentary: With the glut of good Captain America stories over the past few months from the likes of Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction I had high hopes for this mini-series. This second issue does not bode well for the remaining four. Essentially, we get the same story from Morrell we got last issue. I gave that first issue a high mark in hopes that the playing out of the premise established there would make for some quality reading and an entertaining story. Sadly, that is not the case. It would seem the idea of getting novelists and filmmakers to do comics would be a winning situation for everyone involved but in reality it just doesn’t seem to work. Well read comics fans still cringe at Kevin Smith’s delays on his Daredevil and Spiderman/Black Cat mini’s. Note, too, Allen Heinberg’s aborted runs on the Young Avengers and the relaunch of Wonder Woman. Most recently, we endured Brad Meltzer’s lackluster conclusion to his issues of the reformed Justice League of America. Marvel, DC and all the rest, please do not recruit talents that are too busy with their day jobs to moonlight for comics publishers anymore. It’s gotten old and, by and large, is an experiment that at least in this reader’s mind has failed.
There is really not much to say about Morrell’s story here as the events play out pretty much the same as issue number one. Corporal James Newman finds himself in a tight combat situation wherein’ he needs to hold off an ambush and rescue members of his unit at the same time. Along comes the mental projection of Captain America to encourage him along the way. Cap tells the young Corporal what we’ve known since the last issue’s conclusion, “I’m in your mind.” To which Newman responds, “I don’t understand.” Any impact this revelation may have had on the reader is lost because we are already in the know. Morrell tries his hand at some character development by flashing back to Newman’s childhood when he was trapped in the trunk of a car during a seemingly innocent game of hide and seek. This incident apparently had a profound effect on Newman in giving him paranoia about tight and dark hot spots. It feels heavy handed and insincere. Cap uses this incident to coax Newman into being brave by reminding him how he eventually did get out of the hot trunk and did stand down that mean ‘ol doggie that was threatening him.
The parts of the story Morrell should have focused on were woefully relegated to two short pages. In these pages we get the barest glimpse of Cap’s current situation and the fact that someone or someone’s are spying on him. More detail here and less about the battlefield in Afghanistan would have made this a better issue. If Morrell is trying to give us a compelling character in Newman he’s failed to do that. The story of how the original super-soldier lab from the 40’s got re-opened and repeating the latest experiments on a dying Cap is far more interesting to me at this point. I am not confident that is the direction Morrell will go in though. Breitweiser’s art didn’t salvage the issue either as there was nothing really standout about it. More desert, more ordinance, more Cap projections, more Cap on his back with tubes; it’s all derivative of last issue. Well, there was a dog too and that’s just what this issue was, a dog.
Final Word: The team of Morrell and Breitweiser let us down after just getting out of the gate. I see no reason to pick up another issue of what looks to be a throw away story.
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