Captain America & Bucky #625A comic review article by: Sara McDonald
While previous issues of Captain America and Bucky have been told from the point of view of the original "Bucky," James Buchanan Barnes, this issue is from the POV of the second person to wear the Bucky costume, Fred Davis. An old man now, Fred Davis looks back on how he became the new Bucky, and what his life was like fighting along side the second Captain America, William Naslund, and the Invaders. Flashbacks to Fred's time as Bucky are interspersed with modern-day scenes of Fred and the original and current Captain America, Steve Rogers, facing what they believe to be Adam II, the android who killed William Naslund.
During a speech he's giving on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Fred Davis is attacked, only to be narrowly saved by Steve Rogers. In the hospital, he tells Steve about the final days of the other Captain America, Nasland, and how he died at the hands of Adam II. It's here that Davis and Rogers also meet William Nasland III, the son of a child neither Davis nor William Nasland himself knew existed. The younger Nasland agrees to team up with Steve Rogers in order to investigate the attack on Fred Davis and if Adam II is really back, with the help of an old friend of both the first and second Captain Americas.
Although the book seems to lack some of the strength it had when Bucky Barnes and not "Bucky" Davis was narrating, it's still an overall compelling comic. Davis's character is fleshed out well, showing him acting as if he's only excited to take over the role of Bucky while at the same time having him admit in the narration that he was afraid -- but also too afraid to admit it. The comic does a good job of laying out the groundwork for later issues with back story and set up without feeling tedious or too weighed down by narration over action. Davis's history is compelling enough that you can stay wrapped in the story, even through the extended reminiscences. Furthermore, Francavilla's talent as an artist adds to the book's overall quality as well.
By the end, we can see that the background given here is leading to what promises to be an exciting story, with interesting twists that make the reader want to come back for more. It should be interesting to see what Asmus and Brubaker have in store for Captain America and Bucky -- no matter who it is under the masks.
Sara McDonald started reading comics in the third grade, and now puts her English degree to good use talking about them on the Internet. She currently resides in Western Massachusetts with a roommate, three cats, and an action figure collection and spends the time she isn’t reading comics working for a non-profit. You can visit her blog at Ms. Snarky’s Awesometastic Comics Blog.