Captain America #1 Review: Promising New Chapter for the Legend

A prisoner is broken out of a Hydra transport in Russia, and the ensuing fight leaves none of the Hydra agents alive. Back in the States, an armed terrorist group modeled after Nuke attacks in Washington D.C. Captain America and the Winter Soldier answer this threat, saving as many lives as they can. However, even Steve Rogers isn't perfect. A familiar yet unwelcome face arrives after the threat is pacified.

Captain America #1 cover by Alex Ross
Captain America #1 cover by Alex Ross

Captain America #1 harkens back strongly to the Ed Brubaker era of the title, and, as those who have followed my work know, that is one of my favorite comic series of all time. The clinical presentation, cold atmosphere, and dark themes give this book an identity reminiscent of Brubaker's stint on the series.

That doesn't mean that we've quite reached that quality with the first issue. Such a thing would be hard to gauge this early. That said, it is a promising start.

This Steve Rogers is pensive, self-conscious, and even demoralized from the turn his country has taken. He still has plenty of definitively Cap lines such as describing himself as "A man loyal to nothing but the dream," and "I took an oath to the flag, and I'd die before I'd betray it." He also delivers a damn solid speech to a young boy who'd just seen his father shot.

Also, you're damn right I'm excited to see James Buchanan Barnes in this book alive and well. I just hope he doesn't get yet another false death to raise the stakes like he has too many times before.

Captain America #1 art by Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, and Sunny Gho
Captain America #1 art by Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, and Sunny Gho

Of course, Leinil Francis Yu succeeds in making this another visually stunning comic, but one should expect nothing less of the artist by this point. The grit, detail, and expressiveness granted to the page is astonishing as always. That said, his style looks even cleaner than usual here, which is a nice change of pace for a comic about the Sentinel of Liberty himself. Gerry Alanguilan, the inker on this book, puts in defined and solid work. Sunny Gho balances the grit with lighter coloring that fits the subject of the comic quite well too. It's a comic that clashes with its own visuals to a degree, but it works somehow.

Captain America #1 is a promising start for the new era of Steve Rogers. It's darker and more centered on real-world analogies for its story, and that holds a lot of intrigue for what's to come. Plus, the art is downright phenomenal thanks to the team of Yu, Alanguilan, and Gho. This one gets a recommendation. Give it a read.[user_id]

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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