Posted April 12, 2011 by Earl Maghirang in Columns

Captain America # 616 Review

Reviewing Captain America # 616 by Ed Brubaker, Mike Deodato Jr., Ed McGuiness and a whole lot more.

Part of the 70th anniversary of Captain America as a man and as a symbol.

Ed Brubaker and some of the comic book industries biggest writers and artists contribute a story or two for this soon-to-be-classic.

Of course this wouldn’t be Captain America without the fall-out of “The Trial of Captain America” which sees Bucky being shipped off the Russia for his crimes against Mother Russia.

There he goes all “Shawshank Redemption” minus the rape but with more of the brutality. He gets terrorized by some familiar faces including Ursa (who I thought was one of the good guys) as well as the old Crimson Dynamo, now aged and seemingly runs the prison where Bucky has been sent.

Brubaker writers a griping story of a hero, a reformed person and an Avenger hitting rock bottom by being sent to prison.

The art for this particular chapter was rendered by Bru’s frequent Secret Avengers partner Mike Deodato.

On the otherside of the world, Ed Brubaker again writes the fall-out as seen in former Captain America Steve Rogers who is now the world’s top-cop. This segment is done in collaboration with Ed McGuiness.

The question looming since Bucky Barnes relinquished the title of Captain America was whether or not Steve would be picking up the mantle once more, now that Brubaker has sent Bucky to his own unique “hell”.

Based on the dialogue on the second chapter was that Barack Obama wants Steve Rogers to take up the Captain America role once again especially since the people are clamoring for a symbol to look up to. Last issue, Steve Rogers was also forced to talk down a potential Captain America replacement since the two did not see eye-to-eye. (See Captain America # 615.1 for more details.)

While the answer is still left dangling (we have to wait until July when Captain America moves to Captain America # 1 and the current Cap book becomes “Captain America and Bucky”.)

The other stories are great but caters more to the old school fans of the character rather than to the new ones.

Mostly war stories featuring various characters in Cap’s long history including a younger Bucky, the Invaders, even Union Jack.

Howard Chaykin also makes his presence felt via the story “Opaque Shadows” which features old school Captain America reliving an old adventure with a flame.

All in all, the book is such a great thrill especially for the older war stories. This would most definitely cater to fans of the untold war stories from Steve’s past.

Newer fans who might have recently jumped into the title might not understand some things, especially the old characters.

And that for me is the issue’s weakness. it focused too much on the past that it neglected to touch base with the future of the character. Ed Brubaker was pretty spot on with his stories looking at the happenings of the two Captain Americas.

Here’s to hoping to see more new Captain America stories, away from World War II and more into the silver age or even to the early days of the Avengers.

Earl Maghirang is the author and owner of Thefanboyseo.

Earl Maghirang