Saturday, December 29, 2007

Book of the Week 12/28/07 Captain America #33

Written by Ed Brubaker
Pencils by Steve Epting
Inks by Butch Guice
Colors by Frank D'Armata

Damn this book is good! Even when there was a really strong showing this week (finally), this title stands head and shoulders above most. As much as I love stories where crap hits the fan, I also love when there is finally an understanding made between characters that the reader has been aware of for some time. It's like now everyone is up to speed. This issue finally brings resolution to the Winter Soldier/Iron Man showdown that has been brewing for several months. Even though the fight was brief, it is always great to see what a badass Winter Soldier is. There is a great balance of action and development in this issue. As the first half is mainly the escape/fight, the second half brings the characters together in an non-cheesy way while respecting the memory and wishes of a departed friend. Any questions about who the new Captain America will be are firmly answered at the end of this issue.

Brubakers writing is always solid. There is no question about that. What is amazing is that he's been able to keep this momentum going for so long as well as keep a book interesting while its main character has been dead for some time. Also, while he is really able to stretch his legs on his creator titles, he is equally masterful of established heroes. Something else I've loved is that Brubaker is able to shift perspectives on characters like Tony Stark. Where Tony was written as a cold over-logical jerk in Civil War...this Tony seems more human and realistic about the events he's brought upon himself.

Epting continues to shine as well. Something that always kept me away from Captain America when I was younger was that he and the world he lived in just looked goofy. The primary, and what was with the little wings on his head? I cannot stress enough how great it is that Epting sets the tone of this book with non-primary darker colors. Nothing is bright, nor should it be. The art is gritty, realistic, and non-stylized. The characters look real and feel real. Tony especially seems to have aged in this book as its clear the stress of his new head role in Shield is taking its toll.

I really have to hand it to Marvel and the people working on this book for creating one of the most compelling stories in comics in years as well. Oh, and Winter Soldier's disembodied moving arm will be giving me the creeps for quite a while now.