The pull list was pretty meager this week, but discovering Steve McNiven’s art made the drive to my LCS worth it. The lovely Zatanna is unrepresented here only because I overestimated the amount of cash I had on hand Wednesday. She’s coming home with me tomorrow, but here’s a brief, double Marvel rundown.
Captain America #2: By all accounts, longtime writer Ed Brubaker has done a masterful job with his Captain America stories. For people like me who are way late to the party, this freshly-launched volume is an excellent point of entry. As a man out of time, Steve Rogers is constantly confronted by ghosts. His former love and fellow soldier Peggy Carter has just been buried. He knew Jimmy Jankovicz as a boy who could cross dimensions and even touch people’s dreams, but Jimmy is now a catatonic, elderly man in a wheelchair. And of course, the fallen Bucky is never far from Captain America’s mind. “Enough! It was 65 years ago!” says exasperated S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter, Peggy’s niece and Steve’s on-and-off-again girlfriend. Brubaker uses flashbacks effectively without overdoing backstory material, and he’s setting up a potentially thrilling story about old enemies and otherworldly threats. And boy, does Steve McNiven’s art have a serious wow factor. Whether it’s a quiet moment or an action sequence, his illustrations are impeccably executed. The texture of Rogers’ suit is practically tangible in one panel, and McNiven nails the details of body movement and facial expression. Justin Ponsor continues to be one of my favorite color artists, and his work makes McNiven’s images glow. Even if you don’t have an affinity for the First Avenger, this is worth checking out. I also recommend Brubaker and Marc Andreyko’s Captain America and Bucky, with rock-star artist Chris Samnee in the house. Grade: A