Sunday, 7 August 2016

All-New Captain America #3 - Marvel Comics

Considering that Steve Rogers’ “adopted son from Dimension Z” had had his throat slit and been exsanguinated by Baron Zemo at the culmination of this title’s previous edition, the “Marvel Worldwide” tag-line to Issue Three of “All-New Captain America” publicising that “Nomad stands tall against the ruthless might of one of Cap’s oldest foes!” must have really bemused many of its 50,045 readers. Indeed Helmut’s cold-blooded murder of a captive Ian directly in front of a child whilst Sam Wilson ‘fled’ into the streets of Bagalia was doubtless one of the reasons this series momentarily obtained a Top Sixteen placement in the January 2015 Comic Book sales figures (as estimated by “Diamond Comic Distributors”).

Disappointingly however, such erroneous sensationalism is probably the least of this twenty-page periodical’s problems, as Rick Remender’s narrative painfully veers off-course from what he has penned previously, and disconcertingly starts after the titular character and Misty Knight have apparently discovered both Nomad’s bloody hanging corpse and something called “the infinite elevator.” The avoidance of these crucial events must genuinely have jarred the America author’s audience from his storytelling, especially when what follows at first appears to involve the star-spangled flying acrobat ‘teleporting’ back in time to a period when Nick Fury (Senior) and his Howling Commandos were battling the Axis Forces; “This far and no further! Show these Krauts what the Howling Commandos’re made of, Boys!”

Such baffling bewilderment is ultimately explained as simply being some sort of simulation devised by the Red Skull’s daughter, Sin. But even that knowledge doesn’t help explain just why Wilson is subsequently chained to a mini-tank and then subjected to a series of flashbacks suggesting that his life as “a steady companion to Captain America” was merely a concocted “tale of nobility” created by Johann Shmidt to entice Steve Rogers into offering the “liar… thug, and… gangster” his friendship. It certainly seems that the facially-disfigured female lunatic would have been far more successful if she’d simply gone through with her initial threat of shooting a captive Sam in the head than trying to ‘break-him’ by having the All-New Sentinel of Liberty willingly throw himself off of a snowy precipice?

Fortunately, despite the script’s errant nonsense, Stuart Immonen’s artwork throughout the entirety of this comic book is excellent. The Canadian penciller really imbues this magazine’s lead protagonist with an almost palpable sense of power and energy. This, coupled with his breakdowns being inked by usual collaborator Wade Von Grawbadger, provides each and every panel with a vitality that finally makes the heart pound when this somewhat contentious incarnation of Captain America ultimately soars to victory.
The variant cover art of "ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA" No. 3 by Neal Adams

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