Friday, 16 September 2016

All-New Captain America #6 - Marvel Comics

Considering just how utterly bizarre the script for Issue Six of “All-New Captain America” is on account of its narrative involving a vampire’s plan to “detonate himself at high altitude” in order to spread his infected blood “throughout the atmosphere”, it seems likely that at least some of this comic’s 38,199 strong-audience probably found themselves thinking something along similar lines to the title’s “What The Duck?” variant cover. It’s certainly hard to believe that too many found Rick Remender’s frantic fist-fight between Sam Wilson and Baron Blood an entirely enthralling experience, especially when the pair’s fanciful battle in outer space is continually interrupted by an equally implausible earth-bound confrontation between the supposedly dead Nomad and his apparent murderer Helmut Zemo.

Indeed, doubtless many of this twenty-one page periodical’s readership were probably still reeling from the American author's utterly ludicrous revelation in this series’ previous instalment that “Steve’s adopted son from Dimension Z” survived having his throat slashed and being “hung upside-down… to bleed out” simply because “my body fixes itself as long as I have a supply of… [Arnim Zola’s bio-gel] within the armour.” As the titular character himself remarks early on during his battle with a monster “full of Lucas’s [blighted] blood”, “You can’t make this $%*& up.”

Setting aside one’s quibbles as to just how Captain America can hold his breath long enough to survive whilst flying unprotected in the vacuum of space however, the former-Falcon’s punch-up with his fearsomely fanged opponent does at least provide another insight into just how differently Remender’s incarnation of the Sentinel of Liberty thinks when compared to Steve Rogers. Faced with a ‘suicidal’ Nazi opponent desperate to die in order to later “rule a nation of cold-bloods”, Wilson is significantly hampered by his concerns that if he gets too close to the vampire, his own reproductive biology could be contaminated and sterilized. Sacrificing one’s ability to have children probably wouldn’t have even given Sam’s predecessor a momentary pause. Yet for the “first African-American superhero in mainstream comic books”, and a wannabe family man, this dilemma rather intriguingly actually has the author’s main protagonist holding back despite the fate of the entire world being at stake.

Perhaps this publication’s greatest disappointment though is its neat, and overly happy ending. Having miraculously brought Nomad back from the dead, the writer additionally allows both Redwing to survive Baron Blood ‘draining it dry’ by becoming a vampire bird (!?!), and Sam Wilson to implausibly walk away from a thunderous crash-landing back to Earth. The minister’s son is even given the hope of future fatherhood when Misty Knight reveals she “took the antidote off of Viper” and, courtesy of an injection, cures his rewritten DNA; “If having a family is important I think I can help.”
The regular cover art of "ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA" No. 6 by Stuart Immonen

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