Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Captain America: Steve Rogers #5 - Marvel Comics

Purportedly “guest-starring the Invincible Iron Man”, as well as depicting Steve Rogers taking “steps to end the war” as “tragedy strikes”, it’s painfully clear just why Issue Five of “Captain America: Steve Rogers” was only the forty-seventh best-selling title of September 2016, at least according to “Diamond Comic Distributors”. Indeed, it’s not difficult to understand, as Nick Spencer’s illogically piecemeal plot flits from Sokovia to New Attilan and then Alpine in Utah, just how this “Civil War II tie-in” only sold 50,536 copies; even when its titular character was IGN's second-placed "Top 25 Best Marvel superhero" in 2014.

Admittedly, the former politician’s script begins well enough, with a fascinating flashback to infant Steven’s abduction from the side of his dead mother by HYDRA, and subsequent induction into the care of Daniel Whitehall, and his associate Doctor Sebastian Fenhoff. But once this traumatic opening is concluded, the somewhat carefully timed pacing of the American author’s twenty-page periodical goes completely awry and degenerates into a seemingly haphazard summary of events from the “Marvel Worldwide” comic book crossover storyline its supposedly tied-in to.

In fact, in many ways the publication’s bizarre series of disconnected scenes, which shows Captain America planning to kill his fellow Avengers one moment and then inexplicably depicts the World War Two veteran lying dead at the feet of Spider-Man in the next, appears more geared towards encouraging this publication’s audience to purchase the aforementioned mini-series for the fuller story, than actually progressing anything new with the Sentinel of Liberty himself. There arguably can be no other explanation as to why Spencer’s writing frustratingly covers the death of Bruce Banner, Hawkeye’s trial, She-Hulk’s rage, and the feud between Tony Stark and Captain Marvel, rather than Cappy himself. 

Sadly, just as disconcerting as this comic’s penmanship, is its inconsistent pencilling. Javier Pina illustrates Elisa’s unsettling grooming of young Rogers well enough, especially when his panels are so wonderfully coloured in blue-greys and reds by Rachelle Rosenberg. Yet the Spanish artist seems to genuinely struggle when it comes to simply drawing people’s faces, as can plainly be seen in a panel of Steve watching Jennifer Walters and Jane Foster's Thor arm-wrestling. 
Writer: Nick Spencer, Penciler: Javier Pina, and Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg

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