Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Captain America: Steve Rogers #6 - Marvel Comics

CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS No. 6, December 2016
Despite Nick Spencer’s clarificatory preamble for Issue Six of “Captain America: Steve Rogers” explaining that reality had “been secretly rewritten by Kobik” in order for the ‘First Avenger’ to have shockingly become an Agent of Hydra, many of this comic’s 49,111 readers were probably thinking that something equally as messed up had probably occurred to them too. For whilst this twenty-page periodical’s disinteresting narrative clearly still depicts the ‘Sentinel of Liberty’ manipulating his former team-mates such as Captain Marvel and Iron Man, in order to ensure that his world-wide subversive organisation achieves its aim for global domination, the former politician’s script genuinely seems to bear little resemblance to the publications preceding it.

True, this particular edition is very much a “Civil War II” tie-in, which relies heavily upon events as depicted by writer Brian Michael Bendis in the crossover’s own limited mini-series, and resultantly finds the super-soldier deeply troubled by the “new inhuman who can see the future” because he can “expose Steve’s secret [that he works for the Red Skull] at any moment.” But that shouldn’t mean that the book’s author can automatically assume its audience knows precisely what is taking place elsewhere within the ‘Marvel Universe’, and therefore comprehend why the titular character is pencilled by Javier Pina one moment fighting some unseen enemy alongside Star Lord in The Triskelion, and then in the next panel drawn paternally speaking to a partially-masked Miles Morales, and suggesting that the distraught Spider-Man “go home.”

Fortunately, Spencer does at least repeatedly return to the super-hero’s altered past when as a boy Elisa Sinclair abducted him from his murdered mother’s side and subsequently had the infant indoctrinated by Doctor Sebastian Fenhoff. Gaunt-faced, deeply unhappy, and yet admirably strong-willed, as well as imbued with “considerable academic ability… in areas of problem solving and strategy”, the ‘undersized asthmatic’s attempts to survive an encounter with murderous sharp-toothed hounds, a momentarily tense confrontation with the formidable Kraken, and being kept locked in a dingy-looking cell, all prove welcome returns to this title’s familiar, long-term story-arc of Steve somehow graduating from “a school that trained Hydra soldiers" in the Late Twenties.
Writer: Nick Spencer, Penciler: Javier Pina, and Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg

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