In a smack down with Wonder Woman, these days, Captain America wins big. Comparing Captain America #609 to Wonder Woman #602 is not a pretty sight. Maybe it shouldn’t be done but, then again, these are comics, your money, and you need to pick and choose. I know some collectors barely even read what they buy. There is such a thing as comics addiction: people who will simply buy every issue of a Batman or Spider-Man or Superman, etc. But, if you’re really in this to read and enjoy worthwhile comics, then you can’t go wrong with Captain America.
Ed Brubaker does not keep winning Eisner Awards for nothing. The fact is, a lot of people do read their comics and they’re discriminating readers. The thing with Mr. Brubaker is that he is a very talented and dedicated writer. He has been around the block a number of times. He can now speak for and interpret Captain America like it is part of his DNA. One important point, he understands the huge difference between padding and pacing. J. Michael Stracyznski’s Wonder Woman run is turning out to be a prime example in padding. Ed Brubaker, on the other hand, has a great feel for what is going to keep the story moving along at a natural pace that keeps you turning the page.
Now, I wasn’t sure if I would take to a Captain America story arc under the banner of “The Heroic Age” but Brubaker has managed to not get bogged down by any heavy Marvel history. I don’t always feel like slogging back to look up the continuity and, thankfully, this story is so smooth, that I can jump right in. Maybe you’re even better off just accepting events as they unfold. There’s just a touch of the Red Skull in this story to resonate throughout. Mostly, you’ve got Zemo, some freak who won’t let Bucky Barnes have a life. No, this psycho is bent on smearing Bucky’s face in his Winter Soldier past. He stalks Bucky. He taunts Bucky. And he finally lures Bucky into his trap. That’s all you really need to concern yourself about. This is a lean and mean story that holds up well because it knows where it’s going.
As I say, this stuff is smooth as butter. Art-wise too, I have no complaints. Usually, when I see a mass of artists involved in an issue, that will raise concerns. I, like you, would prefer one artistic vision by one really cool artist. But, if the styles don’t take you out of the story, then I’m more than okay with it. The styles can even cause a little tension between each other, and that can work too. You know, it’s always good to feel that human beings are out there creating this. You never want to have a “house style” dominate the comic. At least I don’t. Anyway, I find, and you should find, that the action scenes, the procedural scenes, all the scenes, work well in this issue.
Captain America #609 does not daddle in back story. There’s no need for it. Instead, the action takes center stage. Things move fast in this issue but with a purpose. Always remember, if the action is purposeful, then it is serving the story and the reader! Zemo, and his henchmen, have come for Bucky and Bucky is not ready for it! That’s what you need to know. Now, go out and read it.