In Review: All-New Captain America #3

Solid super hero action with the hero being the purest and the villain being the evilest.

The covers: A pair of covers from a two great creative teams. The Main cover is by interior contributors Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia. Cap is giving a bloody hard right to the Red Skull in some chilly environment with some massive futuristic tech half buried behind them. Great art with terrific coloring. You can feel that punch and you can feel the temperature drop. This is the one I picked up. The Variant cover is by Neal Adams and Moose Baumann. This one has Cap throwing his shield forward, nailing a thug solidly, and his wings are knocking others aside. This has got the major Adams action that shows why he’s a comic creating icon. Love the look on Cap’s face! Overall grades: Both A

The story: A one page flashback to Sam’s past shows more of how his father looked after him and his sister. A backfiring car makes the two children think it’s gunfire. Their father pulls them close with a promise, “…No one’s ever going hurt anyone I ever love again.” Rick Remender then pulls readers to the recent pass, as Captain America and Misty Knight find Steve Rogers’s son Ian, the new Nomad, dead, his throat slashed by Baron Zemo. He and Misty split up to learn what Hydra has planned, and in the process he zips back and forth in time chasing after the Red Skull. As they race about they run through WWII, encountering a famous Marvel fighting force, Sam learns what his supposed true origin is, but how far would any reader trust the Skull? I thought the mind games with the Skull were average. He’s a Nazi–Who’s going to believe a Nazi? Not Sam Wilson, let alone Captain America. I also didn’t buy for a second Page 13, it was just a question of when the conflict would resume. I was really interested in what occurs in the computer room–Hydra pow-wows are just the most evil of all teleconferences. Page 16 is super hero awesome and the ending fantastic. It’s just the build up to the climax seemed to drag. Overall grade: B 

The art: How could anyone not enjoy the visuals? The pencils are by Stuart Immonen and the inks by Wade Von Grawbadger. The first page flashback is amazing. It’s impossible not to feel the tension in the third panel, and my heart fell at the children’s reactions. The close-up at the bottom of the page is a perfect compliment for the text. The entrance of the Red Skull is spectacular and every panel he’s in makes him so arrogant, readers will want to reach into the pages and punch him before Cap does. I loved pages 14 and 15–bad guys plotting is just so cool and Immonen and Von Grawbadger make them look gloriously evil. The final four pages should be looked at by future artists to see how to lay out a page and make it glorious. I love the Skull’s turn at the bottom of Page 17, and panels six through eight on 18 are amazing examples of epic motion and storytelling through imagery. After all the hell that Sam endures in this issue, readers want to see him seriously upset at the end, and they won’t be disappointed. Just beautiful work on every page. Overall grade: A+

The colors: This is the perfect story for any colorist to work on, and this one has got two–Marte Gracia and Dono Sanchez Almara. That first page (Yeah, it really resonated with me) is glorious in the dark colors of night, punctuated by a frightening sound. The book continues in muted colors as Ian’s body is shown again, but when Sam walks through a door, the colors begin to explode in orange and yellow, and on Page 3 the explosions and sounds are magnificently strong. The Skull’s face is a like a beacon of hate for Sam and the reader, and every time he appears in a panel it’s an instant focus. There’s some really cool computer work on Page 11, and the final four pages are perfection. Gracia and Almara are shining stars. Overall grade: A+

The letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna is the letterer of this issue, providing dialogue, sounds, narration (the same font as dialogue), and mind dialogue (you’ll understand when you see it). All are great, but my favorite is “THE HELL YOU DO!” That was just amazing! I wish the narration had a been a different type of font, as the narration and the dialogue are two different types of communication. Still, the work is good. Overall grade: A

The final line: Solid super hero action with the hero being the purest and the villain being the evilest. One of Marvel’s better books. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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