By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
“That’s right, folks. This is it. The FIRST issue of Captain America! The very first! And when we say first, we MEAN first! That’s why we put the big number one on the cover, so that you you know didn’t miss anything. We at Marvel have heard your cries over the big numbers on all of our issues, and we sincerely apologize for assaulting your brains with double digits, and tea-bagging them with triples. That’s why we’ve brought your ol’ pal Cap back to #1! Because of all the numbers out there, 1 is the most accessible! It’s the most fresh! It’s the most hip! It’s an apple pie straight out of the oven, a new crayon out of the box, a fresh page in the notebook! One is the friendliest number that you ever did see! One is marketable! That’s why Thor was renumbered this year, and X-Men was renumbered last year! And if you think THAT’S groovy, did you hear about our friends over at DC? They’re renumbering EVERYTHING! That’s not just fresh, it’s funky fresh! They know what readers want! They’re fly! They’re dope! They’re way cool, man! And next month, be sure and come back for a NEW Captain America #1! We gotta keep it fresh, ya’ll!”
We start the issue with Steve Rogers, Nick Fury, Sharon Carter and Dum Dum Dugan (whose identities are never explained to the reader, which seems odd, as this is supposed to be a jumping-on point for new readers) at the funeral of Peggy Carter, Sharon’s aunt and an old flame/partner of Captain America’s from World War II. While at the funeral, the group comes under attack from a mystery assailant, who Steve recognizes as an old ally from the war. Little does he know that his old friend is now working with one of his worst enemies.
Ed Brubaker rarely gives you much to complain about. This issue is no exception, and that shouldn’t be a surprise, as he’s been writing Cap for quite some time. The only complaint I have regards (forgive the repetition) new reader accessibility. We get Steve’s backstory, and obviously that’s the most important one. But we don’t know how Fury and Dugan can look the virtually same in 1944 as they do today. Also, new readers likely won’t know who the villain revealed on the final page is. Thank God for Wikipedia.
Steve McNiven hits this issue out of the park. There’s a moment in this issue where Cap does one of his trademark shield throws, and the way he frames it from release to return is simply beautiful. You can almost feel the impact. The issue is almost worth it for that moment alone.
This certainly isn’t the best first issue I’ve ever read, but it’s nice. Hopefully it’ll do well, what with all the press for Captain America: The First Avenger. If it doesn’t, it should certainly be good enough to impress Cap’s current fan base.
Image 1 from comicbookmovie.com. Image 2 from scansdaily.dreamwidth.org.
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