Or – “Kicking Off Our Major Spoilers Star-Spangled Weekend™!”

In celebration of America’s Independence Day, Major Spoilers (and by that, I mean Matthew) will give three cheers to the red, the white and the blue, so the blue comes through to the blue in you.  (I’ve never been clear on how that lyric actually went…)  Meanwhile, one of the unseen bits of fallout from the end of the Dark Reign was the intersection of two different types of Thunderbolts, and the realization by Baron Helmut Zemo, scion of the Zemo clan, that his father’s work remained undone.  And since part of that work included “Killing The Heck Out Of Bucky Barnes,” our hero may find himself in an unpleasant situation…


Captain America #607
WRITER: Ed Brubaker /Sean McKeever
PENCILS: Mitch Breitweiser
INKS: Butch Guice
COVER BY: Marko Djurdjevic
COLORS: Dean White/Elizabeth Dismang
LETTERS: VC’s Joe Caramagna
PUBLISHED BY: Marvel Comics

Previously, on Captain America:  James Buchanan Barnes has really grown into the role of Captain America, a situation which allowed Steve Rogers to give up the role and take up the post of head of something-something superhuman blah blah blah in the Marvel U.  Accompanied by the Falcon, Bucky was even able to stop the threat of ANOTHER Cap, this one the commie-smashing Captain America of the 1950’s.  Having shot this pretender (presumably fatally) Bucky-Cap has become more erratic in the field, causing much concern to Steve and to Bucky’s partner The Falcon.  Worse than that is a plot by the newest Baron Zemo to kill him, having discovered that the new Captain America is actually the original Bucky from back in the day, a boy though killed by Zemo’s father.  In an attempt to rattle him, Zemo has badly injured The Falcon, in the hopes that Bucky will lose his cool and be that much easier to dispatch…

In The Aftermath…

The theory seems to work as we open the issue in an emergency room, as the Falcon is rushed into surgery after being trapped in an explosion last issue.  Bucky is enraged by the situation and punches a wall in fury.  At this moment, I realize that there’s a new penciller in play, as the facial expressions are a lot sketchier and less expressive than I’m used to from this books rotating art team.  Mitch Breitweiser doesn’t do bad work, but it’s very different in tone from Steve Epting and the regular Cap team.  Baron Zemo quickly ups the ante for Captain America, bringing in Iron Hand Hauptmann, an 0ld-school Nazi idiot late of the Red Skull’s Exiles, to break things up.  Last issue, Cap had some issues with a drink he was given, leaving the impression that he’d been drugged, a feeling that returns in mid-fight.  He desperately vamps to take out the villain, only to find himself surrounded by armed Nazis!  (Wait, what year is it again?)  The situation is defused by the arrival of Commander Steve Rogers, who stops Bucky in his rampage, revealing that Captain America hasn’t been fighting Nazis at all, but the NYPD!  Captain America is shaken by the revelation that he may not be in control of his mind after all…

A quick trip to Avengers Tower later, Doctor Jane Foster confirms that he’s been drugged, dosed with special nanobots that induce weakness and then hallucination, adding to his overall discomfort and disorientation.  Jane sends the nanobots over to Tony Stark for analysis, while Captain America heads for home and bonds with his lady, The Black Widow.  Unfortunately for his reputation, Zemo has also seemingly arranged for the news outlets to get video footage of his battle with police, allowing them to question exactly who this new Cap is, and where he came from.  Bucky and Natasha set out on a fact-finding tour (one in which he falls just short of Rorschach-busting-fingers territory) but are ambushed by a villain looking oddly like The Wasp (female version) carrying a bazooka.  Elsewhere, Baron Zemo tracks down an old Russion collector who sells him a roll of film…  A film ominously titled “Project: Winter Soldier.”  There a Nomad backup tale here, but it’s quite disturbing, as she’s been locked in the basement of a serial murderer and has to think her way out by pretending to be his daughter, then kicking his ass.  It’s kind of forgettable, to be honest…

The Red-White-And-Blue Verdict

James Barnes run as Captain America has been pretty interesting stuff thus far, and this arc is one of the few (after the “Man With No Face” arc) to focus on BARNES rather than on Captain America as a concept.  It’s interesting, but there are echos of the Red Skull’s nefarious plot in Zemo’s work (especially given last month’s use of Skull’s daughter Sin.)  The art this issue is somewhat unpredictable, looking finished and comparable to the regular art teams in places and a bit incomplete in others.  Overall, it’s interesting to see into Bucky’s head, and nice to have Steve Rogers as a supporting character in this title, but the effect of this issue is more of a “Hmm, this could get good” rather than a “Wow, this is AWESOME!” kind of experience.  There might be some fallout effects from the Heroic Age going on, but the Cold War espionage of this title feels somehow out of sorts with the rest of the Marvel Universe, and I think this is affecting my overall enjoyment of the book.  This disconcerting feeling leads me to give Captain America #607 2 out of 5 stars overall, with the hope that the ending will knock my socks off…

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day:  With The Fixer in Zemo’s camp, we have another heel turn by a former Thunderbolt…  What hero would you like to see do a permanent (or as permanent as comics ever get) turn to the villain side?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. davek
    July 3, 2010 at 12:36 am — Reply

    To answer the spoilerite question… Daredevil. I know Shadowland won’t stick, but it would be great if Matt Murdock crosses “The Line” which would send ripples of shock and fear to all his former hero friends and even Wilson Fisk.

    One can hope.

  2. Christian
    July 3, 2010 at 5:26 am — Reply

    JEssica Jones, cos god help her, that woman has gone through so much as a hero, turning to a bad girl may be the only way to aurvive!

  3. TaZ
    July 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm — Reply

    GASP! Captain America being the center of controversy and a villain trying to turn the public against him? Already done… just go back at the story line that led to Steve Rogers’ first use of the Nomad identity (and one of the best scenes when he steps on his cape and realizes that that’s why he never had one on his old uniform).

    For cripes sake, this is supposed to be Captain America. You know, Star Spangled Sentinel of Liberty and all that other stuff that sometimes I feel like only I believe in and want to see. While I like Barnes at Cap, I just don’t like the story of having a former Soviet super-assassin (brain-washed or not) carrying the shield. It gives the image of the standard-bearer of America’s heroic ideals as being a compromised piece of damaged goods. While many people may see today’s America as being just that (compromised damaged goods) it is the IDEAL of America, of freedom, of being ready to fight to defend liberty and freedom that the character of Captain America needs to represent.

    And as far as the “heel turn” question, I’d say Daredevil as well. It wouldn’t be Matt Murdock’s powers or abilities that would be dangerous…it would be the knowledge he has of so many heroes and his mind. Nothing is more dangerous than a man that doesn’t fear.

  4. Damascus
    July 6, 2010 at 1:28 am — Reply

    H.E.R.B.I.E most definitely. I want to see him just blow a chip one day and take out the whole Baxter Building and then, just tap into Reed’s databases and use all the information and resources he has available to wreak havoc. He’d have to have a maniacal look about him, but still remain small and silly looking though.

  5. Todd
    July 7, 2010 at 10:15 am — Reply

    To go from the ridiculous to the sublime…how about Lockjaw? He gets bit by a rabid bat and turns into the Marvel equivalent of Cujo, and then proceeds to wipe out the rest of the Pet Avengers. You could even have Stephen King write it!

  6. Astro Dinosaurus
    July 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm — Reply

    Nick Fury, I would like to see the good guys versus Marvel’s master of prep-time. (And Secret Avengers is currently kinda giving me that…maybe)

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