REVIEW: Captain America & Iron Man #633

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Or – “Cap And Tony Go To Monte Carlo.”

I can’t wait for the sequel, ‘Cap And Tony Go Bananas.’  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

CAPTAIN AMERICA & IRON MAN #633
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Barry Kitson
Colorist: Javier Tartaglia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, in Captain America and Iron Man:  Captain America’s comic was renumbered just a few years ago for the big #600 anniversary issue (coming mere months after the big #50 anniversary issue under the original numberin), only to have the book relaunched AGAIN in 2011.  The original title became Captain America and Bucky before becoming this monthly team-up title.  Captain America and Iron Man often don’t see eye-to-eye (especially when it comes to the thorny matter of civil liberties) but they’re about to go into action together against an unexpected threat…

IS THIS A COMICON REFERENCE?

We open in (of all places) Madripoor, as Tony Stark shows off his newest invention, a device based on the attack patterns of a swarm of hornets.  (Britt Reid was heard to give his approval.)  This issue immediately makes me smile, with some particularly amazing art by Barry Kitson, with Stark visiting a weapons convention completely with booth babes while Captain America goes undercover behind the scenes.  There’s some complications, there’s a girl (a particularly lovely one, with the mellifluous moniker of Kashmir Vennema) and intrigue, with Cap and Tony in a very ‘Ocean’s 11′ sort of vibe.  I have to say that Cullen Bunn nails the movie-style Tony Stark’s self-deprications and theatricality, and his utter confidence is great fun.  Captain America is much more quiet, but the arrival of Batroc’s Brigade turns the tables on their interactions, with Captain America suddenly taking command of the battle situation.  I also appreciate the re-emergence of Cap’s hard-light shield, a perfect ‘Mission: Impossible’ style gadget which should probably get more respect than it does.

I WONDER IF THIS IS THE LOST LOPEZ SISTER?

I don’t know if the creators were making a joke about the frangibility of those who take the Machete role, but I laughed out loud when I realized that we had YET ANOTHER new character wearing the mask (or face-paint) this issue, which makes me happy in ways that I don’t fully understand.  I think it’s the way the issue reminds me of the Marvel Universe back when things were clearer and more fun, the interactions made sense, and there was even the occasional break in the endless cycle of hero fighting hero.  As with any good espionage tale, things get complicated, as Captain America’s lady-friend ends up being more than she seems, and Tony Stark’s new technology becomes a Chekhov’s Gun that fires in the wrong direction.  We end with a nice cliffhanger, and even the minor characters who fight alongside Batroc get nice character bits throughout the issue.  I had dropped Captain America and Bucky when it became Captain America and Hawkeye, and I’m starting to wonder if I made a mistake…

THE VERDICT: HARBINGER

This issue is well-written, well-drawn, and features two old friends doing the things they’re good at: showing off and fighting, though not necessarily in that order.  I don’t even mind that Captain America has a new lady in his life, though I wonder what Sharon Carter might have to say about it.  Captain America and Iron Man #633 is a surprise, a book that might make it back onto my pull list with regular performance like this, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I have been hearing good things about Cullen Bunn as a writer, but this issue makes all the good press make sense…

Rating: ★★★★½