REVIEW: Captain America #3

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He is the Star-Spangled Avenger. After leading the Avengers to “victory” against the Phoenix Five, Captain America has expanded the Avengers roster. He is also sporting a new uniform to go with the Marvel Now campaign. As Marvel’s “top cop”, Captain America slings his mighty shield against his foes, both old and new.

Captain_America_coverCAPTAIN AMERICA #3
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Dean White and Lee Loughridge
Editor: Tom Brevoort and Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Captain America #3: Due to an evil plot by Arnim Zola, Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America is stranded on Dimension Z. A year has past since his arrival. Trying to find a way home, he is accompanied by Ian, a young boy Steve saved from Zola’s lab. They are captured by the Phrox, a tribe native to Dimension Z. Believing they are agents of Arnim Zola, they are captured and set to be beheaded by Captain America’s shield.

STILL STUCK IN DIMENSION Z

Rick Remender continues Captain America’s adventures in Dimension Z in issue #3. A majority of the story revolves Captain America’s narrating his struggles within the Phrox tribe. It is well-written and emotionally powerful. Steve Roger’s morale ranges from determination to tranquility to guilt. Remender also uses the narration to draw out the hero’s character, whose primary concern is to protect Ian from this harsh environment. It is a nod to his old sidekick, Bucky, who needed protection and rescuing at times during their fights against the Nazis. Like his relationship with Bucky, Steve’s relationship with Ian is less a partnership and more father to son. Although Ian does not say or do much, he serves to keep Captain America grounded, being his main reason for getting them back home. Rick Remander also knows how to end each issue with drama and suspense. Like in issue #2 that finished with Ian and Captain America about to be executed, the ending for this issue is a cliff-hanger, maybe more so than the previous issue. It keeps Remander’s audience coming back for the next issue. Littered within the narrative are flashbacks, one of Arnim Zola, and the other of Steve Rogers as a small boy. Although they serve their purpose of refreshing character’s motivations, they are unnecessary. Anyone who has ever read a Captain America comic or an Avengers comic knows this hero’s personality. They are fun reads but filler pieces.

PAINFULLY BRUTAL (IN A GOOD WAY)

John Romita Jr.’s art style is always unconventional compared to the industry norm. Whether he is drawing for Marvel on titles like Spiderman and Avengers or for his own independent comics like Kick-Ass, his comics are easily recognizable. His work is exceptional in Captain America, particularly in this story arc. The savage environment is a perfect fit. Although the overall landscape is stunning like Arnim Zola’s mansion laboratory in Nazi Germany, it is the details that stand out. For instance, (spoiler alert!) when Captain America breaks his own arm to escape execution, the illustration conveys the exceptionally painful experience.

BOTTOM LINE: WHAT A TWIST!

Rick Remander and John Romita Jr. make a great team writing Captain America. Both have their own unique style that blend well in this comic. I recommend reading this comic just for the twist ending. I want to know how they will integrate this into the main storyline due to the length of time Captain America has been away. I look forward to reading how Steve Rogers will get out of this situation.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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