We’ve all been there: two issues in your hand, you can only afford one. What is the broke geek to do?! Sean Sorensen is here to guide you in your thrifty comics crusade by providing you with the one issue each week that’ll make you say, “Shut up, and take my $5!” It always feels good to get the most “BIF! BAM! POW!” for your buck, doesn’t it?
Sorry for the delay this week, my comic compatriots! Fatherly duties, work, and Boston Comic-Con prep have made reading time scarce this week, but what came out of it all was an unexpected choice for your comic of the week. You see, I read Chew #33 first this week, and I figured nothing could top that. Poyo vs Pengthulu in an antarctic rumble for the ages! Age of Ultron #6 was great, and Nova #3 has continued its fantastic stride; but Chew #33 was perfect. That was it. What could possibly top it?
Captain America #6.
Remender has handled the pressure with flair by taking Cap in a whole new direction. Instead of a safe spy thriller or traditional Cap story, Remender has thrown Cap into a crazy sci-fi epic. Kidnapped by Arnim Zola, Cap finds himself transported to Dimension Z. Here, he manages to save a baby from Zola (technically, Zola’s artificial son) and raise him as his own for ten years, while battling mutants and Zola’s personal army. It’s a wild ride.
In issue #6, Zola has done what is probably the dumbest thing you can do: he kidnaps Captain America’s son, Ian. This affects our hero in a way that’s quite hard to capture in words: think a mama grizzly protecting her cub, but give the grizzly the super soldier serum and a vibranium shield.
As a father, this issue really hits home. Remender managed to capture the all-out desperation and emotional overload any father would experience while trying to get back their child. Remender doesn’t show us the normally calm, cool, and collected Steve Rogers, but instead show us a man on the edge willing to do anything to get his son back.
The part that really sealed this book’s selection this week? The interaction between Zola and Cap’s son. Cap has raised Ian to be a good person; he has instilled in him all of the ideals that make Cap great. It is awesome to see Ian throw it all in Zola’s face. It gets even better: Remender shows us another viewpoint that we have never really thought about. As he brainwashes Ian, Zola reminds us that every young protege that Steve Rogers takes and trains have all suffered, and they all suffered because of him. I love it when a villain as a compelling argument.
John Romita, Jr. takes up art duties on this one, and it’s pleasing to see him return to form. JR Jr’s art has been through some interesting phases recently. While he was amazing back in the day, he has actually put out some surprisingly sub-par work of late. For his Captain America duties, however, he must have dusted off the cobwebs because this has been his best work since Amazing Spider-Man. He has gone with a very Kirby-esque look for Dimension Z, which adds so much. Everything is completely alien except for Cap and Ian, and he illustrates the dichotomy very well. Cap and Ian are always drawn very cleanly, while the other creatures of Dimension Z are treated with more abandon. It’s a whole ton of fun to look at. Plus, he draws a heck of a bearded Cap!
I will admit, the fact that I am a father heavily influenced my choice this week, but I stand by it. Remender is penning one heck of a sci-fi epic, and John Romita Jr. is keeping pace right along side him. If you haven’t read a Captain America book in a while, this one will probably convince you to go digging through the back issue bins at your local comic shop. You will want to catch up, and I can guarantee that you will be picking up issue #7. Dont believe me? Grab this one and see for yourself!
(If this all seems a little too weird for you, then I won’t be of much help to you this week. My second recommendation would be Chew #33, and that shit was really weird.)