Writer: Chuck Austen
Artist: Jae Lee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After calling in Thor to deal with the new elemental abilities Inali Redpath has unleashed, we see Captain America is forced to do battle with his former ally, but during this battle he learns some troubling information about his past.
This issue underlines the biggest flaw this series has had since its relaunch and that that Captain America isn't really being given much to do in these pages beyond stand around and look down upon the rest of the players for their failure to live up to his ideal American stance. I mean yes there's some interesting ideas that are hinted at such as the notion that the accident that left Captain America frozen in a block of ice for several decades wasn't a simple accident, but rather it was a orchestrated move by the American government to remove him from the equation before they dropped the nuclear bombs on Japan. I've always wonder what Captain America's thoughts were on this war time decision, and hopefully the upcoming arc will offer up some insight, as we explore this promising sounding mystery.
Still, this issue brings in Thor to deliver the big, impressive action scenes, while Captain America is left with little more to do than stand around delivering his speech about why he's so disillusioned with the modern world. As for the art, I have to say Jae Lee does some truly amazing work on Thor, as the battle to control the weather conveys a wonderful sense of raw elemental fury. I also loved that shot of Nick Fury as he detonates the clone factory.
As seems to be the case on this book, right when I'm all ready to jump ship, thanks to a colossal creative miscue, the book manages to offer up an idea that I find genuinely compelling. This issue nicely hints at an untold chapter in Captain America's past that actually seems to have enough credibility to it that I can't help but think it might just be true. This issue also wisely dumps the entire Bucky clone idea into the dumpster it was dug out of, and here's hoping Chuck Austen doesn't feel the need to follow up on this goofy idea. I'm also glad to see Captain America is not ready to fully trust Hana, and her rather convenient arrival in these pages. Now I do have to say that Chuck Austen's take on Thor is so overblown, that I'm glad the character is not a regular member of this book's cast, but Jae Lee does some great visual work on Thor, so overall I was pleased with the Thunder God's guest-appearance.
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