"Brothers and Keepers, Part 5: Brothers"
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artists: Greg Tocchini (p), Oclair Albert (i), Transparency Digital (colors)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: As the two mental patterns trapped inside M.O.D.O.K.'s body battle for control, Captain America fights to keep the creature alive because if M.O.D.O.K. dies then a deadly virus will be unleashed. However, the presence of a rampaging Hulk complicates the matter, and Captain America finds himself racing the clock to find a cure for M.O.D.O.K.'s current crisis before the situation goes completely off the rails.
Comments: Somewhere along the line this book has managed to fall through the cracks, as while I'm a fan of Christopher Priest's work, and I'm quite enjoying what he's doing on this book, the simple fact of the matter is that I didn't pick up the previous issue, and last week I forgot to pick up a copy of this current issue. However, when I corrected this mistake this week, I quickly realized that I had missed an issue as the story started in the middle of an action sequence involving the Hulk, and I had no idea how we had gotten there. However, the recap page effectively filled in the information gap, and this issue does make for an action packed finish. How can one not be impressed by the level of urgency that this issue manages to convey, as the battle to keep M.O.D.O.K. from killing himself, and releasing a deadly virus on the population of a city is complicated by the presence of a rampaging Hulk? There's also a smile inducing secondary plot as the Falcon follows in the path of many an action hero as he finds the time to engage in a little romance in the midst of this heated action, and the scene where Captain America's call for help intrudes upon his romantic encounter made me smile. Plus how can one not love any issue that offers up a battle between Captain America and the Hulk, or rather an exchange that has Captain America trying to avoid being pounded into paste by the Hulk's punches? The issue also offers up a great look at the difference between Captain America and the Falcon, as Sam has no problem breaking the promise that Cap made to Rivas.
Greg Tocchini does a pretty passable copy of Joe Bennett's work, so if this story is collected in trade paperback form the switch between artists won't be all that jarring. He certainly does a fine job of keeping M.O.D.O.K. a very sinister looking entity, as the opening double page spread is a delightfully disturbing image of the character. The art also does some lovely work on the action as Captain America tries his best to avoid the Hulk's attacks. There's a lovely image of Cap racing away from a rampaging Hulk that manages to sell perfectly the danger that he's up against. There's also a great shot where Captain America gets tagged by one of the Hulk's punches, and he's sent flying. The art also does a pretty nice job of selling the final scene as Captain America's internal conflict is brought to a quick end by the Falcon. The cover image is also a lovely shot of the two characters racing into action.
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