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Captain America #603

Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
By: Paul Brian McCoy

Ed Brubaker; Sean McKeever
Luke Ross (p), Butch Guice (i); David Baldeon (p), Sotocolor's N. Bowling (i)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Captain America #603 arrives in stores tomorrow, February 17.

"Two Americas, Part Two"; "Nomad: In Conjuntion, part two"

So I hear there's some controversy surrounding Captain America these days. Well, that's what happens when news organizations are replaced with what are essentially dumpster-diving propaganda "clubs" and people start paying attention to the ignorant chatter their groupies squeeze out. Although, to be quite honest, calling these simpletons groupies is an insult to Pamela Des Barre and her colleagues. But honestly, these Conservative nitwits are to Rush and Glen as Des Barre was to Led Zep, except without the integrity.

Or the reading comprehension skills.

You see, readers who can't understand that the Tax Protestors marching through issue #602 were separate from the paramilitary Watchdogs, and were, in fact, being used as a recruiting filter by the militia, just lack fundamental comprehension skills. And if you think the Falcon's comments about not fitting in with a Conservative protest in a community that is 92% white (according to census figures), then you're just being a jackass.

But when has concern over being a jackass stopped one of these idiots from shooting their mouths off about something they know nothing about? Or complaining about something they've heard about second-hand?

Guess what, wingnuts? The '50s Cap has been a crazy racist bastard since the early Seventies. None of this is new. All that's new is his recruitment pool. You know, the kinds of people who might march with racist signs and worry about secret "muslin" socialists taking over the country. You know, those fringe elements that undermine any validity the Tea Party protestors might hope for?

Anyway, this month we see even more clearly that The Watchdogs are an isolated group living on the outskirts of Boise, recruiting their members from the more hostile and alienated of those disaffected by the current economy, as well as those who are just racist douchebags.

The real shortcomings of the previous issue had more to do with Brubaker taking a cliché narrative short-cut with Bucky's plan for infiltrating the Watchdogs. This time out we discover that both Bucky and Sam realize that the plan is bad, but they're going to go through with it anyway.

And guess what?

It's a bad plan that doesn't really work for them.

This issue picks up the pace and ends with both of our heroes in truly bad spots. Bucky is being incorporated into the insane '50s Captain America's plans, and Sam finds himself out-manned and inadvertently providing the Watchdogs with an extremely dangerous weapon. The characterizations are solid for every character in the story, and I'm really enjoying seeing Sam take on the experienced veteran role to Bucky's more impulsive energy.

I wasn't all that impressed with Luke Ross' pencils last issue, even with Butch Guice's inks, but this month it seems to come together much better. The action sequences are easier to follow and Guice is able to reign in some of the sloppier elements of Ross' pencils and provides just enough detail work in the backgrounds to make this story really work.

Dean White's colors do a nice job of creating a mood for the opening flashback sequences, but come up short later in the story, as we watch Bucky's insertion into the militia group. I see what White is trying to do, but the emphasizing of single colors in each panel as we see time passing is a little forced, particularly when the colors aren't really inspired by the actual settings. Granted, that's only one page in this issue, and the colors are at their best in the final pages, when they reflect the settings.

All in all, this is a step up from last issue and provides an appropriate amount of complication to make what seemed like a cliché, shortcut-impaired storyline into something that is more reflective of the personalities of the characters. It's still not the best Brubaker is capable of, but it's nowhere near as hamstrung as last issue might have made it seem.

Oh yeah. There's a back-up feature.

I really didn't care for it. I don't care about the characters, and the action seemed forced. I like the idea of this Nomad character, but have yet to see any use of her that makes me interested in what's going on. The art is okay, if overly exaggerated and cartoonish. To be quite honest, I had already forgotten it was tucked into the back of this issue.

If you ask me, I'd rather have extra pages of the main story than these back-ups I don't care about. Either that or leave the price at 2.99.






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