Current Reviews


Captain America: Who Won't Wield The Shield #1

Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
By: Paul Brian McCoy

Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Stuart Moore
Mirco Pierfederici, Brendan McCarthy, Joe Quinones
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Captain America: Who Won't Wield The Shield #1 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 21.

Title: "Forbush Man: Fobush Kills!"
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mirco Pierfederici

Title: "Doctor America: Occult Operative of Liberty"
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Brendan McCarthy

Title: "The Golden Age Deadpool"
Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: Joe Quinones

This is pretty darned entertaining.

Jason Aaron gets to set it up and then bring it home with the Forbush Man framing story, in which Forbush Man is awakened from a suspended animation chamber remarkably similar to the one which housed Bucky/The Winter Soldier. He then goes on a dark and gritty killing spree, before ending up at a comic shop in a small midwestern strip mall.

Just in time for the Ed Brubaker signing.

With Jason Aaron there to take abuse and fetch coffee.

The other two stories are presented as examples of how Marvel hasn't ruined all of its properties by going dark and gritty, and I have to say, if Doctor America and Golden Age Deadpool were real regular series, I'd be buying them.

Golden Age Deadpool is clever and fast-paced, but the real strength is in the art. Quinones' lines are clean and the staging is easy-to-follow. There's a cartoony quality to the character work that plays well with the goofiness of the story.

It's fluff, but it's probably the only Deadpool story I'll ever read and enjoy. So, it's good fluff.

But my favorite part of this whole package is Matt Fraction and Brendan McCarthy's Doctor America. It's a little bit Doctor Strange, a little bit Captain America, and a whole lot batshit crazy. This is the sort of mad energy that I've missed from Fraction since Casanova went on hiatus, but with none of the sentiment and coherence.

And I mean that in a good way.

Any comic that opens with a bizarre mad scientist proclaiming "Hail Satan-Science!" as a fellow is forced to smoke the Super Satan Formula, is approved of by the Black Panther Black Panthers, and then teams up with a goat boy named Baal Lebutte (shortly before being attacked by TeeVee Eyes!) has forever wormed its way into my twisted little heart.

And it's illustrated by the magnificent Brendan McCarthy in his trademark manic psychedelic, vividly colored style.

I would buy this book and force strangers to read it. It's that entertaining to me.

But then, I have a mental problem where I love to expose people to things I love regardless of whether or not they're going to like it. Because you never know when a sliver of weirdness is going to infect someone normal. Those are the moments I most treasure.

And Doctor America is now treasured.

We wrap with a return to the present with Forbush Man holding Brubaker and Aaron hostage. But the story's not over until most of the bullpen gets included in the fun. Bendis and Fraction's incessant twittering was a nice touch.

All in all, it's a fun little book. It's not entirely successful, but it's nowhere near a failure. And any book with something as amazingly insane as Doctor America is always going to have a place in my home.

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