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Review Group: Special Edition Captain America #600

After all the hype and the build up, how was the actual comic?

The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s Newstand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Special Monday release you say?  Hey, the Review Group is susceptible to hype just as much as the next group of rabid fanboys so we got together and did a few extra reviews.  What did we think of Cap's big milestone issue?  Let's find out.
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Review by thefourthman

You know what, I just read it, wrote my review. It's a solid book, not spectacular, not something that will bring the people in by droves. It is a solid well written and illustrated book. It is a celebration of a character done with taste. For once, there is a book on the stands that has some attention being drawn to it that is actually pretty good. Comic fans should be proud that this may be someone's first exposure. It is a great jumping on point and cuts a wide berth of Cap's history.

Good job

Score
Story 8 (the main story is 9 worthy, but the Waid piece and the immediate repetition of the Dini story make it less)
Art 8
Overall 8

To read thefourthman's actual review and not just his ramblings, go here: http://brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/captain-america-600
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Review by amlah6

All the reprints and renumbering and marketing gimmicks aside, this was an awesome issue of Captain America. Had this been any other issue without all the crap that has been attached to it, I really believe people would be bouncing off the walls excited for that last Brubaker page. It's just a really well executed look at where all the major players are a year after the death of Steve Rogers and even made me excited about the introduction of Rikki Barnes into the core Marvel Universe. I really hope that she doesn't just get brushed aside now as I think the character could mesh well into this cast of characters in spite of her Liefeldian origins. I also thought it was a nice touch by Brubaker to bring back the chapter titles, I loved having them early on in the Death of Captain America mega-arc.

Some of the Butch Guice art in this issue was outstanding. Some of it was just okay. All of the guest artists I thought added nice touches to their individual chapters and as always Frank D'Armata tied everything together beautifully with his colors. Epting tends to get most of the praise for the look of the Captain America series over the last 51 issues, but it's been D'Armata there every issue making for a consistent look and feel on the title.

Main Story
Story: 10
Art: 8
Overall: 9


The Roger Stern portion of the book was a nice story with adequate art. Same with the Mark Waid story except that the Eaglesham art was fantastic. Both the Ross/Dini and Captain America Comics reprint stuff I've already read and I generally hate reprints being included in these kind of books anyway, I would really like to see a breakdown of how much those cost Marvel to put in the book versus what we're paying for them.

Bonus Content: 7

Total Score: 8.5
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Review by Daringd

Let me start off by saying Brubaker’s story is worth the 5 price tag alone. Since Cap is coming back sorry to spoil, it’s good to see Brubaker has an idea scratch that. Bru knows where he’s going with it and that make me feel better as a reader. But Steve Rogers is still coming back. Which cheapens the last 2 years of Captain America for me. IF big word there IF Brubaker can pull it off in the Reborn mini Brubaker will have saved Captain America. Because to be honest it just feel like a bad idea. But if it’s what Marvel wants to do and if Brubaker has a good story I’ll hold my criticism. That said Brubaker turned out the best issue of Cap this year. If it hadn’t been for some of the surrounding stories in the book it would have been book of the week but. Stern’s story is out of place I don’t know really how to describe it other than out of place and unnecessary. Waid’s story on the other hand is great to the point of I wish it would have been a little longer. On the art side of things Aja really stands out in the Brubaker story. Andrasofszky seemed off like the story and Eaglesham killed it. The Dini/Ross opening I think would have worked better as the Reborn opening but that’s just me. Overall solid if not great.

7.5/10
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Review by Mr_Batman

The main story by Bru was particularly good. I enjoyed it, and I'm curious to see where this goes. It was kind of interesting. As for the Stern story, I thought it was an interesting tale, but kind of an odd time to tell it. I loved Waid's story. It was the icing on the cake for this issue. Eaglesham did an awesome job. It was fantastic. I thought, overall, this issue was good, and I'm getting Reborn.

Story-8
Art- 7.5
Overall- 7.75
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Review by doombug

First things first... why does David Aja not have his own book? I wish he did this whole issue, I would love to see him on Cap, Secret Warriors, or Agents of Atlas... or even New Avengers, dude is money. If you pull yourself back from the hype and the early release this issue is just as consistent and strong as any other issue by Bru. If there wasn't the hubub all about this ish I am not sure I would not have felt the ending was such a big deal and more part of Brubaker's story (which is a compliment). I loved the interaction between Clint, Bucky, and Natasha. The Red Skull is such a great villain, I am surprised that he isn't used on a bigger scale... he is such a bastard and is under-utilized IMO. Guice is solid as always as is Breitweiser, Albuquerque is a new name to me but I can't for the life of me understand how Howard Chaykin gets so much high profile work? He draws some ugly ass faces (whets with the big freaking jaws he gives everyone?) Did this meet or exceed the hype? Maybe... I know that I am excited as hell for Reborn, and I am curious to see how Brubaker brings this story around.

STORY - 9
ART - 8
OVERALL - 8.5
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Review by Punchy

Story - Hey, wait a minute, the last issue of Cap I read was #50, did I somehow miss 550 issues? Heh heh, just a little joke for you there, Captain America has had 2 anniversaries in 2 months, and while #50 was a nice package, with a good main story and an awesome Marcos Martin piece, it is #600 that's the big one, a massive main story with major repurcussions, and some enjoyable back-ups. Now we all know about the hooplah around this issue, basically Steve Rogers is coming back soon, and this is setting it up, but this issue is much more than that, it's a series of wonderful character pieces that serve as a perfect reminder of how great Brubaker's Captain America run has been.

Bru's Cap is the first time I've ever really followed or enjoyed the character solo, I've liked the guy as part of the Avengers, but since I am not American, but British, there's a little disconnect there, I don't really identify with his Stars and Stripes Patriotism, but Brubaker has proven that all it takes is great writing to make Steve Rogers fascinating, from the excellent first arc which did the unthinkable and brought back Bucky, through to Steve's shocking death, and then to Bucky's taking over the role of Cap, and defeat of the Red Skull, and now this issue, it's been one of the best modern runs on a superhero I've read.This issue is one of Brubaker's strongest here, up there with his Criminal best. Here, he revives a conceit used during the immediate aftermath of Cap's death, chapter headings and different scenes for characters. This is an effective way for Bru to move around the world of Captain America, analysing how everyone feels one year since his death. Interesting that it's been a year in Marvel time, Tony Stark's fall from grace was pretty fast huh? The most important of these little vignettes is probably Sharon Carter's, Steve's lover, and also his killer, who finds, well, a magic gun that may be able to resurrect Steve. I'm not sure about this, but as Bru has said, it's not a Deus Ex Machina if you plan it, and people have been discussing the gun for a few months now. Is it a dna gun? What? I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. We then have the 1950s Cap, a quasi-villain trying to do good, but ill at ease with the modern world. Brubaker manages to get some political commentary going here, foreclosures and stuff, which as we all know, in the Marvel Universe are the fault of the Red Skull! I liked that stuff then, and it's interesting to see it linger.

The next scene is entitled 'The Youth of Today' and focuses on Elijah Bradley, the Young Avengers' Patriot, and Rikki Barnes, the Heroes Reborn Bucky. I honestly had no idea HR Bucky was in the Marvel Universe, but since Heroes Reborn were my first comics (I know, sets the precedent for my bad taste!) I have a soft spot for Rikki, and this has interesting set up for her future role, she probably could fit as BuckyCap's partner. I've also wanted to see more of Patriot in the main Cap book for a while now, ever since the Winter Soldier: Winter Kills one-shot, and his issue of Young Avengers Presents, written by Brubaker, and having these two together shows the strength of Captain America, he's inspired all these young people. The futrure is in safe hands! Then we have Crossbones and Sin in HAMMER custody, this was more of a straight action scene, but it was good, mainly thanks to Aja's artwork. The it's the New Avengers, just hanging out, which was fun, but also bringing in some Dark Reign conflict, do the Avengers go to a Central Park Vigil in costume, and attract the attentions of Norman's team? Cap has pretty much been separate from Marvel's big crossovers, which is probably for the best, but it makes it all the more special when crossovers do happen. Can I just say how much I like the Bucky/Clint Barton relationship? It's fun, I hope Clint plays a decent sized role in Steve's return. Then we get 2 pages of Red Skull, in his Armin Zola body, and learn that his plan is still ongoing. I love Brubaker's portrayal of the Red Skull, he's just so evil!

The final chapter, 'The Vigilant' begins as a focus on Steve Roger's former sidekick, The Falcon, who played quite a large role in the book just after his death, but has been absent of late, and I'm glad to see him back, he's an important part of the Cap universe. But it's also the Vigil, we see the New Avengers gather, we see the Dark Avengers hover over, and then take advantage of the situation, rather than start a fight. This was full of great touches, like the Sentry thinking Steve was a good man, and Norman's slimy speech, the repetition of 'That Son of a Bitch' sums it up perfectly. We even get some jokes about Simon and Garfunkel! Then, Sharon bursts in and tells the NA and Falcon that they may be able to save Steve! Aaaand... cut, buy Reborn bitches!

Overall, this was a fantastic anniversary issue, it examined all of Cap's world, celebrated what the character means, even in death, and teased big, big events to come. Yes, maybe the promo may have been too much, but it doesn't matter when the results are this good. I can't wait for Reborn, and what happens when the book itself returns.

Art - This was a bonanza artwise, suitable for an anniversary issue. The lion's share of the art was done by Butch Guice, who has been an inker and fill-in artist throughout much of Brubaker's run. It's a pity Steve Epting couldn't do this issue (I got his cover though), but Guice is a great artist, and was well up to the task. The other artists also fit well with their scenes, Howard Chaykin has his haters, but I like him a lot, and his square-jawed style fits will with a character from the 50s. Rafael Alberquerque is an artist I'm not familiar with, I think he worked on Blue Beetle for DC, but his clean style has a youthful feel, which is perfect for a scene focusing on teenage characters. Give him a big gig Marvel! David Aja is just amazing, nuff said, and Mitch Breitweiser is similarly awesome. If you like good, variedart, this issue is for you'

Best Line - Brubaker's dialogue isn't really quotable, it's just very natural, but I suppose it has to be 'It's Steve... I think we can still save him'

Back Up Stories! - 'In Memoriam' by Stern and Andrasofszky and 'The Persistence of Memorabilia' by Waid and Eaglesham

Story - Along with the fantastic main story, this special also has 2 back-up stories, by 2 famed former Captain America writers, Roger Stern and Mark Waid. Stern's story was OK, I had no idea what he was referencing, probably his run with John Byrne back in the 80s, but it showed that Steve Rogers was more than just Captain America, he was a man himself, and how his death impacs the 'normal person'. Waid's story was better I felt, but only because it didn't rely on past stories. The conceit of an Auction of Cap memorabilia was a strong one, and like Stern's story showed how Cap impacted normal people, the soldier, the policeman, it was sentimental stuff. I also liked how Waid used Tony Stark, he wasn't a bad man, and Steve Rogers was his best friend, Cap #600 wouldn't be complete without Iron Man! The evil comic book editor was a little cheesy, but it had a point, so I'll forgive it. These 2 stories were good, and put different spins on who and what Captain America is, and are good companion pieces to the main story.

Art - Good stuff again, Andrasofszky has a cartoony style, but it conveyed the emotion on Bernie and Josh's faces very well. Dale Eaglesham is just great, and on the basis of this and his work on Spider-Man, I can't wait for him to take over Fantastic Four.

Best Line - From Waid's story 'It's about giving'

9/10
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Review by BubbaKanoosh

Read this, and yeah, it was all filler but no action, but there are two little stories in this I loved teh best. The first feature was the Red Skull one, I loved it. It shows why he is the perfect adversary. He doesn't want to kill Captain America, he wants to make him suffer. Kill everyone he loves, destroy all he beleives him, kill his ideals, etc. I loved the part where he said Hitler had to stop him from killing Zemo when he suggested a plan to assasinate Cap. It was great. The art was dark and gritty it was fantastic.

The other story was the Crossbones one, again, I loved it. Crossbones is one of my fav. baddies. He is a loyal pitbull and he is madly inlove. I love how he just goes thru the prison until he finds Sin. It was a touching love story, reminded me of Natural Born Killers in a way lol

Overall, I am kinda stoked for Reborn, I wish BUcky was Cap a little longer but overall it should be interesting. Curious to see what Crossbones and Sin were referrring too with the "They dont even know..."

Stroy: 7
art: 8
Overall: 7.5

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Review by young neil

Captain America was on the receiving end of an immense amount of hype, even to the point of shipping the comic two days earlier in the states. Was it really worth it? Did the public really care about another character coming back from the dead? Depends on who you are, any comic book fan could see this was a solid book, with a great set-up for the oncoming “Reborn” mini-series.

Captain America #600 has one of the biggest page counts I’ve seen recently, and as I’ve only read Heroes Reborn: Captain America and the recent volume of Cap, some of the reprints and extra material were great added content.

The bulk of the story happens in the chapter “One Year After”, in which Sharon Carter is getting glimpses of her memory back allowing her to track down an important clue about the day that Captain America Died. We also see Rikki Barnes from the Heroes Reborn universe, who was Cap’s sidekick during this re-envisioned run. She tracks down Patriot in order to find the new Captain America. We also see a character that I’m not all that familiar with the “other” Steve Rogers. The hype surrounding this issue was the development with Sharon Carter. In this issue she is starting to regain her memories. With them she is starting to piece together key details about the day Steve died and her involvement. This culminates when we see her meeting with Bucky and the rest of the Avengers and telling them that she believes they can still save Steve. This is the launching point for the upcoming Captain America “Reborn” mini-series.

The art is mostly consistent, but having the number of artists on a book, there’s sure to be one out of the many that doesn’t sit well with any reader. Epting and Guice show their usual presentation with their darker, well enforced art. I for one am not fond of the artwork; however it suits not only Captain America but the tone of the book in general.

The extra material consists of two other stories, a reprint and a gallery of every Captain America cover. The other stories are really good and backed up the main story really well, conveying the public’s feeling for Cap and what he means to them. The reprint is from Captain America Comics #16 if I’m correct and that was fun to read, and I love the Red Skull as a character so it’s always good when he’s involved. The cover gallery then finishes the issue off, showing us Captain America through the ages.

Up until recently I wasn’t really a Captain America fan, but I felt this was a great anniversary issue and a great continuation of Ed Brubaker’s run. It was a great issue, whilst being reminiscent, it hints at future plot points. It’s a great stepping on point for new readers too, with the comic even having a short origin with all of the various highlights from Cap’s life. I just wanted to judge this book as Captain America #600 and forget the hype surrounding it, as I’m not sure Marvel will get the huge sales spike they were hoping for out of this comic. This was a solid book and a great anniversary issue.

Story – 8.5
Art 7
Overall – 7.75

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That gives Captain America #600 a group score of 8.06. No matter what you think of Marvel's marketing approach this time around, a good comic's a good comic.

For further discussion about this issue, it's marketing and election fraud in Iran, feel free to join us in our ongoing thread (http://www.theouthousers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24892&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=50) found in the Newstand forum.
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Just because we've broken format a bit doesn't mean that the Review Group isn't also taking care of its regular business.  MrBlack had the pick for June 10th and we are currently posting reviews for Transformers Spotlight: Cliffjumper from IDW.  That thread can also be found in the Newstand forum here: http://www.theouthousers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24976

Transformers Spotlight: CLIFFJUMPER

Written by Shane McCarthy and Denton J. Tipton
Art by Robbie Musso

Pursued by Decepticons and stranded on a backwater planet, Cliffjumper finds peace among the natives. But his new, simple life is shattered by a devastating tragedy.
 

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