Can Ed Brubaker bring his Captain America magic to another book? Jude Terror finds out for you!
Credits & Solicit Info:
STEVE ROGERS SUPER-SOLDIER #1
Steve Rogers was America's first Super-Soldier - Captain America - and he's fought for his country since World War II. Now a face from the past reappears, a woman that cannot be alive because Steve watched her die! Steve has fought for so long, and lost so much -- is his past coming back to haunt him now? Or could this be the plot of an old enemy who controls nearly everything he touches, including Steve's mind? From multiple Award-Winning Captain America scribe Ed Brubaker and acclaimed artist Dale Eaglesham comes a mini-series no Cap or Avengers fan will want to miss! Rated T …$3.99
IN STORES: July 8, 2010
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 is the first "normal" Steve Rogers story since the character's return from his "death" following Civil War. We've seen Steve Reborn, and we've seen him help put an end to the Dark Reign and bring about the Heroic Age, but this is the first story since Steve's been back that doesn't have a greater purpose to serve. It will be enjoyed and judged on its own merits. Ed Brubaker and Dale Eaglesham are up to the task.
Brubaker's choice of premise is curious here. Someone is trying to duplicate the Super Soldier serum. This is something that probably happens twice a week in the Marvel Universe. Luckily, Brubaker is a talented enough writer to pull off such a classic plot without making it feel tired or rehashed. It helps that this is a solo story, where Steve doesn't need to be bothered being an iconic symbol or the leader of the entire Marvel Universe. Instead, Brubaker returns to what made his early run on Captain America beloved by fans: ass-kicking espionage action.
Steve learns from Pete Wisdom that the grandson of Professor Erskine, the creator of the Super Soldier Serum, has supposedly cracked the formula and intends on selling the formula to the highest bidder. Steve springs into action, concerned not only with the political ramifications of armies of Super Soldiers, but also with the effects of the drug on individual human beings. Ed Brubaker is a writer that truly understands Steve Rogers. He's not just the world's greatest hero because he's always saving the world. Anybody with powers can do that. It's because, even while being assaulted by musclebound Super-Thugs, Steve is worried about their well-being.
There are some clumsy moments here. Jacob Erskine's motivations feel a bit forced as he constructs an elaborate plot to meet Steve Rogers and tell him how he plans to cure cancer with the Super Soldier Serum where a simple phone call might easily have done the trick. However, it does serve to set up parallels between the fate of the elder Erskine and the younger. In fact, this use of history in a meaningful way is another quality that has made Brubaker's run on Captain America an instant classic.
Dale Eaglesham is an excellent choice of artist for this book. He's able to handle dark and emotional scenes of treachery, hard-hitting action, and diner conversations equally with ease. His style is realistic but still resembles a comic book, exaggerating physiques without distorting them. his Steve Rogers is bulky like a running back rather than a bodybuilder, which is true to the character's abilities. Furthermore, his depiction of the pre-serum Steve is wonderfully scrawny, both reminding readers that this a comic book we're reading and not DVD stills and contrasting his current heroic stature with his humble beginnings.
Best of all, Eaglesham's Steve Rogers looks like Steve Rogers and not just a generic blond-haired, blue-eyed all American. This is a distinction that many artists fail to grasp, and it's always a pleasure to see an artist who can draw the character we're all familiar with instead of slapping a costume onto his own style. This looks like a Captain America book, except, of course, for the lack of the classic Captain America costume, which takes some getting used to.
It's tough to judge a modern run against beloved classics, but I think it's safe to say that Ed Brubaker's Captain America will go down as one of the classic runs on the character. Readers are being treated to an extra helping of Captain America with this mini-series, and my advice is to enjoy this work by a master in his prime. This is the perfect book for readers who were clamoring for the return of the Steve Rogers but suffering from big event fatigue. It captures the essence of the character and references continuity while providing all the reader needs to know about it right in the story. Long-time fans and casual readers alike will be able to appreciate Steve Rogers: Super Soldier. Make it an ongoing, Marvel!
Rating: BUY IT!
My rating scale:
BUY IT - You have to read this for the foreseeable future.
TRY IT - Worth at least a few issues.
WAIT FOR IT - Pick this up in trade if it lives up to its potential.
SKIP IT - Spend your money on something better.