My vocabulary is limited by a lack of superlatives for the artistic combination of Chris Samnee and Bettie Breitweiser. The best I can do beyond “perfect,” “awesome,” “wonderful,” “fantastic,” “great,” or “stupendous” is “Brilliant!” That pretty well covers it, though. Chris Samnee, whose art I adored on “Thor: The Mighty Avenger,” continues to prove why he’s one of the most unconstrained talents in comics today. He’s able to flip between Cap and Bucky to Steve and James and back without losing momentum, and he doesn’t slack off on detail, either. His characters are all magnificently simplistic, not overly rendered with overbearing lines, but simply crafted as though from clay or even clouds. That said, though, Samnee securely places all of his characters in a lush world made more realistic by Breitweiser’s flawless colors.
The story by Ed Brubaker and Marc Andreyko helps, of course. This issue delivers a story that can be enjoyed on its own merit or as part of the larger tapestry. Either way, the writing duo presents the reader with a noble and caring Steve Rogers and a tough, strapping Bucky. These characters are unmistakable in their voices, and they remain so regardless of the situations — fighting Nazis and meeting girls — that they run through in this issue.
Fans of Brubaker’s work on “Captain America” undoubtedly followed the title through the transformation to this current iteration, and they are being rewarded for that faith with the story of one of the most beloved heroic pairings in comics’ history.
This is the Captain America book you want to get if you walked out of the movie pumping your fist in the air and hoping to find a story that captures that pacing, excitement, and spirit. Thanks to the intricate page layouts and luxurious detail that Samnee puts into every panel, this issue feels like a very worthy successor to the movie. There’s a lot here and it’s paced briskly, just as it was on the big screen.
I wasn’t a regular reader of Brubaker’s “Captain America,” but once I heard Samnee was headed to this title, I made sure to keep an eye out for it. I’m glad I did. Each issue is sowing further seeds of digging deeper into Brubaker’s run and filling some of the gaps I left.