The second issue of Reborn finally puts Steve Rogers back in the spotlight, immediately following the unexpected reveal at the climax of the first issue. Just as that didn’t skimp on giving readers the promised explanation as to how, why, and where Steve Rogers was alive, this issue doesn’t hold back on putting him back in the spotlight.
It’s clear from the kind of reaction “Reborn” has received that Brubaker has actually created an interesting dilemma for himself. By building Bucky/The Winter Soldier into a compelling character and an effective replacement for Rogers, he’s left fans unsure whether they actually want to see the real Captain America back in action.
It’s through an action-packed second issue that Brubaker begins to build a case as to why we might care that Captain America is coming back. As well as some appearances by classic Captain America villains, we also get the chance to re-visit a few memorable moments in his past. I won’t spoil which, but suffice to say, they should be familiar to all readers.
However, that’s only half the story. As well as Rogers bouncing around in time, we also get to see what the current Captain America — and his ensemble cast of partners — are up to. Following the almost timeless setting of Brubaker’s Cap run, it’s odd to see his characters running free in the Marvel Universe, fighting Osborn and the Dark Avengers, and it makes for an odd read as a result. Part of me feels like the series should’ve stayed with the villains Brubaker has already using to retain the self-contained structure — though the other part of me is just glad to see Hitch drawing characters he hasn’t previously touched.
As you might expect, this issue features a couple of major plot developments, including the cliffhanger — though in this case, they’re likely to be far more interesting to those who have been following Brubaker’s run than for those who just came aboard for the mini. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed this issue more than the first, or perhaps I’m just glad that the pretense of “death” for Rogers is over, but either way, I’m now looking forward to issue #3.