All-New Captain America #3

The tragic events from last issue are still reverberating in Rick Remender, Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger's "All New-Captain America" #3, as the new Cap, Sam Wilson, faces off against the all-new Red Skull, Schmidt's daughter Sin. In fact, it's pretty much an issue-long standoff without very much happening early on, as Sin just plays a lot of shallow mind games that aren't really bolstered by much else in the issue.

Through all of the psychological distress that Sin puts Cap through, Remender wrings out a pseudo-recap of Sam's origin as the Falcon, which is a nice touch this early in the series. The flashback is peppered with a lot of Sin's lies -- the revisionist spin she puts on it to try and break Sam -- but it makes for a kind of interesting swirl of actual histories juxtaposed with alternate possibilities. The biggest problem with this whole sequence is that it's simply too long and overly verbose, stretched out over a good portion of the issue, and consists largely of Sin's mean-spirited jabs and stinging words that don't really have any kind of emotional impact. Despite its slow pace, though, Remender does progress the story, although most of this advancement is near the very end. The sudden acceleration at the end gives the issue a strange wait-and-hurry-up feel.

Given the dreary environment of the story, colorists Marte Gracia and Dono Sanchez Almara keep the tones appropriately dark but, combined with Immonen and Von Grawbadger's rough-edged style and coarsely defined foregrounds, the art in its entirety looks more murky than simply dark and this is generally the same look that they maintain throughout the issue. The art team draws up one tough-looking Cap, at least, although they don't quite hit the same mark with Sin, as in many panels she looks more like Cassandra Nova. Oddly, she appears to check the condition of her nails in one shot, apparently forgetting that she's wearing gloves.

"All-New Captain America" #3 suffers from some over-indulgence on the psychological side, but the issue is salvaged by delivering a welcome look back at Sam's past and some last-minute story progression.

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