As Hydra’s plans for world domination near their completion in “All-New Captain America” #6, writer Rick Remender and artist Stuart Immonen bring all of the players to their final positions on the game board. Nomad (Ian Rogers) fights against Baron Zemo and Batroc while Captain America (Sam Wilson) struggles to restrain Baron Blood before Blood can unleash a sterilizing bloodbath upon the world.
Remender offers more insight into Sam Wilson’s private life through a flashback visit with Sam’s sister and her children but harshly jolts readers back to the present day as Cap and Blood soar across the skies with “TWOK” and “KWNK,” “KRUNCH,” “TWUK” and KRASHH” punctuating the battle. Joe Caramagna’s sound effects are as descriptive as Stuart Immonen’s detailed artwork, adding jagged fluidity to the shield-to-jaw “KRUNCH” and mortar divots that infer brickwork to the thunderous “KRASHH” as the two flying grapplers rumble into an abandoned office building.
Every member of the creative team brings their best effort to “All-New Captain America” #6, with Wade Von Grawbadger’s supple, fluid inks adding shadow and mystery to Immonen’s drawings. Immonen draws wrinkles in Zemo’s mask as the villain rants to his comrades and keenly describes the explosive device to readers through finely planned and brilliantly executed composition in both panel and page. As Immonen does, some of the panels get real tight, almost clipping the story, but what Immonen appears to be doing there is inviting the readers in for a closer look. They need to see the anguish and the struggle. Those pieces should be unavoidable and unapologetic, and Immonen makes them so.
Marte Gracia’s coloring is as critical to the story as Von Grawbadger’s inks, Immonen’s drawings or Remender’s dialogue. The nostalgic grays of flashbacks to Wilson’s history, the blazing hot reds of explosions and the variation in sky color from purply-blue to light blue change as the story demands and as the developments shape it.
The subplot of Hydra’s infiltration also comes to a head in this issue, leaving a solid cliffhanger at the end of “All-New Captain America” #6 with double tags pointing to both “Hydra Ascendant” and “Secret Wars.” While it is not completely clear where Sam Wilson’s flight path is pointed, Remender makes it quite clear that Wilson is not done fighting the fight as Captain America.
“All-New Captain America” #6 is a solid, satisfying conclusion to a story that has shaped the new Captain America, defined his cast and reinvigorated the franchise. Choosing to use a myriad of foes from Captain America’s mythos was an inspired decision, and one that Remender, Immonen, Von Grawbadger, Gracia and Caramagna delivered quite well. This run of the star-spangled, shield-slinging Avenger is certain to be remembered fondly, and I will certainly enjoy re-reading it at some point in the future.