“Captain America” #5 from Rick Remender and John Romita Jr. is an interesting tale of emotion and family spread over the top of crazy action and warped ideas. Rick Remender seems to be throwing as much pulp into this book as he can and he’s got a great partner in crime in John Romita Jr. These two creators build a world and run it at hyperspeed, which can be exhilarating as often as it is discombobulating. This issue is a blur of action and war amidst which we get the true moments though they sometimes feel like they might be getting washed away a little.
Captain America and his adopted son Ian race to collide with Zola and his army in Dimension Z. What follows is a flurry of Dean White colors, with Lee Loughridge assists, and great Romita staging that comes across as a touch rushed. There is a family drama somewhere in this book but it flies by so fast I don’t know what to feel. Cap is twelve years into this thing, but readers are only five issues in, so building the emotional connection has been a little tough. There are some good moments here as to why Cap acts this way, and others act around him accordingly, but it’s a little surface-only at this stage.
The plot point of Cap having been infected with the Zola virus, of sorts, builds to a great climax at the end of this issue. Those pages hold the weight and grit I want the rest of the issue to replicate. Cap’s actions are enough to make you shudder and crack your neck. However, with the connection this virus formed, it makes me wonder why Zola wasn’t aware of one very major plot point all along. If he was in some form of connection to Cap then shouldn’t he have had insider information, or didn’t it work that way? I am left a touch confused.
John Romita Jr. has become the go-to guy to render violence in action at the moment. His work here, with dual inks from Tom Palmer and Scott Hanna, is blocky and strange. This works for the Dimension Z location completely. His war scenes often show brutality and precision, whereas some other panels feel a little muddied between the scopes, inks and colors all meshing together in a way that doesn’t lead to clarity. This war means little to me when I can’t make out much of it.
“Captain America” #5 is an issue where some twists are delivered. Cap’s new family in Dimension Z feels some upheaval and we end on a gut-wrenching scene of emotion and pain. This is a visceral Cap in a strange land. The art is so good when it works, but sometimes drops moments where more clarity is required. This run is still a wild ride of fun and it’s interesting to see Cap put through a completely different ringer.