While I would have preferred that Captain America: Reborn #1 be part of the regular Captain America series (especially the odd few months while it will be running concurrently with the regular Captain America book), that’s an extremely minor complaint. Captain America: Reborn #1 is a good comic book, and that’s the most important thing.
The method of Steve Rogers’ return is interesting, because you have two practically opposite issues at hand. On the one hand, the Red Skull’s secret plot is almost comically convoluted (“And then I shot him with a gun, but no one noticed that it was a SPECIAL gun!”), but on the other hand, the end result of Steve Rogers being disconnected through time (a la Slaughterhouse Five) is very intriguing (and writer Ed Brubaker is certainly up to the task of handling how such an event could be psychologically devastating to someone), so it’s worth the convoluted explanation setting it up.
The rest of the issue is mostly set-up, introducing the characters to the (presumably) new audience who will be picking this book up and introducing the basic plot of how Cap could be brought back. Probably the most fun aspect of the comic is seeing Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice draw various Marvel characters that we don’t normally see them draw (like Ares and Hank Pym). By the way, does Hank seriously not wear shoes in his current Wasp outfit? Weird.
The fact that Hitch and Guice got to draw so many different characters is a hint of how widespread Brubaker had the action, which is interesting to see him spread his approach to Captain America to a larger tableau of heroic characters – Brubaker generally has a very unique approach to guest stars when they show up in Captain America, and I think he will lend that same unique approach to these characters that he has not done as much work with in the past, like Hank Pym and Norman Osborn, the latter who seems to be set to play a major role in this storyline.
Brubaker, as anyone who has been reading his Captain America could tell you, is a master of the slow burn, with plot lines slowly adding up to form a cohesive and interesting story, and this story is certainly the accumulation of years of stories (which also makes it kind of odd that it is not in the book where all those stories accumulated), so I’m confident that it will all be worth it.
For this issue alone, though, it is pretty much set-up and really nice artwork, but it is well-delivered set-up, so I think it was a good first issue.
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