Captain America Theater of War: Operation: Zero Point #1

Reading this, I came to a conclusion: fill-in stories aren't that bad. As long as they're entertaining. Once upon a time, this story would have possibly been run in an Annual, or told over two issues to spell the regular artist as he pulled ahead in production. Now, however, Marvel has decided to supply its readership with entertaining stories of some of their more popular characters through a plethora of one-shots and specials.

This issue is Captain America's chance to shine, as the Marvel movie machine gets ready to fire up conceptualization and pre-pre-production of the Super Soldier's silver screen adventures. That said, this issue reads like an attempt at a screenplay. Unfortunately, it's a very short, rather thin movie. There's action, intrigue, and adventure, sure, but only partial helpings of each.

The Knaufs have a notion of who Captain America is (or was during WWII) and they stick to their guns here, but for the most part, this is not the Captain America fans of the Avengers are familiar with. Of course, this may be more true to Cap's original tales of adventure, as he is not hesitant to take the lives of the opposition, nor is he the polished field commander that the Avengers would later be willing to die for. This Captain America is an urban legend and a solider. With that in mind, this Captain America is more understandable and less offsetting than he initially appears.

Breitweiser seizes on that perfectly. His command of the good Captain is strong and virile, his action sequences gritty and realistic. Although the subject matter strays into the realm of science fiction, Breitweiser gives it all a tangible realism covered with a fine layer of actual grit. The artist's wife provides the atmosphere through her color selections and nearly every scene is perfect in its color scheme.

In all, this book was a good read, especially for folks who may be itching to read some adventures starring Steve Rogers, but it wasn't a very filling read. Consider it an appetizer for future adventures of the star-spangled warrior.

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