Your Mileage May Vary: Captain America Reborn #5

So Captain America: Reborn #5 came out this past week, and the miniseries is approaching its end.

Naturally, the linked articles and quotes contain spoilers.

Timster of the Crusader's Realm appreciates the action:

For this issue in particular, Brubaker went all out an provided the much awaited action bits - case in point - the ultimate showdown between the old Cap and new Cap, Bucky Barnes. Since Bryan Hitch is handling most of the pencils here, the final battle feels a whole lot like the Ultimates... with the absence of the witty and satire laced dialogue Mark Millar presented in his books. Brubaker instead delivers monologues and head to head conversations that will have the comic book fan breezing through without holding their breath for a moment. The splash pages are wonderful art though, and you'll get plenty of Cap vs Cap time in the latter parts of the issue. In the other side of the spectrum, original Cap is looking for a way out of his new predicament and comes face to face with the Skull in his own mind, trying to reclaim dominance over his own body. I would have loved a fist to fist battle that was adjacent with the present day Cap vs Cap battle, but both fights lack a little more substance... which is possibly being saved for the last issue. Butch Guice also lends his talents to help Hitch with the illustrations, and you'll hardly notice the difference, unless you look and analyze every panel and page.

Matthew Peterson of Major Spoilers found the issue a bit lacking:

This issue is a good one from an action perspective, with an all out battle between robot monsters and the Avengers, the fight between Cap and Red Skull in Steve’s mind, and the fighty-fighty of battlin’ Caps against a backdrop that represents liberty itself. That said, there’s not a lot OTHER than the action going on here, as Steve’s participation is kind of tangental to the action. Bryan Hitch’s art is always good, but here he reaches heights that I haven’t seen since The Ultimates Version 1 a few years ago. I can certainly see why they chose to expand this series, though, as finishing everything up in this issue could easily have made it all cramped. This issue, like Flash Rebirth #5, features a battle between resurrected hero and their definitive villain, but here it works better for a couple of reasons. Brubaker doesn’t spend a lot of time analyzing WHY Steve Rogers would stand against the Red Skull, it just has him do it, and more importantly, has him do it definitively. We’re in the home-stretch of the return, here, and it should be super-dramatic, the last fifteen minutes of an action movie. ‘Course, The Siege one-shot two weeks ago featured Steve post-Reborn, and the New Avengers Annual LAST week featured Steve post-Reborn, undermining the effect of the climactic battle for control of Steve’s body. Obviously, Marvel couldn’t delay all the crossovers just because they added an issue to this mini, but timing once again has damaged my reception of what could have been a hugely successful issue. Still and all, Captain America: Reborn #5 is well-drawn, and well-written, ditching a lot of the characters who had been carrying previous issues to bring Steve Rogers straight into the fray, and earns 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. With any luck, we’ll get the end of this story before Steve returns to wide circulation during ‘Siege.’ (I don’t know that I’d hold my breath, though…)

While Matt_Dunford of Fanboy Gaming thinks that series was botched:

Let me just start by saying that Captain America: Reborn could be the most poorly executed resurrection story of all time. Last July when it was announced that Captain America would be returning, there was a mixed reaction between fans. Some wanted him to stay dead, and some wanted him to return. But regardless of what your opinion on him dead or alive, we were interested in the story. However Marvel really should have made an effort to keep certain spoilers out of other books before they are announced in Captain America: Reborn. So far a resurrected Captain America has made appearances in Dark Avengers Annual, New Avengers Annual, and in last week’s issue of Invincible Iron Man. Reborn was supposed to be Marvel’s book to take on Blackest Night but its been spoiled by other books. Now let me address the issue rather than the politics surrounding it. After reading this issue I went to my bookshelf and picked up my hardcover of The Ultimates and then compared it to the art in this issue. Then I really had to question if the same guy drew them both? As soon as you open this issue you see Captain America standing in a rainy city, but what really catches your eye is Cap’s chainmail. The chainmail isn’t even drawn on, you can easily tell that it was added in from photoshopped and just looks ugly. The art in general looks very flat and one dimensional, and since this issue has a lot of fighting going on that can be very distracting. There is an image of a fight scene at the Lincoln Memorial where you can’t tell whether the columns or the Lincoln statue are in different depths because it looks so flat. I know Hitch can deliver good artwork, but I have to say you won’t find it here, you have to read The Ultimates if you want to see Cap looking his best in action. I’m not sure whether to pin this on Hitch or to the colorist, but it’s not good and there is way too much mixing of penciled art and digitally added art, which is never a good combination. As for the story its come down to the fighting, and nearing the end of the story. But as I mentioned earlier the ending has already been spoiled so there isn’t much to talk about. This could have been Marvel’s winning book but it has been botched big time.

So what do you think?

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