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Thursday December 24, 2009 8:26 am

Marvel Comics Review: Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield




Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics

Captain America #1 Rating: ****
Well, I’m not sure why Marvel Comics released this one-shot epilogue to Captain America: Reborn when the series still has one issue to go, but it’s here. Reborn was originally slated to be a five issue mini-series, but at some point it was decided that an additional issue was needed to tell the story. So Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield is shipping on schedule because last week should have been the last issue of the Reborn series. I’m not sure why did not just push this issue back to ship the same day issue six comes out or make issue five a double sized issue. Money? Probably, but you could still make money by doubling the price of a double sized issue.

Whatever the case may be, Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield still stands as a great comic book even with all the nonsense of it coming out prior to the completion of Reborn. Even before Reborn was even announced, we all knew that Steve Rogers would come back to land of the living at some point. It was only a matter of when, the how was almost meaningless because fans just wanted their guy back in action. The issue opens with a flashback to the days of World War II and Cap and Bucky fighting I believe the Japanese - not the Germans, as you normally see during Cap flashbacks to the war.

We flash forward to the present and we have the two Caps contemplating their future. Bucky is already set to give up the identity of Captain America back to his mentor Steve. He fiddles around with some sketches as he does not want to go back to his old Winter Soldier grab. Steve is happy to be back, but is unsure of whether he wants to continue as Captain America. Since the Red Skull had him traveling through time reliving his life, he realizes that he has lived a long life and fought a lot of battles. He’s not sure if he can or even wants to keep fighting - especially since he sees that Bucky is very capable of carrying on the role of Captain America.

A news bulletin hits that the villain Mr. Hyde has escaped The Raft. Bucky and the Black Widow set out to capture him, while Steve tags along behind them unseen. Bucky is able to handle Hyde, but he notices Steve watching and he throws the shield to him for an assistance. Steve catches the shield and takes out Hyde for good. I geeked out seeing Steve back in action. It was very cool!

Steve informs Bucky of his decision to not retake the mantle of Captain America and instead let Bucky continue in the role. Bucky feels unworthy, but Steve convinces him to do it for him. In a chilling scene, we see Steve back at his apartment after the incident and he’s thinking out loud. It seems that when he was traveling through time, he didn’t just go into the past, he also went in to the future. In the future, Steve believes Bucky will die and in order to prevent that from happening, he wants Bucky to stay on as Captain America. We end with Steve visiting the White House where he meets with President Obama, who grants him a pardon for not registering under the Superhuman Registration Act and his acts during the super hero civil war. Steve explains to the President that he will not be taking up the mantle of Captain America again to which the President answers him by stating that the country may need him more than ever in the coming days. A reference of course the upcoming Siege storyline that will be taking place next year. We end there.

I mentioned before how I didn’t think Marvel would kill Bucky off again, but with the revelation in this comic, that might be the plan. Maybe we’ll see Bucky die during the Siege - perhaps at the hands of . One of the burdens that hung over Steve Rogers head was his failure to save Bucky’s life during World War II. Maybe Marvel wants to recreate that with Bucky dying again and Steve being unable to save him for a second time. That would be rough for the character, but it would definitely add some more drama to the ongoing story of his life. Right now Norman Osborn is the number one bad guy in the Marvel Universe. He’s become the Lex Luthor of the Marvel world. Having him kill Bucky will solidify his place in the world of super villains in the comic book genre. It’s one thing to be responsible for the death of Gwen Stacy, but to kill Bucky - Captain America’s best friend? He would become the most hated man in the Marvel world - and the most hunted. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I have no idea if Bucky will die or who will kill him.

This was a great book. What more can you say about and what he’s done with Captain America. The artwork by Butch Guice and Luke Ross is top notch. Check out the work they did during the scene where Steve takes out Mr. Hyde. Fantastic! Highly recommend this book for Cap fans and anyone else. Pick it up!

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