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Captain America #1: Review

Jul 2011
Ed Brubaker, Steve McNiven

Story Name:

American Dreamers, Part 1

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain America #1 Review by (July 16, 2011)
Review: So it’s finally here: the new series—putting Steve Rogers back in the Cap costume in time for the movie. I’m not surprised they did this: any new readers the movie may pick up would only be confused if they started reading the comic and Bucky Barnes was Captain America. At least it wasn’t as dumb as giving Spider-Man organic webbing to bring the comic in line with that movie (and Cap was there). So—unlike most series restarts, the creative team is a familiar one: Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven. McNiven is no stranger to drawing Cap and his art is excellent. The big question is Brubaker. Since he began writing Cap in 2004, his every story revolved around Bucky Barnes, first bringing him back as the Winter Soldier, then with Steve’s “death,” promoting him to Cap. For the first time he is handling a Cap series in which Bucky is not a factor. Which is a surprise in itself, and a refreshing one: I was fearing that Steve Cap’s first mission would be to avenge Bucky’s death, while brooding about his doubly-fallen partner all the time (though presumably that death will actually be avenged in the final issue of FEAR ITSELF). Looks like Brubaker has moved on along with Steve. His first move is a startling one: killing off Peggy Carter; she has been in the comic for decades and was getting quite old, and hadn’t played much of a role in some time—but still, she’s the female lead in the movie that comes out next week. After that, Ed conforms to the expectations of the new fans of the movie by incorporating a wartime subplot and using Hydra as a villain—but this is no mere bit of pandering to gain new readers (unlike some other #1 issues coming out soon) but a real story. In today’s world of decompressed comics, it’s hard to tell what a comic is like from only one issue but Ed and Steve seem off to a good start.

Comments: Jimmy Jupiter may be the same character from MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS issues #28 to 42 (a Timely comic from the 1940s), a schoolboy who could travel to Fairyland. Seen briefly in Cap's review of his life: Bucky Barnes, Iron Man, Hawkeye, the Red Skull, Master Man, Skrulls.

Captain America #1 Review by (September 7, 2011)
Having Cap know Peggy's name in WWII undermines this plotline. However, there is a way out. Selective amnesia due to his long suspended animation was used to explain why Cap didn't initially remember Sub-Mariner as an ally in the Invaders. The same thing could have blocked out Peggy's name. And Sharon could have asked Fury and Dugan to keep quiet. The dating of this issue also causes problems. It is set in 1944 after the liberation of France. But in ToS#77 Peggy gets amnesia during the liberation of Paris. And it appears as if she is dumping Codename: Bravo in favour of Cap at this point. Whereas CA: First Thirteen has she and Cap an item in 1943. Codename: Bravo himself is an invention for this story. But as Peter surmises, Jimmy Jupiter was a Timely character with his own strip in Marvel Mystery Comics #28-48 and Human Torch #10.

This issue revisits Captain America's WWII romance with Peggy Carter. And it pulls the rug out from under earlier stories by having the various characters involved at the time, including Cap, know her by name. Peggy wasn't part of the original Timely run, she was an invention of modern Marvel in Tales of Suspense. Cap's WWII love was first briefly mentioned in ToS#75, and then #77 showed her to be a woman working in the French Resistance. She and Cap only knew each other by their codenames, but still managed to have a relationship. The recent 1-shot Captain America and the First Thirteen supports this idea. Not long before Cap's suspended animation, ToS#77 says the woman got amnesia and disappeared. In ToS#75 Cap first saw the SHIELD agent he would later come to know as Sharon Carter, and was struck by her resemblance to his old love (as he comments on here). At this time we and Cap didn't know they were related. And not knowing Peggy's name, Cap had no reason to remark on the coincidence of surnames. I don't know if it was part of the original design that Peggy be Sharon's sister (later amended to be her aunt as modern Marvel got further away from the 40's). Nothing more was said until Captain America #162 where we learned the WWII woman's identity, and why Sharon never mentioned it. And Peggy started her modern-day career as a SHIELD agent and later in Avengers support staff.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Steve Rogers, in Paris for an important appointment, reflects on his life as he dresses: his childhood during the Great Depression, his coming of age during World War 2, his days as Captain America, his battles with the Red Skull and Nazi legions, and his ongoing adventures with the Avengers. With Sharon Carter he arrives at a cemetery to say goodbye to an old friend—Peggy Carter, Sharon’s aunt, who has passed away at the age of 91. Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan are also there to pay their respects to the former member of the French Resistance and Cap’s early love. Suddenly Steve sees a laser sight hit Dum Dum’s chest and he hurls the SHIELD man to the ground as the other two throw themselves out of the way of the shot. Steve takes off in pursuit of the gunman, leaping over the cemetery wall and chasing him through traffic. When he spies the assassin, a white-haired man in a red and black outfit, he is so stunned he does not notice the villain has fired a grenade at him. Steve’s incredible reflexes allow him to dodge an exploding car. When the others arrive, he orders them back to the States—Jimmy Jankovicz has woken up…..

Paris, 1944: Captain America meets with a team consisting of Peggy Carter, Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan, and an agent known only as Codename: Bravo—a white-haired man in a red and black outfit. They are planning a mission to capture Baron Zemo, who is rumored to be working with a mysterious group called Hydra. Cap and Peggy will attack Zemo’s stronghold where Bucky is already on the scene, while Dum Dum and Bravo will invade the Hydra base. The only problem is….they don’t know the location of the Hydra base. That’s where their secret weapon comes in: Fury introduces them to a boy named Jimmy Jankovicz A/K/A Jimmy Jupiter….

In the present day, Steve, Sharon, and Fury visit the secret government nursing home where Jimmy Jankovicz is a resident. They are informed that Jimmy awoke from his long coma a few months ago but is still nearly catatonic….

Back in the War, the night before the mission, Peggy tells Bravo (real name Richard) she is breaking off their relationship; he suspects it’s because she prefers Cap and he grows bitter….

As the trio leaves the nursing home, Fury starts to fill Sharon in on the details of that mission, when Steve is shot in the back by Hydra agents. His life is saved by the shield strapped to his back; he quickly changes into Captain America and he and his allies battle the enemy who are wearing a variation on Hydra’s standard costume. As the survivors drive away, Cap sees they have kidnapped the elderly Jimmy—and they led the enemy to him. They realize that Hydra must be working for Bravo—which only makes Sharon more curious about the wartime mission….

Elsewhere, Codename: Bravo is enlisting a new ally in his vendetta against Captain America: Baron Zemo….

Steve McNiven
Mark Morales
Justin Ponsor
Steve McNiven (Cover Penciler)
Mark Morales (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Baron Zemo
Baron Zemo

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Codename: Bravo, Hordes of HYDRA, Jimmy Jupiter, Peggy Carter.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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