Wayback Reviews: Captain America v5 #15-21 

Continuing my re-read of the Brubaker run on Captain America. I’m attempting to do more than just giggle and clap at how awesome these comics are, but maybe that is the best way to express how good they are.

 Captain America v5 #15-21

Writer: Ed Brubaker

Artists: Mike Perkins, Steve Epting

Publisher: Marvel

Quick Review: This series of issues are two smaller arcs that greatly build off of one another. What am I saying? This part of the Brubaker run is just one giant story that has a tremendous slow boil. Everything is spy noir. Nothing is what is seems to be. Are you even sure who the bad guy is even though he is clearly on the page? Giggle, giggle, clap, clap, go read these comics.

Analysis: What really sets Brubaker apart from so many creators is his ability to lay the groundwork for a fantastic uber-story while never forgetting that each issue needs to be an enjoyable read. These first 21 issues are still one long story, but I have yet to finish a single issue unsated. I hate to praise Brubaker by damning others, but so many creators write so much for the trades that reading a single issue is akin to treading water. Nothing seems to happen. Here there is always a felling of progress. Even if the issue is devoted to Crossbones being an evil bastard towards a brainwashed, and therefor innocent, Sin.

Or maybe you want to read this partly because even though you have flag-draped heroes fighting flying Nazis there is still a feeling of realness to everything. The realness is both in the mundane attitudes of bureaucrats being territorial of “their” super-heroes, to just in the sense of history that drips off these characters. You can pick this up with no knowledge of Spitfire but will no doubt grasp that this is a character with weight and experience. It’s all there an the page and just flows. This learning curve doesn’t feel chunky.

Did I mention how pretty this book is? Be it Perkins or Epting, the art is amazing. Layouts, action, figure work, acting, it’s all there. I’ve really got to get better at talking about the art, because these pages deserve better praise. It’s all just so pretty.

I just hope nothing bad happened to Sharon when Crossbines and Sin had her…

Wrap-Up: Listen, with the new Cap movie just a few months away you know you want to read some of what makes Cap great. I guess you could pick up Marvel’s current options. I haven’t read it so I can’t say how it is. But this Brubaker run just keeps positioning itself as the gold standard, especially for modern comics.

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