Will the Real McNiven Please Stand Up?

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You may have guessed by now that I’m a huge Captain America fan. You may have also guessed that I lost my marbles when not one, not two but THREE Cap comics were out this week! WGI contributor Maggie Curtis sums it up best with her spot on, high pitched impression of me: “Golly, its like Christmas whenever a Captain America issue comes out!” And so it is…

Yet this week I found these issues to be lacking this week. I’d like to think I’m not a snob when it comes to comics, (never mind the fact that I write a blog about them) however I do have high standards. I love Cap, but if he’s drawn by Rob Liefeld, you can bet I’m gonna burn that shit. I’ve dropped comics where the art was bad, don’t care who writes it. Comics are, of course, a visual medium! It also goes with out saying that you also need a great story. Captain America could be drawn by Frank Cho or Alex Ross but if he’s written by Jeph Loeb, you can bet I’m gonna tear the pages out and pretend they’re mini posters.

While this week we have the talents of Ed Brubaker, Steve McNiven and Alan Davis I felt underwhelmed by the contents of these issues.

Captain America #5 wrapped up the first arch of the newly launched series and while it was an intriguing start the ending seemed rushed. First of all “the dream is collapsing”. This ending felt a little too much like Inception with the building falling around Cap and this week’s antagonist, former allied operative named Bravo. But then again, I loved that movie so what the hell? It’s atmosphere for him to be fighting in.

When you turn the age Bravo shoots Cap with some sort of ray gun and Cap shrinks back to his skinny old self. I get that this would be Cap’s worst nightmare, and can appreciate the Flower’s for Algernon angle that Brubaker is bringing to this story but he pulled the same trick in Steve Rogers: Super Soldier. Maybe this is connected some how to that mini series? I’m willing to give Brubaker the benefit of a doubt.

However the true tragedy of this comic is the sudden disappearance of McNiven’s art work right in the middle of the comic. Literally. You can see McNiven’s art of the left page and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s on the right.

WHAT THE FUCK???

Sorry kids but what the hell??? Did McNiven get up to take a piss and Camuncoli jumped in to wrap it up? It terribly distracting and disorienting. That’s write I was dizzy and didn’t wear I was for 3 or 4 minutes, but when I came two, or too? Fuck it, I was pretty mad.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, Camuncoli’s art is just fine but it’d be like switching actors in the middle of a movie? Imagine watching Batman Begins, one minute Christian Bale is talking to Katie Holmes and the next minute its….

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MICHAEL KEATON!!!

Sorry, no Maggie whatserfaces here. So once I get myself together dive back into the story. Cap meets with Sharon this kiss blah blah but then a few pages its back to…

MICHAEL KEATON!!!

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No, but wouldn’t that be a twist? No, STEVE McNIVEN comes back!!! Damn this comic was giving me a concussion. Once I picked myself off of the floor I continued only to find…CAMCUNCOLI!!!! Thats right he finishes the last two pages.

What the hell is this? I’ve never had stroke before but man this comes pretty damn close, or like getting a shield thrown at your face!

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About Chad Parenteau

I'm a poet. I run the Stone Soup Poetry series in Cambridge that runs every Monday night. I review comics in my spare time.
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