Comic Book Review: Captain America #18

Captain America is one of the Revolution’s favorite titles. Why? Not because of the character. Nope. Because of the incredible writing talents of Ed Brubaker. I always look forward to Captain America, because you know that Brubaker is going to deliver the goods. I’m sure Captain America #18 will keep that trend going.

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting

Art Rating: 8Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts off two months ago in Germany. We see 4 Nazi skin heads *BREEEP BREEEEP BREEEEP* Woah, is that an alarm going off? Yup, it is the Nazi alarm. The Revolution has a long standing Nazi rule. Absolutely no Nazis are allowed in a comic book unless it is a Captain America comic book…..and it is a WWII flashback scene. We officially have a violation of the Revolution’s Nazi rule!! Anyway, these skinheads are beating up a Pakistani guy saying that he doesn’t belong in Germany. (Because, clearly only blancos are racist in comic books.) Lukin is in a limo watching the skin heads while talking with the Red Skull whose reflection is in the window of the limo. The Red Skull tells Lukin that these skinheads will be loyal soldiers. Lukin warns the Red Skull that their relationship is simply temporary and that he will kill himself before allowing the Red Skull to take control of him.

One of Lukin’s men brings one of the Skin heads over and Lukin addresses him while wearing a Red Skull mask. (Hey now!). The Skin head is named Max Lohmer and Lukin/Red Skull tells him that he was friends with his great uncle and for him to get in the limo.

We cut to present day in London. Steve hooks up with Joe, otherwise known as Union Jack. Joe takes Steve back to his place where they meet up with Jackie, otherwise knows as Spitfire, the speedster for the Invaders. Steve fills them in on Lukin and his plans.

We then cut to Bucky at a newspaper stand in London. A woman yells out for someone to stop a man who just stole her purse. Bucky immediately takes out the mugger. The woman thanks Bucky. Bucky responds that it was nothing.

We cut to the next day. Captain America, Union Jack and Spitfire are watching a ship owned by Lukin’s company Kronas that is docked and being unloaded. Union Jack mentions that nothing is known about Lukin’s ships because not even M1-5 can get access to Kronas’ corporate logs. Captain America tells Spitfire to follow the trucks carrying the container’s from Kronas’ ships and to find out where they are going and what is inside of them. Captain America and Union Jack then go and sneak aboard the ship to try and find the ship’s log.

We then cut to Roxxon Oil’s private airfield. We see the Vice President of Roxxon who is a mere puppet now that Lukin’s company Kronas has purchased Roxxon Oil. The VP is talking to his assistant, Kristy, when suddenly somebody blows her away. Then the VP is shot. We then see Crossbones and Sin walk up to the plane. The pilot comes out because of all the gunfire and Sin tells the pilot to take them to London and he may get to live.

We cut back to Captain America and Union Jack on the Kronas ship. Captain America find the ship log and discovers that the vessel is from the port of Hamburg. Suddenly, Union Jack yells to Captain America that they have been discovered. And we have a braaaaaawwwl!! Captain America and Union Jack start fighting with a bunch of blonde haired thugs. They take out Union Jack. Captain America keeps fighting until an unknown figure lays a few punches on him. Captain America asks who they are. We finally see this unknown figure. It is the skin head from earlier, Max Lohmer, except he is all jacked up and big now. He is the new version of Master Man complete with a massive swastika on his chest. (Oh god, really? This was necessary?) *BREEEP BREEEP BREEEP* There goes the alarm here at the bunker. Yet another Nazi Rule violation! Master Man introduces himself and his soldiers as the Master Race. (Of course. What else.) End of issue.


The Good: Notwithstanding the egregious violations of the Revolution’s Nazi Rule, this was a very good issue. The opening scene with Lukin talking to the Red Skull was great. I can’t wait to see how Brubaker resolves this conflict. We have an uneasy truce between Lukin and Red Skull, but that is going to blow up at some point. And seeing Lukin wearing the Red Skull mask was an awesome touch!

It was cool to see Spitfire and Union Jack in action again. It seems that with all the Nazi’s running around Lukin’s ship that Captain America is going to suspect that the Red Skull isn’t really dead at all.

I like that we saw Bucky for just a little bit. The less Bucky the better. I absolutely love the character Bucky, but I like him operating in the shadows. I want to see the aftermath of his attacks and hear what he does through other characters. It makes him so much cooler that way. Less is more with Bucky.

Brubaker is doing a great job on Captain America. I love his writing. Brubaker delivers strong dialogue and a solid story with each and every issue. Captain America 18 is no exception. Brubaker pacing is just right. This issue wasn’t too slow or too fast. Brubaker has a good sense of timing and it shows. It is amazing how Brubaker can weave one smaller plotline into another while continuing to build on more long range plotlines. Captain America is really one of the best written and plotted comic books on the market. Brubaker not only can tell a great story but he also has excellent vision for the future of his plotlines.

Of course, I was happy to see Steve Epting return this issue. Epting’s art in Captain America #18 is excellent. Epting’s art matches Brubaker’s tone and mood perfectly. I love Epting’s dark and muted tones in his artwork. I hope Marvel keeps Epting on Captain America for a long time. Epting’s gritty and realistic art is the perfect touch on this comic.

The Bad: I have no complaints at all with the story except the liberal use of Nazis. I mean, c’mon, are there no other villains to use anymore? Do we have to drag out relics from the 1940’s to be our villains? Jeez. What is the statute of limitations on using Nazis as a convenient villain? I mean, really, did we need a new version of Master Man? Oh lord, seriously. I can’t believe I’m even talking about the fact that there is a new version of that character. Are comics really that stale and unoriginal that we have to keep digging up 60 year old Nazis to use as out villains? Or are comics just scared to use anyone else in the role of a hate mongering racist other than a blonde German? I don’t know, but the Revolution is over seeing those crazy gringos with swastikas running around comic books.

Other than that, I have no complaints at all. Brubaker delivered a solid and entertaining story. Epting served up some great art to compliment the story. Captain America is still one of the best reads right now. Period.