Comic Book Review: Captain America #22: Civil War

The Revolution loves Ed Brubaker’s Captain America. This title is always a solid read. Now, Captain America #22 is certainly going to be nothing more than a filler issue. Why do I think this? First, Mike Perkins is filling in for regular artist Steve Epting. Plus, this is a Civil War tie-in issues which have basically been nothing more than filler issues in every other title like Spider-Man and Avengers. Even though this is a Civil War filler issue, I’m sure that Brubaker will still deliver a good read with Captain America #22. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Mike Perkins

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: This issue starts with Sharon Carter talking with a S.H.I.E.L.D. psychiatrist for a psych evaluation. Sharon tells the doctor about how Maria Hill asked Sharon to use her close friendship with Captain America to set up a trap so S.H.I.E.L.D. could arrest him. Sharon tells the doctor that it angered her that Maria Hill would ask Sharon to use her relationship with Captain America in order to capture him.

Sharon mentions that she is not sure why she objected so strongly to Hill’s plan. Other than Captain America and the Falcon, Sharon has never liked costume heroes. That she has watched Captain America fight the pro-registration forces and saw the damage that he was inflicting by putting himself above the law. Sharon states that she is military inside and out and knows that orders come before friendships.

Sharon then recalls her conversation with Dum Dum Dugan after he tried to apprehend Captain America. Dum Dum mentions that he didn’t sign on for this type of work. That S.H.I.E.L.D. shouldn’t have to be policing heroes fighting heroes.

Sharon tells the doctor that Dum Dum was right and that she had to help end this senseless fighting. We then flashback to Sharon meeting with Steve. They go to a safe room that Sharon has nearby. We then see Captain America and Sharon dressing after having plenty of S-E-X. Sharon argues with Captain America about him not supporting the Registration Act. (It is the same blah blah blah that we have read in every other Civil War tie-in issue. I won’t go any further into it. By now you know it by heart.)

We see a bunch of Cape-killers landing outside of an apartment building. They bust through the walls of one of the apartments. It is empty.

We cut back to the present with Sharon in the psychiatrist’s office. Sharon tells the doctor that she gave the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents the wrong address. Sharon says that she has no idea why she did that. That she is not the kind of person to choose love over duty. Never. Sharon can’t even believe that she told Captain America that she loved him. She hasn’t used that word in years. Sharon asks the doctor if she is no longer fit for duty. The doctor says that they will have to meet in two days and continue the discussion.

We shift to the S.H.I.E.L.D. psychiatrist walking through a graveyard and meeting with the Red Skull. TH psychiatrist hits a button on his belt and shuts off the illusion that masked his true appearance. The psychiatrist is actually Faustus. Faustus tells the Red Skull that Sharon Carter is falling so deeply in love with Captain America because Faustus is wishing her to do so. Red Skull says that with the American idiots busy fighting each other that they are forgetting who their real enemies are. End of issue.

The Good: Captain America #22 was a well written issue. This was definitely the best Civil War tie-in issue that I have read so far. Brubaker is such a talented writer. He delivers a well paced and nicely constructed story. As always, Brubaker served up some strong dialogue that made this an enjoyable issue to read. Brubaker’s strength is that he doesn’t need to rely on action to tell his story. This issue is very dialogue heavy and has little to no action. However, it is still a good read.

Captain America #22 is a nice character study that examines the delicate and fluid relationship between Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers. I enjoyed Sharon’s internal conflict between her love for Steve and her sense of duty as a life long military person. It is an unenviable position to be place in. Sharon supports the Registration Act and, outside of Captain America and the Falcon, has no use at all for costumed super heroes. However, the idea of being bait to lure Steve into a trap leaves a bad taste in Sharon’s mouth. I enjoyed her struggle with why she would defy orders when she knows that orders come before friendships.

The ending was a nice twist that I didn’t see coming. The psychiatrist is really Doctor Faustus. And to top it all off, Faustus is working for the Red Skull. And then we learn that Faustus is making Sharon fall deeply in love with Captain America and thereby disobeying S.H.I.E.L.D. orders. This was a great ending. Red Skull’s comment about the pro and anti-registration sides being total idiots was great! The Skull is correct. The pointless fighting between heroes is letting the villains like the Red Skull flourish. I am very curious to see what Faustus and the Red Skull are planning with Sharon. This should make for an interesting plotline.

Usually, I dislike guest artists. Perkins is definitely an exception to that rule. Mike Perkins does a great job as the guest artist. His style is the perfect fit for the tone and mood of title. Perkins’ style isn’t too far off from Epting’s style.

The Bad: Let’s be honest, Captain America #22 was nothing more than pure filler. Yeah, we had a surprise ending that hinted at some nefarious plan being concocted by Faustus and the Red Skull. But, other than the final page of this issue, we were treated with nothing more than a filler issue. This is why I usually despise tie-in issues. They never advance any of the title’s plots nor do they create any new plots. At least this issue managed to create a new plotline at the end of the story.

Overall: Captain America #22 was a filler issue; however it was the best of all the Civil War tie-in issues up to this point. I hope that the next issue is not a Civil War tie-in issue. I am eager to return to Brubaker’s story which is infinitely more intriguing and complex than the Civil War storyline.