Last issue was pretty damn good for a Civil War tie-in issue. Actually, it may have been the best one so far. And to think it didn’t involve any Tom Leher show tunes about Werner von Braun or any other Nazi references. Coincidence? I think not. Anyway, we are “treated” to yet another Civil War tie-in issue with Captain America #23. Can Brubaker deliver another readable Civil War tie-in issue? Let’s find out
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Mike Perkins
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: The issue begins with Bucky breaking into a S.H.I.E.L.D. base. Bucky locates a Nick Fury Life Model Decoy and deactivates it. Bucky radios Nick Fury and a hologram of Nick Fury appears from Bucky’s communicator. Nick tells Bucky to inject the nano-trojan into the L.M.D. Nick explains how S.H.I.E.L.D. has been using the Fury L.M.D. to make it look like he is still on their payroll. Nick says that the nano-trojan will allow him to access the Fury L.M.D. and gain any information that the L.M.D. receives.
Nick and Bucky then descend into the same tired, boring and hackneyed discussion about the Civil War that the readers have had pounded into their skulls in every single Civil War tie-in issue. You know the drill.
Bucky then access the S.H.I.E.L.D. computers and discovers that they were monitoring Lukin with their satellites. That Lukin paid a visit to Dr. Doom last week. Bucky laments that while heroes like Iron Man and Captain America are busy fighting each other, that big time evil criminals like Lukin are getting away with murder.
Bucky then exits the S.H.I.E.L.D. base. Unfortunately, outside the base, Bucky crosses paths with some S.H.I.E.L.D. cape-killers’ (I have to chuckle every time I see that stupid name for the S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers.) And it is official. We have a brawl. Bucky kicks some ass and takes out all of the cape-killers. Bucky then steals one of the cape-killer’s helmet to take back to Fury so they can figure a way to be able to deactivate their armor.
We cut to Dr. Doom’s castle in Latveria. Doom is meeting with the Red Skull. Doom tells the Red Skull that his people found everything and more what Red Skull said Doom would find at a dig site in Germany. Red Skull asks Doom if he now believes that he lived in Eisendorf 500 years ago as the Baron of Iron. Doom replies that he believes something even better. That someday in his future he will be the Baron of Iron. Doom holds some strange device and tells the Skull that he showed Doom a glimpse of his life to come. Doom says that Red Skull more than earned his fee. Doom says that the device will be delivered to Kronas’ labs at the Red Skull’s home base. That the device will be food for one use only. Red Skull retorts that that will be all he needs to ensure that this Civil War is just the beginning of his enemy’s suffering. End of issue.
The Good: Captain America #23 was a slightly above average read. The parts of this issue that concentrated on the extremely interesting Red Skull/Lukin plotline were great. The parts of this issue that concentrated on the same old tired regurgitated Civil War blah blah that we have read over and over again in every single Civil War tie-in issue were not terribly interesting.
Captain America #23 was nicely paced. As always, Brubaker delivered quality dialogue. I prefer Bucky as the quiet Winter Soldier rather than the chatty patty version that we got in this issue. However, it was great to see Bucky in action. Brubaker has made Bucky a serious ass-kicker and gotten me to love a character that I had always thought was pretty lame. The fight scene between Bucky and the Cape-killers was sweet. Brubaker never misses a chance to show the reader what a bad-ass Bucky truly is.
I dig Bucky working in the shadows on behalf of Nick Fury. Bucky needs to remain a wildcard. I don’t really want to see him operating out in the open. Nor do I want to see him working for a specific team or the government. I like him as a covert operative who is totally unpredictable. He listens to the beat of his own drum and does what he thinks is right and not what some government tells him is right.
The team of Bucky and Nick Fury is a very interesting dynamic and I’m curious to see what impact they have on the events in Civil War. It is always great to see Nick Fury. Fury is a cool character and Brubaker definitely knows how to write his character. Hopefully, after Civil War is over, Nick Fury will play a more prominent role in the Marvel Universe. If nothing else, since Brubaker is so good at writing Nick Fury, I hope we see more of Fury in the pages of Captain America.
The final two pages of this issue were great. This was really the only part of this issue that wasn’t filler. Brubaker is doing a great job with the Red Skull. I have no idea what diabolical plan Red Skull has in mind, but if he is enlisting the help of Doctor Doom, then it certainly is going to be huge.
Perkins is a great fill-in artist for Epting. Perkins’ style is a great match for Brubaker’s story. Rarely am I happy when the fill-in artists appears on a title. Happily, that isn’t the case when Perkins makes an appearance. He delivers quality artwork.
The Bad: Like I said before, the parts that concentrated on the tired Civil War plotline were boring and uninteresting. It was the exact same dialogue that we have read countless times before in every other Civil War tie-in issue. Marvel must think that their readers are totally retarded since Marvel feels the need to re-explain the entire anti-registration belief over and over in every tie-in issue. Hey, Marvel, I understood it the first time. It really isn’t all that creative or complex. Each time a character starts in on this tired and often repeated diatribe about the Registration Act, my eyes roll into my head and I slip into a fugue state. Invariably, I wake up several minutes later on the floor with foam coming out of my mouth. Thanks, Marvel!
Another problem I had with the Civil War plotline is that Bucky’s monologue concerning the events of Civil War made him came across more of a whiner than the bad-ass that Brubaker has been writing him in past issues. That seriously lessened my interest in the scenes dealing with the Civil War events.
Honestly, Captain America #23 and the last issue have read like nothing more than pure filler. Brubaker does a nice job trying to cover the fact that these issues are just filler by teasing the readers with two pages of plotline at the ends of both Captain America #22 and #23 concerning the Red Skull.
Overall: Captain America #23 was a slightly above average read and wasn’t too bad compared to your average Civil War tie-in issue that we have gotten on some of the other titles. Having said that, I cannot wait for Civil War to end so it can continue on with Brubaker’s intriguing plotline involving Lukin and the Red Skull. Right now Civil War is just getting in the way of Brubaker’s wonderful story that he was weaving on this title.