Comic Book Review: Captain America #24: Civil War

Captain America #24 is yet another Civil War tie-in issues. Brubaker has managed to make these Civil War tie-in issues a bit more palatable than the tie-in issues on other titles. However, these Civil War tie-in issues are far below the quality of story that Brubaker consistently turned out on Captain America before the Civil War tie-in issues started. Let’s hit the review.

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Mike Perkins

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: We begin with Maria Hill informing Sharon Carter that her clearance is not being revoked due to Dum Dum Dugan and the S.H.I.E.L.D. psychologist vouching for her. Sharon tells Hill that she was conflicted, but she isn’t anymore. Hill tells Sharon that she is being reassigned to a task force hunting down Nick Fury.

Sharon leaves and is upset that she has to hunt down her old friend. We see Sharon back in her quarters where the Nick Fury L.M.D. is waiting for her. Nick Fury is controlling the L.M.D. remotely. Nick tells Sharon that they have a problem. Sharon tells Nick that she has been assigned to a taskforce that is hunting down Nick. Nick tells Sharon that Hill doesn’t know anything about Sharon working with him. Nick then tells Sharon that Cap is in trouble

We then cut to Captain America taking time out of his busy schedule of leading the Anti-registration side to continue his search for the Red Skull. Captain America says that Nick Fury picked up some A.I.M. transmissions from a certain location. Captain America figures that since A.I.M. has worked for the Red Skull that this would be worth investigating. Captain America takes out the two Hydra guards outside the building. Captain America puts on one of the Hydra outfits and sneaks into the building. The facility looks cleared out. That A.I.M. knew someone was coming for them. Captain America searches the main computer bank to see who was in charge of this facility. Captain America is shocked when he learns who was running the facility.

Suddenly, some Hydra agents enter the computer room and ask Captain America what he is doing here. Captain America rips off the Hydra outfit and we officially have one big brawl. Captain America starts kicking plenty of Hydra butt. The Hydra agents realize their mission has been compromised and set of bombs that blow up the facility. Captain America survives the blast and stumbles out of the building. There he is greeted by a platoon of S.H.I.E.L.D. cape-killers. (Nope. It hasn’t changed over time. That name is still absolutely moronic.)

Suddenly, the capekillers’ armor spark with lightning and they all fall to the ground unconscious. Sharon Carter is on the scene in her flying car. Captain America hops in and they take off. Sharon tells Captain America that she used a device that Fury made to disable the cape-killer armor. That Nick sent Sharon to warn Captain America that Hydra was making a move into the A.I.M. facility. Captain America asks Sharon that he thought she was conflicted. Sharon responds that she stopped being conflicted after Goliath got killed. Captain America then tells Sharon that he discovered some terrible news about what the Red Skull is up to.

We then shift to Kronas’ office building. We see Red Skull talking to the person who was running the A.I.M. facility. The Red Skull tells the person that he will be given all the equipment necessary to finish his work. That he will be under the Red Skull’s supervision. The mystery person is revealed to be none other than Arnim Zola! End of issue.

The Good: Let’s cut right to it. If it weren’t for the excellent ending, this Captain America #24 would have gotten 2 out of 10 Night Girls for the writing. The parts of this issue that dealt with Brubaker’s continuing plotline concerning Lukin and the Red Skull were great. The parts dealing with the Civil Storyline were forced and dull.

It was great to see Brubaker expanding Nick Fury’s role in this story. I have always liked Fury and I’m glad that after his long absence that he is finally starting to make his presence felt.

Brubaker delivered another excellent ending. Arnim Zola! Wow. Brubaker is bringing back all sorts of old school Captain America villains. It will be interesting to see what Arnim Zola is feverishly working on and how it will play into Red Skull’s nefarious plans. This ending certainly hooks the reader into wanting to get the next issue.

Brubaker serves up his usual strong dialogue. I am enjoying the chemistry between Captain America and Sharon Carter. They make a great team. Sharon is certainly my favorite love interest for Captain America. Brubaker crafted an enjoyable mix of drama and action. One of Brubaker’s strengths is knowing how to deliver a well balanced issue.

As always, Mike Perkins is a solid fill-in artist. Perkins style is a nice match for the gritty and realistic mood of this title. Plus, I think Perkins draws a great Captain America. Perkins is a rarity; a fill-in artist who does an excellent job and doesn’t make me miss the regular artist all that much.

The Bad: Aside from the very last page, Captain America #24 was a rather pedestrian read. I am very hesitant to back Brubaker for anything. That is because I respect his talent and for the fact that he is one of the most consistent and dependable writers in the comic book industry. However, Captain America #24 was one of the weakest issues that Brubaker has turned out on this title.

My biggest complaint would be the lack of consistency with regard to Sharon Carter’s position in the Civil War. Brubaker went to great lengths in Captain America #22 to show how strong Sharon’s convictions are concerning supporting the law. That other than Captain America and the Falcon, Sharon has never liked costumed 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.

However, in Captain America #24, Brubaker has Sharon do a total 180 and go against absolutely everything she said she stood for in Captain America #22. It makes absolutely no sense that Sharon would betray S.H.I.E.L.D. and decide to join the Anti-registration side. And no, Sharon stating that Goliath’s death is what made her change her mind doesn’t work for me. That is a flimsy and shallow excuse that Brubaker uses to explain Sharon’s radical shift in her position on the Civil War. After all, Brubaker had Sharon state that other than the Falcon and Captain America, she doesn’t even like costumed heroes.

This was an absolutely pathetic job by Brubaker. Now, it may have been out of his control. I didn’t think that Brubaker is one of the writers behind the Civil War. I got the impression that Bendis and Millar were the main writers behind Civil War. Perhaps Marvel is forcing Brubaker to have Civil War tie-in issues and Brubaker is trying to work the Civil War storyline into the mix with his already established storyline on this title.

Either way, the problem is that the Civil War storyline doesn’t mesh well with Brubaker’s existing storyline. The Civil War storyline is a square peg that Brubaker is trying to jam into a round hole. The Civil War storyline is hurting and getting in the way of Brubaker’s excellent existing storyline. The incredible flow and wonderfully plotted storyline that Brubaker had rolling on this title has become a dull and slow mess once the Civil War tie-in issues started.

Overall: Captain America #24 is a Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde comic book. The parts that deal with Brubaker’s existing storyline are great. The parts that deal with the Civil War storyline are boring. Brubaker has failed at trying to mesh together the two separate storylines. Having said that, I know that once these pointless Civil War tie-in issues stop that Captain America will return to be an excellent read.