Comic Book Review: Captain America #39

Captain America is tacos in the bank. This title is always an excellent read. Captain America #39 should be entertaining as we get to see Bucky cross paths with the 1950’s Captain America. I am confident that Brubaker has another strong issue in store for us. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Captain America #39.

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Rob De La Torre

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the 1950’s Captain America watching Senator Wright giving a political speech at a rally. The 1950’s Captain America thinks how he is to follow Dr. Faustus’ plan and wait for the fake assassins planted in the audience to “attack” Senator Wright. The 1950’s Captain America thinks how he cannot wait to fight the imposter who is running around trying to be Captain America. (Bucky.) We see the “assassins” jump up on the stage to “attack” Senator Wright. The 1950’s Cap springs to action.

We cut to Bucky’s loft where he is sparring with Falcon. Bucky cannot believe that SHIELD could not find any useful information from the Arnim Zola robot body that they recovered. Bucky gets a huge shot in on Falcon. They stop sparring and Bucky comments that Falcon keeps worrying to much about Bucky’s metal arm.

Bucky then says that they have to find Sharon and save her. Suddenly, Flacon’s cell phone rings. It is Natasha who tells Falcon to turn on the news report. Bucky cuts on the television and we see the news report showing footage of the 1950’s Cap beating up the “assassins” and then addressing the crowd and publicly endorsing Senator Wright for the presidency.

Bucky exclaims that the 1950’s Cap sounds just like Steve Rogers. Bucky says that maybe Senator Wright is their link from Kronas to Red Skull to this other Captain America.

We hop over to Sharon in the medical bay at the Red Skull’s base. In the bed next to Sharon is Sin who is recovering from her injuries. Sin swears that once she is healthy and her father, the Red Skull, tells her that they no longer need Sharon that Sin is going to kill Sharon slowly and painfully.

We hop forward to three days later to a political rally for Senator Wright in Minneapolis. Senator Wright addresses the crowd. We see that Bucky is in the crowd. Bucky is waiting to see if this other Captain America makes an appearance. Bucky thinks that between the skyrocketing gas prices, the plunging dollar, food riots and the housing market crash that it seems that someone is having a fire sale on their country.

The rally ends and the other Captain America never shows up. Bucky thinks how he was only supposed to be here watching. That the Falcon will not like it if he goes outside his mission parameters.

We cut to Bucky going outside of his mission parameters. Bucky is in his Captain America costume and breaks into Senator Wright’s hotel room. Captain America takes out several Kane-Meyer guards protecting Senator Wrights’ room. Captain America thinks that since Kane-Meyer is a division of Kronas International that this is more proof that Senator Wright is their path to the Red Skull. Captain America enters Senator Wright’s hotel room and finds that it is empty.

We shift back to the medical bay at Red Skull’s base. Sin is being released from medical care. Sin slips back into her costume. Sharon has managed to work free from her straps holding her to the bed. Sharon decides that this is her best chance to make her escape from this facility.

Sharon quietly gets up and knocks out the doctor and proceeds to kick Sin’s ass. Sharon hold a scalpel up to Sin’s neck and tells Sin that she is going to walk Sharon out of this place.

We slide back to Captain America in Senator Wright’s hotel room. Suddenly, someone sneaks up behind Captain America and lands a massive punch on Cap that sends him flying across the room. A woozy Captain America thinks how that punch was too much power. That not even Steve hit that hard.

We then see the 1950’s Cap towering over Captain America. The 1950’s Cap tells Captain America to get up. The 1950’s Cap calls Bucky an imposter. The 1950’s Cap says that he is going to kill him. End of issue.

The Good: Captain America #39 was yet another strong read. Brubaker continues the slow burn approach as he delivers a story that moves at a measured pace. Brubaker manages to build plenty of excitement in the reader as we head to the climactic ending with the showdown between the two Captain Americas.

Captain America #39 was a well plotted issue. And the incredible plotting and long range and complex plotlines are the strengths of this title. Brubaker continues to make Captain America arguably the best plotted comic book on the market. It is always fascinating to watch Brubaker deftly mesh together the various complex and multi-layered plotlines.

Brubaker does not give the reader much action with Captain America #39. But that is not a surprise. Brubaker often eschews action for issues at a time in order to construct his brilliant plotlines. And we all know that we will be getting plenty of action with the next issue.

As always, Brubaker treats the reader to plenty of excellent character work and well crafted dialogue. All of the characters are three-dimensional. Brubaker is able to make each character as realistic as possible. And this commitment to strong character work leads to wonderful chemistry between the characters.

I dig the Red Skull’s sly move of employing the 1950’s Captain America in order to give a huge boost Senator Wrights’ presidential campaign. Having the 1950’s Captain America publicly endorse Senator Wright was a brilliant decision by the Red Skull to increase the appeal of his political pawn in Senator Wright. What was so enjoyable about this scene is how Brubaker is able to take these different plotlines and interconnect them in order to serve the Red Skull’s master plan of taking over America. This scene also emphasizes the surreptitious nature of the Red Skull’s attack on America.

Brubaker does a great job with the 1950’s Captain America. This is such a terribly exploited character. This poor bastard doesn’t even know his own true name. It is easy for the reader to be sympathetic for the 1950’s Captain America who has been reduced to nothing but a mindless tool to be employed by the Red Skull.

Brubaker continues to do a wonderful job with Bucky’s character. The reader can tell that Brubaker likes Bucky. I loved Bucky’s inner monologue during the political rally in Minneapolis. Bucky’s jaded and realistic outlook on life emphasizes how governments and politics are so easily used to exploit the general public.

Brubaker also continues to emphasize the differences between Bucky and Steve in how they operate. Bucky breaks his mission parameters in order to try and come into direct contact with the 1950’s Captain America. This is something that Steve probably would not have done. I like that Brubaker continues to show Bucky’s more impulsive and emotional attitude. And this aspect of Bucky makes this story more interesting since Bucky continually plays right into the hands of the Red Skull.

It was pretty cool to see Sharon kicking some ass in this issue. Sharon has not gotten to do that much since she killed Steve. Brubaker is beginning to make up for that by having Sharon quickly dispatch of Sin and then begin to plan a pretty ballsy escape from the Red Skull’s facility. You don’t mess with Steve’s baby’s momma.

Brubaker delivers a fantastic hook ending on Captain America #39. Evidently, the 1950’s Cap is even more of a powerhouse than Steve was. This should be a kick-ass brawl.

Rob De La Torre does a great job as the fill-in artist. De La Torre delivers plenty of quality artwork that matches the mood and tone of Brubaker’s story perfectly.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Captain America #39 was another enjoyable read. Brubaker is money on this title. There are few titles on the market as consistently good as Captain America. I strongly urge you to give this title a try. It will appeal to you regardless if you ever liked Captain America or not before.


  1. Another good issue; saying that this book is so consistent that it’s hard to review is now itself an obligatory note. Inconsistent books provide variety, and there are endlessly entertaining ways to bash crap.

    De La Torre’s a good fill-in; the artists do a great job keeping the look consistent (it was just announced at the Chicago WW that Luke Ross will be joining the book as the second rotating artist with Epting, starting with #43).

    Sharon’s been a minor presence since #30, but it’s good she’s not just sitting around waiting to be rescued, since this is attempt #2.

    I liked the scene with Bucky and Sam; they’re his best friends from different eras, and Sam, perhaps more than anyone, is going to be very watchful of how he handles the job, but there’s no attempt to generate false conflict over it.

    On another note, have you see WALL-E? I have to say, it may have displaced Iron Man as my favourite film so far this year. It’s like Chaplin’s City Lights, but with robots.

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