Comic Book Review: Captain America #40

The Revolution always enjoys the newest issue of Captain America. Brubaker is remarkably consistent on this title. There are few titles currently on the market that are delivering such a complex and intriguing tale as what Brubaker is giving us on Captain America. I am confident that Captain America #40 should be another fine read. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting

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

Synopsis: We begin with Captain America brawling with the 1950’s Captain America. Captain America thinks how the 1950’s Cap sound like Steve, but that he cannot be Steve for the simple fact that this Captain America is much stronger and faster than Steve ever was.

We cut to Sharon holding Sin at knifepoint and marching toward the exit door at the Red Skull’s facility. Sin spits that her father will kill Sharon. We then slide over to the Red Skull, Faustus and Arnim Zola watching the fight between Bucky and the 1950’s Captain America on several large screens. Red Skull states that he is glad that they sent the 1950’s Cap after Bucky sooner rather than later. Red Skull says that Bucky could become more than a nuisance.

We cut back to the 1950’s Captain America pounding away at Bucky. Bucky thinks how the 1950’s Captain America has shrugged off his best shots. Bucky thinks that he might have to resort to using his gun and shooting the 1950’s Cap.

We slide back to Sharon still holding a scalpel to Sin’s throat and standing in front of the exit door. Sin spits that Sharon will not kill her. That Sharon needs Sin’s voice in order to unlock the door since the exit operates off of voice recognition. Sin says that Sharon will not cut Sin’s throat. Sin head butts Sharon and then begins to kick Sharon’s ass.

We shift back to the two Captain Americas still brawling with each other. Bucky manages to land a nice combination that drops the 1950’s Captain America to the ground. Bucky pulls off the imposter’s mask and is stunned to see Steve’s face. Bucky stammers that the imposter cannot be the real Steve Rogers.

The 1950’s Cap stands back up and shouts that he is the real deal. The 1950’s Cap shouts that he is Steve Rogers. Bucky asks if the 1950’s Cap recognizes him. The 1950’s Cap calls Bucky an imposter who killed Bucky.

We cut back to Sin beating the hell out of Sharon. Sharon thinks how the drugs still have not totally left her system and that she is in no shape to fight Sin. The two women then struggle to gain control of Sin’s massive knife.

We shift back to Bucky talking with the 1950’s Captain America. Bucky then says that he did not kill Bucky because he is Bucky. Bucky then takes off his mask. The 1950’s Cap is totally dumbfounded. We hop over to the Red Skull shouting to Faustus that the 1950’s Cap is beginning to crack. Red Skull orders for them to get the 1950’s Cap out of there before they lose him. Faustus replies that he told Red Skull that is was still too soon to deploy the 1950’s Cap.

We slide back to Bucky telling the 1950’s Cap that Bucky knows who he is and that Bucky can help him. The 1950’s Cap stammers that he was told that the imposter killed Bucky. Bucky responds that he knows and that he is sorry. Suddenly, the 1950’s Cap snaps and yells that Bucky won’t be sorry. That Bucky will be dead. The 1950’s Cap then punches Bucky off the top of the building.

Luckily, the Falcon comes swooping down and catches Bucky. Falcon tells Bucky to relax. That the Falcon has his birds following the 1950’s Cap and that he will lead them right back to the Red Skull. Bucky apologizes for engaging the 1950’s Cap against what the Falcon said to do. The Falcon tells Bucky that Steve would have probably done the same thing that Bucky did.

Bucky then comments that the 1950’s Cap was not just crazy. That the 1950’s Cap was right. That Bucky deserves his hate.

We cut back to the Red Skull yelling at Faustus for what just happened with the 1950’s Cap. Faustus blames Arnim Zola and Red Skull for what just happened. That they have been proceeding on Red Skull’s schedule and that Zola still has not cracked Von Doom’s device, yet. Suddenly, a guard enters the room and tells the Red Skull to come immediately. That it involves his daughter, Sin.

We hop over to the exit door where Sin and Sharon were fighting. We see Sharon lying on the ground covered in blood with Sin’s knife sticking out of her abdomen. The Red Skull is furious and slaps Sin and calls her an idiot. Red Skull orders Sharon to go to the medical bay immediately. Red Skull tells Sin that she has no idea what she has done to him. Red Skull says that he should have never let Sin live. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Captain America #40 was another quality read. Brubaker moves this issue along at a measured pace. Despite the fact that we get tons of action in this issue, Brubaker still employs the slow burn method as not much plot development occurs in this issue until the very end.

It is absolutely no surprise that Captain America #40 was a strongly plotted read. Brubaker is an excellent plotter and is doing a fine job spinning a rather complex tale. Brubaker delivers two well choreographed fights scenes and does a fine job cutting back and forth between the two fight scenes at dramatic points. These well timed scene cuts succeed in creating plenty of tension in the reader and making Captain America #40 a gripping read despite the lack of much plot development.

The fight between Bucky and the 1950’s Captain America was fantastic. I enjoy how Brubaker keeps highlighting the differences between Bucky and Steve in how they approach being Captain America. Unlike Steve, Bucky acts more like a Special Forces soldier. And I mean the kind that would sneak into a room and kill a person in their sleep if the mission called for such an action.

Having Bucky momentarily think about having to resort to using his gun in order to defeat the much more powerful 1950’s Captain America was a cool touch. Like a true soldier, Bucky is going to use every single weapon in his arsenal in order to win a fight. Bucky is smart enough to know that there is no such thing as a fair fight.

Bucky’s encounter with the 1950’s Cap clearly ripped open old wounds and brought back Bucky’s feelings of guilt that he failed Steve while he was the Winter Soldier. In Bucky’s mind, his life as the Winter Soldier indeed “killed” Bucky and all the good that Bucky accomplished during World War II.

Bucky still has so many unresolved issues concerning his relationship with Steve and the 1950’s Captain America brought them all bubbling back to the surface. It will be interesting to see if Bucky can shake off these feelings of guilt and depression and live up to Steve’s the lofty standards as Captain America.

We get a little plot progression in the form of Falcon and Bucky about to finally discover the location of the Red Skull’s hideout. Our heroes should be able to track the 1950’s Captain America right back to the Red Skull. This means that Sharon might finally get rescued some time this year.

I enjoyed the massive infighting between the villains. It is realistic that such egotistical men like Red Skull, Arnim Zola and Faustus would have trouble subordinating themselves and their plans for the sake of a common cause. I am sure that Brubaker was using this scene to plant the seeds for an eventual blow-up between the villains that may lead to their downfall.

Brubaker ended Captain America #40 with an awesome hook ending. My jaw was on the floor when I saw this final page. I know that some readers might be irritated that Sharon is back out of commission and captured, but not me. This hook ending placed Sharon in an even more interesting position in the story than if she had escaped. I cannot wait to find out if Steve’s baby is dead or not. It certainly does not look to good at the moment.

As always, Steve Epting provides plenty of nice artwork to Captain America #40.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Captain America #40 is another quality read. Brubaker has made this title such a consistently good read. If you still have not given this title a try then you really should. Captain America is one of the better reads on the market.

2 Comments

  1. I can’t say anything bad about Brubacker run, but also nothing especialy good. I found it correct,but lack of depth or impact. He also uses archetypical tricks to gain attention: Bucky is alive! The 50s Cap is alive! etc. This only messes the colection continuity, in my opinion.

    What I like is that Brubaker has done some homework and retake characters as Crossbones and Sin. Only that when Crossbones appeared, he was much tougher.

    The differences you point between Capbuck (heh) and Rogers are the reasons whe Barnes could never become Captain America: Captain America never used the easy way. Never resorted to killing.

    Well, he did it twice, but that’s not the point…

    Some question: are you going to review the Stern/Byrne run? It has been re-edited that year, I think.

  2. It’s hard for me to imagine how this story is going to wrap up in two issues, when this arc ends. Certain to be epic.

    No idea what’ll happen with Sharon’s kid; killing it seems a little dark, even for this kind of book.

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