The Revolution is a big fan of Brubaker’s Captain America. This current story arc has been wonderfully crafted and we are rapidly heading toward the conclusion. Captain America #41 is the penultimate issue of this story arc so I expect Brubaker to crank out a gem of an issue that has plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Let’s go ahead and hit the review for Captain America #41.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: Steve Epting
Inks: Rick Magyar & Steve Epting
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Sam and Bucky in a hotel room playing poker. Of course, they are playing for Euros and not dollars. Suddenly, Redwing links up with Sam and reports back that the 1950’s Cap is still hiding out in the same spot for the past four days. Redwing reports that a group of AIM soldiers is now circling the 1950’s Cap’s location.
We see the 1950’s Cap in a diner with a bunch of AIM soldiers outside. Bucky then tells Sam that he knows that the 1950’s Cap is on the run. That he is trying to get away from the Red Skull and his people. Bucky states that they should be helping the 1950’s Cap instead of using him.
Falcon counters that he does not like this either, but the Red Skull has been tough to find and this has been their one real chance to find the Red Skull’s location. Falcon says that they can try and save the 1950’s Cap later, but that Bucky has to remember that the 1950’s Cap was crazy well before Dr. Faustus go a hold of him and that they may not be able to do much for him.
We see the AIM soldiers converging on the 1950’s Captain America. After a short brawl, the AIM soldiers take down the 1950’s Cap. We cut to the AIM soldiers reporting to Arnim Zola that they have captured the 1950’s Cap and are brining him back to the base.
Arnim Zola then turns to Red Skull and says that another one of Faustus’ messes has been cleaned up. Arnim Zola then states that they need Sharon Carter for one more thing. Red Skull then pulls off his mask and Lukin takes control of his mind again. Lukin states that he and the Red Skull cannot be stuck like this forever.
Lukin says that eventually he and the Red Skull will go insane. Lukin tells Zola to figure out whichever part of Doom’s device that still eludes his grasp. Lukin tells Zola to get it done now before anything else goes wrong.
We slide over to Faustus visiting Sharon at the medical bay at the Red Skull’s base. Sharon is strapped into her bed. Faustus states that she has lost her baby and that the Red Skull is angry about that fact. Faustus says that Sharon knew that they would never let her keep her baby and that she was prepared to die in order to keep her baby from the Red Skull.
Faustus agrees that he would rather see anything that he loved dead rather than in the hands of those madmen. Faustus tells Sharon that she is a remarkable specimen and that he hopes she makes it through the coming days. Faustus then begins to undo the straps holding Sharon into her bed.
Faustus tells Sharon that Red Skull still needs her. That Sharon is the constant. Faustus then gives Sharon her SHIELD GPS transmitter and then tells her to forget her grief. That she was never pregnant. Faustus says that she will gain control over her mind again once he leaves. Faustus says that Sharon has to be strong to survive. Faustus then exits the scene.
We cut to the next day with Captain America and Falcon heading toward the location where the AIM soldiers took the 1950’s Cap. It is located underneath Albany, New York. Falcon says that he could still call SHIELD for more intelligence. Bucky responds that he does not want SHIELD involved because he does not want to cause Black Widow any more trouble.
And on that note, Black Widow suddenly appears on the scene in a SHIELD flying car and flanked with SHIELD soldiers in air transports. Natasha tells Bucky that a disgruntled minion gave them a tip as to the location of the Red Skull’s secret base. Natasha figured that Bucky and Falcon would be headed this way as well.
Natasha then reveals that Sharon’s GPS transmitter went live last night. That SHIELD has been casing the facility and that it is not a trap. Natasha states that evidently Dr. Faustus ended his relationship with the Red Skull.
Bucky states that he thought he was not welcome anymore by SHIELD. Natasha replies that Faustus did not only give them the location of the secret base. That he also told them something else that is happening in Albany today. That it is a part of the Red Skull’s plan which Captain America is going to stop.
We cut to Faustus shaving his beard off. Senator Wright asks Faustus how is he doing to continue without Faustus’ advice. Faustus says that everything they have planned for Wright remains the same. Faustus tells him that he will see Wright again. Faustus then reminds Wright that during the debate tonight that when he hears the first shot that the man on his left will fall. Then Wright will dive to save the man on his right.
We zip forward to the big debate in Albany. We see Sin in the crowd. Red Skull radios Sin and informs her that Senator Wright is to be wounded only. Red Skull tells Sin to not disappoint him again.
We cut to the Red Skull at his secret base. The AIM soldiers enter into the base with the 1950’s Captain America in their possession. Red Skull directs the soldiers to place the 1950’s Captain America in the immersion room and then inform Dr. Faustus that his patient has returned for further education.
Red Skull then enters Arnim Zola’s lab. Arnim Zola says that it is done. Zola says that there is no test run. That this will either work or it will not. Arnim Zola then says that he is much more confident of the other device he was working on since he designed it with his own two hands.
Red Skull tells Zola not to worry about the first thing since Doom has too much pride to deliver faulty material. Zola comments that if he only had more time with Doom’s device that Zola could have unraveled its secrets.
Red Skull replies that Zola can do that later. For now the purpose that the Red Skull has always intended is more than enough. Red Skull instructs Zola to go get Sharon and to make sure that none of Zola’s AIM agents know what they are doing. We cut to several AIM soldiers reporting to Arnim Zola that Dr. Faustus is missing.
We shift to Dr. Faustus walking away from the facility where the debate is being held. Dr. Faustus whispers “Such a waste.” We see Sin inside getting ready to do her mission.
We slide back to Arnim Zola entering the medical bay and asking Sharon if she has seen Faustus. Sharon answers “No.” Zola then grabs Sharon and instructs her to come with him. That they have one more use for her. Suddenly, the wall outside the medical bay explodes. In storms Natasha, the Falcon and a bunch of SHIELD agents.
Zola sneers that Faustus was a traitor. Zola then drags Sharon with him to his lab stating that they have an appointment with destiny.
We hop back to the debate with Sin placing Senator Wright in the crosshairs of her sniper rifle. Sin mumbles “Yes Father. Understood, father. So weak..weak…weak little…little girl. Well, the hell with you father.”
Sin then pulls the trigger to kill Wright. Suddenly, Captain America’s shield comes flying in front of Wright and blocks Sin’s bullet. Bucky thinks how he would rather be with Natasha and Sam. That he would rather be bashing the Red Skull’s teeth in and saving “Steve’s girl.”
Bucky then thinks that Natasha was right. This is where he has to be. One of the presidential candidates asks Bucky who the hell is he? Bucky responds “What does it look like? I’m Captain America.” End of issue.
The Good: Captain America #41 was an excellent issue. Brubaker definitely cranks up the intensity with this issue as we get tons of plot development. Captain America #41 was well paced. For a Brubaker penned title, this was actually a fairly quick paced read.
Captain America #41 was strongly plotted. And this is no surprise. Brubaker’s strength is to deliver complex and intriguing plotlines that evolve naturally and always move with a purpose and a grand design in mind. The reader gets treated to plenty of plot development in this issue as everything begins to come to a boil.
As always, Brubaker delivers plenty of his nicely crafted “realistic” dialogue. The dialogue has a pleasant flow to it. Brubaker continues to deliver wonderfully three-dimensional characters. The chemistry between the characters is well done.
Brubaker continues to do a fantastic job with Bucky. I know that Steve Rogers is the one true Captain America and I know that Steve will eventually return bigger and better than ever. But, personally, I am enjoying Bucky as Captain America more than Steve. Brubaker is doing such an impressive job in molding Bucky into such an interesting character.
Bucky has so many character flaws that I find him to be a much more intriguing Captain America. Brubaker has done a brilliant job manipulating the feelings of guilt that plague Bucky. Normally, those guilty feelings are reserved for Bucky’s relationship with Steve. However, in this issue, Brubaker spins it around and surprises the reader by making Bucky feel guilty for using the 1950’s Cap like he was simply an instrument and not a person. Bucky knows what it is like to be used.
Bucky sees so much of himself in the 1950’s Captain America. They are both men who were brainwashed to the point that their true selves were lost and they existed only as a weapon to be employed by Lukin. Bucky sees the 1950’s Captain America trying to run for freedom and realizes that the 1950’s Captain America might be trying to seek his freedom like Bucky did. I am curious to see what Brubaker has in store with the 1950’s Captain America and if he can be rehabilitated like Bucky was.
Brubaker teases the reader with a bit more information concerning the two projects that Arnim Zola is working on for the Red Skull. One plan must involve using the Doom’s device (the Cosmic Cube?) in order to separate Lukin and Red Skull. The other plan involves Sharon Carter for some mysterious purpose. I am extremely interested in learning more about the Red Skull’s second plan involving Sharon.
Brubaker throws plenty of great plot twists and turns at the reader as we see the villains beginning to turn on each other in this issue. We all knew that Faustus was going to turn on the Red Skull at some point. There was just too much friction between the two characters. And the Red Skull took every opportunity to denigrate Faustus during this story.
Even though this was a predictable turn, it was still played out in an interesting and enjoyable fashion. The reader gets to cheer a bit as we have been waiting for a long time for SHIELD to finally discover the Red Skull’s secret headquarters. Brubaker has allowed Red Skull to go on quite a winning streak so far so it was cool to finally see the Red Skull suffering several set-backs in this issue.
Now, I have to admit that I was surprised by the second betrayal that we get in this issue when Sin turns on her father, the Red Skull. This sudden betrayal helped five Captain America #41 an intense and exciting ending. It looks like dear old dad will rue the day that he was not just a bit more loving to his daughter.
The final two pages were absolutely fantastic. I loved how Bucky made an impressively dramatic entrance. And his declaring himself Captain America with full confidence was sweet. It was great to finally see Bucky fully accept and embrace his legacy and the heavy mantle of being Captain America.
As always, Steve Epting does a wonderful job brining Brubaker’s story to life.
The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.
Overall: Captain America #41 was a fantastic read. Brubaker cranks up the intensity as we barrel along to the dramatic finish to this story. This title is always such an impressive blend of well crafted plotlines, dialogue, character work and action. Captain America still remains one of Marvel’s best titles currently on the market.