Robot 6

Your Mileage May Vary: Captain America Reborn #5

So Captain America: Reborn #5 came out this past week, and the miniseries is approaching its end.

Naturally, the linked articles and quotes contain spoilers.

Timster of the Crusader’s Realm appreciates the action:

For this issue in particular, Brubaker went all out an provided the much awaited action bits – case in point – the ultimate showdown between the old Cap and new Cap, Bucky Barnes. Since Bryan Hitch is handling most of the pencils here, the final battle feels a whole lot like the Ultimates… with the absence of the witty and satire laced dialogue Mark Millar presented in his books. Brubaker instead delivers monologues and head to head conversations that will have the comic book fan breezing through without holding their breath for a moment. The splash pages are wonderful art though, and you’ll get plenty of Cap vs Cap time in the latter parts of the issue. In the other side of the spectrum, original Cap is looking for a way out of his new predicament and comes face to face with the Skull in his own mind, trying to reclaim dominance over his own body. I would have loved a fist to fist battle that was adjacent with the present day Cap vs Cap battle, but both fights lack a little more substance… which is possibly being saved for the last issue. Butch Guice also lends his talents to help Hitch with the illustrations, and you’ll hardly notice the difference, unless you look and analyze every panel and page.

Matthew Peterson of Major Spoilers found the issue a bit lacking:

This issue is a good one from an action perspective, with an all out battle between robot monsters and the Avengers, the fight between Cap and Red Skull in Steve’s mind, and the fighty-fighty of battlin’ Caps against a backdrop that represents liberty itself. That said, there’s not a lot OTHER than the action going on here, as Steve’s participation is kind of tangental to the action. Bryan Hitch’s art is always good, but here he reaches heights that I haven’t seen since The Ultimates Version 1 a few years ago. I can certainly see why they chose to expand this series, though, as finishing everything up in this issue could easily have made it all cramped. This issue, like Flash Rebirth #5, features a battle between resurrected hero and their definitive villain, but here it works better for a couple of reasons. Brubaker doesn’t spend a lot of time analyzing WHY Steve Rogers would stand against the Red Skull, it just has him do it, and more importantly, has him do it definitively. We’re in the home-stretch of the return, here, and it should be super-dramatic, the last fifteen minutes of an action movie. ‘Course, The Siege one-shot two weeks ago featured Steve post-Reborn, and the New Avengers Annual LAST week featured Steve post-Reborn, undermining the effect of the climactic battle for control of Steve’s body. Obviously, Marvel couldn’t delay all the crossovers just because they added an issue to this mini, but timing once again has damaged my reception of what could have been a hugely successful issue. Still and all, Captain America: Reborn #5 is well-drawn, and well-written, ditching a lot of the characters who had been carrying previous issues to bring Steve Rogers straight into the fray, and earns 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. With any luck, we’ll get the end of this story before Steve returns to wide circulation during ‘Siege.’ (I don’t know that I’d hold my breath, though…)

While Matt_Dunford of Fanboy Gaming thinks that series was botched:

Let me just start by saying that Captain America: Reborn could be the most poorly executed resurrection story of all time. Last July when it was announced that Captain America would be returning, there was a mixed reaction between fans. Some wanted him to stay dead, and some wanted him to return. But regardless of what your opinion on him dead or alive, we were interested in the story. However Marvel really should have made an effort to keep certain spoilers out of other books before they are announced in Captain America: Reborn. So far a resurrected Captain America has made appearances in Dark Avengers Annual, New Avengers Annual, and in last week’s issue of Invincible Iron Man. Reborn was supposed to be Marvel’s book to take on Blackest Night but its been spoiled by other books. Now let me address the issue rather than the politics surrounding it. After reading this issue I went to my bookshelf and picked up my hardcover of The Ultimates and then compared it to the art in this issue. Then I really had to question if the same guy drew them both? As soon as you open this issue you see Captain America standing in a rainy city, but what really catches your eye is Cap’s chainmail. The chainmail isn’t even drawn on, you can easily tell that it was added in from photoshopped and just looks ugly. The art in general looks very flat and one dimensional, and since this issue has a lot of fighting going on that can be very distracting. There is an image of a fight scene at the Lincoln Memorial where you can’t tell whether the columns or the Lincoln statue are in different depths because it looks so flat. I know Hitch can deliver good artwork, but I have to say you won’t find it here, you have to read The Ultimates if you want to see Cap looking his best in action. I’m not sure whether to pin this on Hitch or to the colorist, but it’s not good and there is way too much mixing of penciled art and digitally added art, which is never a good combination. As for the story its come down to the fighting, and nearing the end of the story. But as I mentioned earlier the ending has already been spoiled so there isn’t much to talk about. This could have been Marvel’s winning book but it has been botched big time.

So what do you think?

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What do I think?

I think Matt_Dunford doesn’t know how to read the credits of a book. It is not ‘the same guy’ who drew “The Ultimates” because Hitch is basically doing layouts on this book and Butch Guice is doing the heavy lifting. Anyone who knows anything about comics knows two things, Hitch is over rated, and Butch Guice’s art looks nothing like Hitch’s.
I’d take Guice over Hitch any day. I assume Hitch puts more asses in seats, because it only makes sense that know-nothings like this Dunford guy would assume Hitch drew the book instead of doing layouts and lending his name to something Marvel wants to sell to dullards that visit sites like “FanboyGaming.com”.

I’ve been following these roundups for a while now, and they never cease to amaze me with stupidity, either from the strange “I’m gonna make a bizarre non sequitur political point” rantings to the idea that someone who doesn’t know the difference between Hitch and Guice can review a comic book. I mean, it’s…basic knowledge. It doesn’t look like Hitch’s artwork on the Ultimates simply because it was not drawn by him. This kid claims to know all about the ‘inside baseball’ of it, yet he doesn’t know this simple fact?

Dumb.

To be fair, The Flash: Rebirth has had many of the same problems. Whereas Captain America’s resurrection started in July, Flash started in April, and they both still needed an extra issue to “complete” the story. And again, not only has the Flash resurrection story not finished, but Flash is showing up in the companies big crossover event and even another mini-series that follows both books. I’m not trying to bash either book, I love the characters and both books are done quite well, and I know that both stories were just an organic part of these writer’s plans. It’s just my opinion of resurrection stories is beginning to sour as of late. Characters coming back from the dead used to be a monumental event, but now they’re overshadowed to make way for the next wave of stories and if they don’t keep up, they’ll be left behind.

It’s interesting that both of the critical “reviews” mention the “spoiling” of the series by the Avengers annuals or whatever. That’s the conundrum of publishing in a shared universe, I suppose, but also seems to miss the point of discussing the story at hand.

My opinion of that story is…s’aright. This was probably my favorite issue of Reborn, simply because there felt like there was some forward momentum. And I’ll give Hitch some props for the not entirely original but still well done scenes from with Steve’s mind. But overall I wish that the payoff to several year’s worth of really good espionage caper stories could have been more of an espionage caper and less of an OMG action extravaganza. And that it had happened in the main book with Epting rather than Hitch on pencils/layouts.

And I’m still excited to see what Bru and crew do with the book and characters. All we really know is that Steve Rogers is back, we don’t know what condition his mind will be in or how he reaches’ his latest status quo. I’m kind of guessing/hoping that the Skull will remain in his mind a la Lukin, leaving Bucky to “wield the shield” as Steve won’t risk a symbol like Cap falling into the Skull’s hands and putting Rogers in the role of mentor to Bucky-Cap while also being guarded by him, so to speak.

Man, I love comics.

On the one hand I agree that it was jarring to see Cap in Siege when he wasn’t even really “back” yet, but at the same time how much of a spoiler is it to see him reborn when the series is called reborn?

Maybe I missed something, but Steve Rogers never appeared in the Siege: The Cabal one-shot from the beginning of the month. There was a mural behind Osborn (which also featured the rest of the classic Avengers, including Thor, Iron Man, and Scarlet Witch), but that was it.

Steve has only appeared in the Dark and New Avengers annuals, and Invincible Iron Man (though that’s still 3 too many since Reborn isn’t done).

As for the issue itself, while I though it was still good, I think it was the worst of the series. I hate villains posturing and heroes going “oh, no!” when they think they’re in danger. We all know none of them will die, so it’s pointless and moronic. The art was still pretty good, but I still don’t much care for the Hitch/Guice pairing (and yes, Hitch is doing the pencils, Guice is only inking, though his inks are overpowering).

Can’t wait for its conclusion.

Z Squared, I would argue to say that the two series are not that comparable considering Barry Allen’s resurrection story was finished a long time ago within Final Crisis and that Rebirth is actually a story about Allen’s place in the DCU.
It makes more sense for DC to move forward with the stories considering Rebirth isn’t completely hinged on Barry Allen’s return as compared to Reborn which is totally based on Steve Roger’s return.

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