Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: Out of Time: Part 1
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Steve Epting
Colored by: Frank D’Armata
Lettered by: VC’s Randy Gentile
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Ed Brubaker probably makes my personal top ten comic book writers. Anytime I pick up an issue written by him, I am confident that I will enjoy it. His interviews on Captain America indicated that he had a love for and handle on the character of Cap.
That being said, even with his assurances that the solicitations for this issue were not necessarily straight, I thought this opening arc sounded a bit…humdrum, if you will. Captain America up against Red Skull? Didn’t Kirkman just write about that for four issues? The Cosmic Cube figuring prominently in Skull’s plans? I think Waid went that route…twice.
For the bulk of the issue, it seemed as though my impressions were correct. Do not get me wrong here, it was all very well told. Epting has a great sense of storytelling and scope. D’Armata’s coloring has a nice darkness to it without obscuring the pencil work. Brubaker’s script nails Red Skull’s voice, accurately depicts the bickering relationship between Sharon Carter and Steve, and does a good job of demonstrating the turmoil that Cap is experiencing post-“Chaos.” However, we have seen this turmoil before, this bickering before, and Skull’s monologue is hardly breaking new ground in the super villain speechifying world. Typical and told well, but Brubaker usually brings a little something more to the table.
Silly me, it turns out he did. I am limiting my comments here so as not to spoil anything, but there is a moment towards the end of the issue that turns the whole plot on its head. Turns out that Brubaker was not just blowing smoke when he said that what we knew about the story was, in fact, very little. I wish I could talk more about the sort of juxtaposition between two characters that is shown in this incident, but again I fear ruining the surprise. I’ll simply say this, for all of you who question the super villain monologue-ing (thank you Incredibles for that term), this ending will ring true to you. I think I’m hooked.