Review: Captain America # 34

Review

Captain America # 34

The Death of Captain America Act 2

The Burden of Dreams Part 4

Writer: Ed Brubaker

Penciler: Steve Epting

Inks: Butch Guice

Captain America has died and after a wild set of circumstances, the former Bucky and Winter Soldier is taking up the shield as an independent agent. This isn’t a spoiler, mind you, it’s been reported everywhere and is on the cover of this very issue. Bucky has a new costume, though it’s similar, but he also carries a gun. Meanwhile, Red Skull has nearly crippled the nation financially and has cost many Americans their homes. The new Captain America must find a way to stop him before it’s too late.

This issue is set up for the new Cap. He isn’t as fast or strong or strong as the original Cap, but he’s ridiculously well trained at using terrain and enemies strengths against him. That allows him to take up the shield and go head to head with terrorist threats sponsored by the Red Skull. Having stopped part of the Skull’s onslaught, he must deal with the rest. The tension is great as Skull feels one step ahead of everyone, but can’t have planned for the new cap, so the glimmering hope that Cap represents is present.

As for the characterization, Bucky is perfect. His fight scene plays off his background, and while in the future I’d really like to see some enhancements to be made to make him more like the original Cap in terms of skill set, this Captain America is more than effective in his own right. A man with a difficult life, he’s now trying to live up to the ideal of a friend. That kind of relatable motivation, plus the fact that he’s a legitimately built badass make the New Captain America a roaring success.

The new costume is a bit ugly. It’s brighter, when one thinks this character would prefer darker, though I suppose while some occasional black ops work would allow a costume change, the symbol is what’s most important now. The gun is a nice, important touch and allows for far more options than just a shield. There are a lot of non-lethal ways to shoot someone and it’s a lot less likely to be dodged than even an expertly thrown shield. The art goes to great pains to show off the sleek costume to good effect, and the action scenes are striking and notable. It’s a good thing this is attractive because this is so good and so important that it’s going to be read for a long time to come.

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