(p) John Romita Jr.
(i) Klaus Janson
After the first issue received mixed reviews from critics, Rick Remender’s Captain America #2 comes in to cement the series as a sci-fi epic to rival the adventures of the Fantastic Four. The difference is, Captain America isn’t prepared for an alternate dimension where physics are suggestions more than rules and Arnim Zola has unleashed a legion of mutated experiments. Remender shines brightest when writing a team–he excels at playing various personalities against each other. Captain America sees Remender having to bounce Steve Rogers against himself.
Regular readers of “The Endless Reel” know that I don’t much care for inner monologue. I’m putting that out there because I have a predisposed bias against that particular form of narrative, as more often than not, it doesn’t effectively convey the ideas/emotions the writer is aiming to show. And while the inner monologue used throughout Captain America #2 isn’t awful, it definitely isn’t Remender’s strongest work. As evidenced by his phenomenal run with Uncanny X-Force, Rick Remender has a knack for ornate diction. It works for Fantomex, Betsy Braddock, and Warren Worthington III, but not so much for Steve Rogers. And really, the monologue is quite toned down from Remender’s normal style, yet still it’s overly thought out at times. Captain America is utilitarian, and that’s not a bad thing–it’s a big part of what makes him who he is. Steve Rogers has a very logical, reason-based approach to life and his own behavior, which suggests his thought process is more streamlined, less superfluous. Remender does well to eliminate filler words, but overall, we still get an intimate glimpse at Steve Rogers’ thoughts, and it’s uncomfortable. But then again, maybe that’s exactly what we need from a Captain America comic book–something that puts us out of our comfort zone.
It’s difficult to say how Rick Remender’s run with Captain America will pan out. With most other ‘Marvel NOW!’ titles, I’ve found myself either raucously sold or defiantly opposed. Remender’s Captain America is different from most other titles Marvel is currently offering: it sits outside the general Marvel turn of events due to it’s setting in Dimension Z, Captain America is completely out of his element (something we haven’t seen in ages), yet the fate of a whole universe hangs in the balance.