Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: White #1
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
STORY: Jeph Loeb
ART: Tim Sale
COLORS: Dave Stewart
LETTERS: Comicraft's Richard Starkings
COVER: Tim Sale
VARIANT COVERS: Tim Sale; Skottie Young
60pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (November 2015)
Captain America created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
“You Can't Take it With You”
Captain America is a Marvel comics superhero. He was created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (cover dated: March 1941), which was published by Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics. Captain America had a sidekick named James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes. The original Bucky was created by Simon and Kirby and also first appeared in Captain America Comics #1.
Captain America: White is a five-issue miniseries written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale. The series follows the World War II-era adventures of Captain America and Bucky. Captain America: White is part of Loeb and Sale's “Marvel Color” series, a group of comic book miniseries which present an intimate portrait of some of Marvel Comics' greatest characters during their early years. Previous installments in this series include, Spider-Man: Blue, Daredevil: Yellow, and Hulk: Gray.
Captain America: White #1 (“You Can't Take it With You”) opens during Captain America's first meeting with the Avengers, after he was “defrosted,” which was originally depicted in The Avengers #4 (cover dated: March 1964). A conversation with Nick Fury, with whom Cap fought during WWII, turns his mind back to the war and to his partner, Bucky, believed to be dead. The Captain remembers how, as Steve Rogers, he trained James Buchanan Barnes, which led to him being Captain America's partner, “Bucky.” Captain America remembers that, as his bond with Bucky strengthened, he began to worry about the danger their missions posed for his dear, younger partner.
I did not know about Captain America: White until I saw a listing for it in the Diamond Distributors' new release list the week the first issue shipped. I was even more surprised to discover that Captain America: White #1 reprinted the contents of Captain America: White #0, which I obviously also did not know existed.
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are fan favorite creators individually and as a team. However, they are not favorites of your humble reviewer, dear readers. Loeb has written a few comic books that I have enjoyed: The Witching Hour (a prestige-format miniseries from DC Comics), Batman/The Spirit #1, and about half of Batman: Hush, to name a few others. Other than those, I cannot see why Loeb is considered such a exceptional comic book writer. There are some Tim Sale works that I have liked.
Captain America: White #1 and #0 (which is re-presented/reprinted in #1) are professional productions. They are not bad, but they are not particularly good, although the creative team and staff's efforts to produce something exceptional is obvious. What else could we expect of a comic book project that began development over seven years ago? I can give credit for effort.
But... the story simply does not interest me that much, at this point. I am curious about it, simply because Rogers' relationship and deep feelings and concern for Bucky seem weird and filled with sexual repression. Tim Sale's composition, design, and graphic style here seems like a weird and desperate mimicry of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's art for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. I do like Dave Stewart's gorgeous coloring.
Hmmm. Will I read more Captain America: White? I don't know. I am curious. Maybe, it will grow on me, and I'll have another thing to add to my short list of Loeb and Sale projects that I like.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux
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