Review: ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #3

ANCAPA2014003_DC11ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #3
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Stuart Immonen
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 14, 2015

The high octane offensive continues as HYDRA keeps slamming Captain America with a crushing wave of mental and physical attacks.

If Rick Remender’s goal is to keep readers feeling as harangued as Sam Wilson is, he’s succeeding. Steve Rogers’ greatest villains are teaming up to give the new Cap a trial by fire and this furiously paced story certainly conveys the blitzkrieg they are sending at him. HYDRA is throwing everything at Cap, to the point where, at times, the story seems disjointed. After the shocking events to cap off issue #2, the pace gets faster as Captain America is given no pause before he is being put through the ringer by Sin. Remender’s voice for Sin is strong, she’s just as crazy as her old man, though her references to Sam Wilson’s very early years come across jumbled and confusing rather than threatening. To hearken back to Sam Wilson’s origin in this way made the story more convoluted (especially for any new readers who are unfamiliar with Sam Wilson’s origin) and dragged this tale down somewhat right in the middle. The frantic pace of action and explosions mixed with the continuity-heavy references to Sam’s past led to a story that is rocky and not anywhere near as suspenseful as it should have been. While the brutality of HYDRA is on full display, Sin seems to act as more of a vehicle to show how the reach of the organization has grown rather than put Captain America in real danger. All of this said, Captain America fighting a deranged Nazi who is spouting ludicrously over-the-top things is always entertaining to a degree.

Stuart Immonen’s work is rock solid from start to finish. He’s one of the best in the business, and his action sequences in this comic are excellent. His layouts are strong and his big splash images grab your attention and won’t let go. In this issue, his artwork has a very cinematic feel to it and these characters feel larger than life on the page. By his hand, HYDRA seems like the most dangerous organization to have ever existed, and considering where he and Remender are going with this storyline, it certainly works. I found on a second read through that the flow of his artwork was hurt by the disjointed narrative that I mentioned earlier. Ignoring the dialogue and flipping through the issue, the story flows very nicely. When reading it fully, however, the narrative seems to be moving at a slower pace than the action and the overall flow of the artwork is affected. A minor quibble? Perhaps, but after seeing how strong this comic can be when the writing and art are in perfect sync, it has to be noted.

All-New Captain America #3 will hit your eyes and mind early and never stop pummeling. Captain America is being assaulted and Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen are doing their best to make readers feel like the HYDRA assault is focused on them as well. This isn’t the strongest issue of the series so far, but the foundation for a strong arc is still being built, and this creative team certainly seems to have something big brewing. If you’ve enjoyed the first two issues of the series I heartily recommend you give this one a shot, and while this wasn’t my favourite comic of the year so far, I will definitely be returning for more next month.

The Verdict: 7.0/10

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