CAPTAIN AMERICA #19
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Steve Epting
Release Date: October 24, 2012
Captain America #19 truly is the end of an era in superhero comics, bringing to an end the reign of Ed Brubaker, the man responsible for getting me back into comics and making his mark with the definitive Captain America in my mind.
Ed Brubaker actually had quite a daunting task before him: finish an 8 year run (eight years!) with your strongest issue yet, leaving a title that you have defined for a generation of comic readers, and do so in less than 30 pages. Brubaker chose a brilliant method of reflection for Steve Rogers, carefully and deftly defining who his Captain America is and what he stands for. This issue is a great done-in-one story that acts as a brilliant ending to what has truly been an epic run of over 100 issues, when a current ‘long streak’ on some titles is 8 or 12. Brubaker’s Captain America has been a pillar that the Marvel Universe has been built around for nearly a decade, and this issue reflects all of his strengths as a writer: a strong sense of who this character is, a great attention to the historic aspect of Captain America, and a respect for the tradition of the character. In this issue Brubaker does an excellent job acknowledging the creators who started this iconic character that he has been so successful with in recent years, exploring the history of the character while also leaving Steve Rogers in a place where other creators can take the torch and move forward. Issue #19 highlights everything Brubaker has done right with this series from his very first issue, and is a definite high note to end this amazing run with.
Steve Epting penciling an Ed Brubaker script just feels right. I applaud whomever in editorial made this happen, as it was only fitting to end this run with the fantastic pairing that started it. Epting’s pencils are confident, precise, and filled with emotion, as is fitting for this script. The art does a fantastic job evoking the subtle emotions alluded to in the script, from doubt peering through a steely exterior, to regret for mistakes made in the past. Epting delivers a fantastic artistic effort to match Brubaker’s excellent script and give this issue the emotional weight it deserved. A truly superb effort by a fantastic artist.
This issue of Captain America excels at being both an end to an amazing run, and a launching point for the character into new adventures. For a new reader picking up this book, it doesn’t feel like an end, so much as a beginning, and an exciting one at that. I want to commend and thank Ed Brubaker for a truly amazing run on a book that I have adored for many years, and will continue to read and re-read for many more.