CAPTAIN AMERICA #20
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Nic Klein
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 14, 2014
Captain America #20 is part 4 of The Iron Nail story arc. This issue ramps up the stakes while also displaying some nice character work. Nic Klein and Dean White deliver another impressive showing on the art side of things. Rick Remender is really putting Cap through the ringer, let’s see how things shake out.
Rick Remender seems made to write this book. His writing has always had an anarchy/anti-establishment bend to it, so the fact that he is writing a character that is supposed to represent the people and ideals of America is incredibly crazy and exciting. Rick started the series off strong with the Dimension Z story arc. In that opening arc Steve Rogers was put up against impossible odds. He was transported into a crazy dimension ruled by Zola. Steve raised a boy named Ian who he ultimately lost. He also lost his love Sharon, but he gained the friendship of Jet Black, Zola’s daughter. After the traumatic events of Dimension Z, Rick Remender frames Steve Rogers as a man further out of time. He essentially created another iceberg, as Steve was stuck in Dimension Z for many years.
Moving forward from Dimension Z, the book has been very solid. With issue 20 things are finally starting to pay off. The issue starts with an extended sequence that takes place inside Steve’s head. Everything he ever wanted has come true. Ian is back. Sharon is back. A parade is being thrown in celebration of him and his hard work. Steve soon enough realizes he is in a dream, so he decides to kill himself, knowing that it is the only way to escape Dr. Mindbubble’s mindbubble. This whole sequence is incredibly effective. It brings what Steve is thinking and feeling to the forefront. Watching Steve cry over seeing Ian again is very touching and it’s all the more heartbreaking when he realizes it’s not real. The rest of the issue has Steve dealing with Dr. Mindbubble and Iron Nail. The Iron Nail character is really where the classic Rick Remender voice comes through. Iron Nail’s ideals about American culture infecting the globe, and our inability to differentiate between reality and illusion is that Remender goodness I’ve come to expect.
The art by Nic Klein and Dean White feels appropriately weighted. Nic Klein draws with a clean thick line capturing action and character emotion nicely. The dream sequence in particular is executed beautifully. The panel of the Captain America parade stands out to me. The epic sense of scope and detail in that panel is something to marvel at. His design for the Iron Nail villain is brutal and terrifying. The tentacle things that come out of his chest are effectively creepy. Dean White does another top-notch job on colors for this book. His colors bring the right mood to Rick’s writing and Nic’s pencils. If only Dean White could color every book.
Captain America #20 is another solid issue of Rick Remender’s deconstruction of Steve Rogers. Rick’s original take on the character is human and ever fascinating. This arc is building to a nice crescendo and it’s hard to pass up Nic Klein and Dean White art.
The Verdict: 8.5/10