Rick Remender has put Captain America through hell in the 22 issues of this volume, and from looks of things Steve’s life isn’t about to get any easier any time soon…
Rick Remender has done a great job in this volume of Captain America of keeping his storyline tightly integrated and quarantined from many of the other events in the Marvel Universe. Each arc has built on the torment Steve underwent in Dimension Z and, with issue #22, Dimension Z comes to the primary 616 Universe in a big way. For those who have read the first arc of Remender’s run, the danger of this occurrence is apparent immediately and when you couple this invasion with the fact that Steve Rogers has been de-powered, you get an extremely interesting comic book. Remender has built this story well, waiting the proper amount of time before bringing Dimension Z back into the storyline heavily as it gave readers time to digest the consequences of what happened in Zola’s world and how it still affects Steve Rogers. This is some strong character building that Remender has shown over 22 issues, and he is definitely leaving his stamp on the established Captain America character.
His dialogue throughout the issue is extremely strong and being that this is the first issue of a new arc, there is a fair amount of it. That isn’t to say this story is too dense, but readers do get a fair number of well written conversations between Captain America’s primary players. Remender writes psychotic villains very well, and the dynamic between Zola and the Red Skull was fun to read. This comic feels like the first issue in something huge as Captain America’s greatest villains assemble while the patriot is a ghost of his former self. Remender is priming readers for a big one and considering the work that has come prior to this issue, I trust this arc is going to be an entertaining read.
Carlos Pacheco matches Remender’s script punch for punch with some great pencils. There’s a little bit of everything in this one, some strong character work during conversations, some playful interactions between a couple characters, and some solid action work. Pacheco does a great job of making Zola look familiar to those who read JRJR’s work on Captain America without completely sacrificing his own style. The madness of Zola and his horde is immediately apparent in the visuals and Red Skull looks more menacing than he has in quite awhile. Pacheco pencils “old man” Steve quite well. He is an old frail guy now, but he’s still got that tough of nails spirit and Pacheco makes sure that is evident in his eyes at all times. Pacheco nails the fact that Steve may be tired, he may not be a super soldier, but by God could he ever rough you up with that cane.
Remender and Pacheco are a strong team whose strengths compliment each other well. Remender is kicking off a big story in issue #22 and it is obvious Pacheco is up to the challenge. When the first arc with Zola ended I was happy to leave Dimension Z, but I find now that it has returned I am excited about what stories could unfold from this. I’ll be back for issue #23 as soon as I can get it in my hands.
The Verdict: 8.5/10