All-New Captain America #2
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, & Marte Gracia
Cover: Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, & Marte Gracia
Things go from worse to the ABSOLUTE worse for Captain America and Nomad as their rescue attempt does not go according to plan. It seems like the elevator that brought them to the presence of some of the most vile criminals on the planet also teleported them to another country. The circumstances call for them to split up, and Cap finds himself in the criminal run city of Bagalia while being pursued by Crossbones.
Remender takes what was great about the first issue and makes sure to crank it up here! He drops another quick peek into Sam’s past to flesh out the character a bit, then quickly goes right back into the action. This story is fast paced, as Remender’s intense cat and mouse game between Crossbones and Cap is one great chase sequence. It’s nice when a writer acknowledges that Crossbones is a blunt instrument, but he’s not an idiot. The interpretation we get here makes for a fight worth watching, and just when you think Remender has slowed things down a bit, a surprise character is introduced. However, this character complains that their cover was blown, which was confusing since Remender could have just had them put the mask back on. This seemed a bit forced just to have this hero’s face exposed; it didn’t make sense and threw the pacing off a bit. Now, Remender does drop a huge bomb in this issue in regards to Baron Zemo’s plan when it is stated that there is a traitor on every major superhero team who is an agent of Hydra. This was a great reveal that will immediately put the pressure on Sam to step up in his role as Captain America. However, it was the actions of Baron Zemo that made for yet another jaw dropping moment at the end of this issue, turning a common bad guy trope on its head and making it more satisfying while adding some realism to the issue.
Once again, Immonen’s pencils are some of the best in the business, as he pulls out some of the most exciting action sequences around. He puts Remender’s fast paced story on a level that will have you going back just to stare at the panels over and over again. It doesn’t hurt that he’s helped by Von Grawbadger on inks and Marte Gracia on colors, who bring everything together in one spectacular looking package. Gracia makes the Tron-like cityscape of Bagalia look wonderful as Cap and Lucas are flying above. There’s also an intense panel with Crossbones that gets better with the close up, which adds more weight and anticipation. Speaking of Crossbones, there was a scene where we clearly see him leap from a window, but in the very next panel he’s standing in the room he just left. This caught me off guard for a moment, though it’s not a deal breaker for the issue. And remember that character reveal that was mentioned earlier? Well, once you pick up on Gracia’s color scheme on the costume it makes the reveal a little cooler in the end.
There’s such high expectations for All-New Captain America while at the same time some want it to fail. Well, if this creative team keeps balancing these story elements this well, it’ll be quite some time before failure happens. We get a Cap vs. Crossbones fight that is actually worthy of the panel space dedicated to it. A high stakes plot full of spy/secret agent elements that keep you on the edge of your seat with anticipation. And in just two issues, Sam seems to be well on his way to filling Steve’s boots as the newest Captain America.