I’m going to assume, or at least hope, that Rick Remender’s current run on Captain America goes down the same way Jason Aaron’s Incredible Hulk has. This is a blot, a misstep, a piece of Captain America’s history that should all but be forgotten. Captain America went from the hands of Ed Brubaker’s careful and serious writing into a madcap sci-fi adventure that is beneath the first Avenger.
Debacle #4…..I’m sorry I meant issue #4, picks up eleven years after the end of issue #3. During these eleven years spent in Dimension Z, Cap has raised the boy he rescued from Arnim Zola. We open with Cap training his “son” in the art of throwing the shield. They’re hunting some kind of space creature that they need to bring back as food for their tribe. During the hunt, they discover some kind of way station that belongs to Zola. Cap and his son start investigating when they’re attacked by one of Zola’s soldiers. They kill him and, as luck would have it, they discover everything they need to go to get back to Earth. Meanwhile, Zola finds out Cap is alive and gets all pissed off. His daughter releases Captain America zombies to hunt down our hero.
Where to begin with this mess? First, eleven years? Really? Remender had to make it eleven years? With all that’s happening throughout the Marvel Universe, all of which includes Captain America, a time jump this ridiculous elevates this story arc from goofy into full-on stupid. Then we have the training of the son. How cliché can you get? The lost and guilty soldier training his son in the bizarre space world? Hey Remender, the 80s called they’d like their B-movie plot back.
I also see no point in the television-shaped Zola currently calling Captain America’s chest his home. Remender is trying so hard to separate himself from Brubaker and he’s accomplishing it, just not in the way I’m guessing he wanted. There is no flow to this story; it’s all just “events” being thrown at you. I also can’t stand these flashbacks to Steve Rogers' life as a kid. Apparently, he is now not a skinny loser, he’s also been a thief, though he stole money only to save his dying mother. These are unnecessary flashbacks and add a past to Cap that he doesn’t need
The final problem I have is how well Captain America is dealing with the fact that he’s been separated from his entire world for over a decade. He has no idea about the fate of Earth, what’s happening with the Avengers, he’s lost all his loved ones, and yet Cap seems to be just peachy about it. I realize he’s Captain America, but some kind of reaction might feed into this insulting story arc having a morsel of humanity to it.
Remender will set everything right I’m sure. Cap will get back home, we’ll find out time in Dimension Z is different then on Earth and something will happen with the son that probably gets filed into Cap’s ever growing collection of emotional scars. I don’t hate this arc of Captain America because I fear it won't return to normal. This story is a poorly written and obvious overkill attempt for Remender to step outside of Brubaker’s shadow. It fails on every level a story can.
Captain America, the Remender tales, is so bad that I can’t even enjoy the art from John Romita Jr. As one of my favorite artists, this should be a no brainer, but instead, all I can see is great talent being wasted on a bad story. On its face, Romita’s work is still above reproach, I just wish it wasn’t bringing to life a story as awful as this one.
(0 Story, 4 Art)