Since I only picked up 4 comics today, I’ll just skip the first impressions and review each of them. Why not start with the sequel to last month’s most controversial comic. In case you somehow didn’t know, the last issue ended with Captain America knocking one of his friends out of an airplane, walking up to a captive government official and saying “Hail Hydra”. This issue, written by Nick Spencer, explains what’s going on.
Even though Steve Rogers is in this comic’s title, this issue is mostly about Red Skull. He’s at least partially responsible for Captain America’s turn, but I won’t spoil how. Instead, let’s talk about what’s going on with Red Skull and his daughter, Sin. His characterization is great in this issue. Even though he still possesses Xavier’s telepathy from back in the early Uncanny Avengers days, he’s not using them to their full extent. Telepathy is starting to bore him, and he’d much rather everyone serve him by their own free will than forcing them to.
After a new opportunity arises, Red Skull works on nurturing the opportunity and working behind the scenes in some of the recent major events in the Marvel Universe. For example, this comic kind of sums up what happened in the Avengers Standoff crossover without spoiling the full event, which is good for someone like me who hasn’t yet read the crossover. Like the first issue, this is a very well written comic.
The art and colouring by Jesus Saiz is great. The opening page shows a single panel taking place moments after the last issue ended, followed by a montage of several recent events and a good look at the “opportunity”. The second page spread is a very well detailed spread of Red Skull holding the cosmic cube, complete with great shadow work and lighting effects that look almost as good as real life. While there isn’t much action in this comic, the action flows well and there’s a good amount of debris when Captain America smashes through a wall. Facial expressions do a great job at conveying emotion, like Red Skull’s excitement when he realizes the scope of his opportunity, Sin’s stunned look when her face is restored to its more human form and the pouty look that [redacted] gives when they’re upset.
Like the first issue, this is a very well-crafted comic. Although the explanation probably won’t satisfy everyone who’s angry about Captain America’s change of allegiance, it makes for a potentially great story, and one that could lead in so many directions from this point on. Captain America fans should at least give this a chance, rather than listen to all the raging, and people who enjoy reading Red Skull’s exploits will probably enjoy this issue.