We knew it was coming, and the sheer amount of hype around Marvel’s decisions of late has garnered much praise and criticism. But who cares? We’ve finally got our interim Captain America. To find out who it is, take the jump now!

CaptainAmerica34_001The storyline surrounding James “Bucky” Barnes written by Ed Brubaker has been gold. Kurt Amacker over at Mania Comics waxed eloquent about the fans never wanting young Bucky to be revived. But Brubaker did it with such style and skill that no one cares. Thus, when he became the Winter Soldier, we were more than happy to go along for the ride.

Brubaker knows how to tell a story, and he knows how to do it well. There is nothing gratuitous in these comics, and no sign of pampering to the lowest common denominator. Tony Stark is not liked by anyone, which is just as it should be. Sharon Carter does not miraculously (yet) battle free of the mental blocks that have driven her to the brink of insanity, yet the battle being waged is a realistic one. Not everyone has the mental stamina to break out of brainwashing within two issues.

So the inner-monologue battles that take place within Sharon Carter’s mind are even more important because of this. We don’t know when, or if, she will ever break them, or if it will be the work of her friends to free her.

Putting her aside, Bucky is the new Captain America; if you hadn’t already processed that. You see, I skip over that a little bit because a) we already knew it had happened at the end of issue #33 but b) we know that Cap will eventually be back. This doesn’t downplay the importance of Bucky’s succession, because Brubaker has written it so well you feel more than willing to let Bucky take the mantle for awhile. But Steve Rogers is a force, both within the comics and in our world that cannot be closeted for too long.


The art has been really good for some time now thanks to Steve Epting and Frank D’Armata, though I was left a little high and dry when it came to Natasha. Nevertheless, Bucky’s entrance in to the world as a fully dressed Captain America is a hero page worthy of the title.

I was surprised at how much this issue seemed an anti-climax, while not being so at all. Bucky’s entrance in to the Marvel universe as the new Captain America is without a doubt a huge deal, but the story let that significance slide a little in lieu of the story as a whole. Which, let me hasten to add, is just how it should be; the gravity of this will eventually be felt throughout the entire Marvel-verse, but right now the focus is on the story.

4 fists: 4 Strong Fists

Easily another 4 out of 5, which leaves me feeling I should be going and finding a bad comic book to read just so I can prove to you all that I do rate something other than four fists out of five! Pick it up, if you haven’t already; but pick up a few prior to it as well, you don’t want to come in to this in the middle.


As always, for discussion of this review, head on over to my blog to discuss it.

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