Graphic Novel Review: Captain America: Reborn

Captain America: Reborn (Panini �14.99)

Writer Ed Brubaker, artist Bryan Hitch et al

ASSASSINATED on the steps of New York’s Federal Courthouse, the living legend of World War Two, Steve (Captain America) Rogers, paid the ultimate price for his opposition to the Superhuman Registration Act imposed by his former friend Tony (Iron Man) Stark. In the wake of his death, his friends have tried to move on, with his former partner James “Bucky” Barnes adopting the mantle of Captain America to honour his memory. But as the world mourns the anniversary of this heinous act, evidence is slowly compiled which suggests Rogers might not be dead after all, and is actually lost in time thanks to the machinations of his arch enemy the Red Skull…

After building up to Rogers’ apparent death over two years of storylines in the Captain America series, Brubaker spent a similar period establishing Bucky as the new Cap in his mentor’s stead, waiting until he was comfortably ensconced in the role before setting events in motion for the Sentinel of Liberty’s long-awaited return.

This epic storyline spans the character’s entire career, from his origin as the world’s first super-soldier in 1941, through his exploits with wartime team The Invaders and eventual disappearance at war’s end when he was thrown into suspended animation. It then spins into the modern era with the discovery of his frozen body by the fledgling Avengers and eventual revival to become one of the greatest heroes of the Marvel Comics universe.

Hitch’s photo-realistic artwork perfectly captures the feel of any historical periods, while also ensuring he gives sufficient weight to the drama of the action scenes and emotion of Rogers’ inevitable return. A worthy coda to more than four years of Captain America comics, and the chance to begin a fresh era of greatness for the character in time for his forthcoming movie release.