Captain America #17
Written by Ed Brubaker & Cullen Bunn
Pencils by Scot Eaton
Inks by Rick Magyar
Colors by Guru-EFX
At one point in this issue, Diamondback exclaims, “We’re spinning our wheels here!” As the third issue in the 4-part, penultimate story arc of Brubaker’s epic Captain America saga, issue #17 feels a whole lot like wheels spinning. Perhaps it’s the fact that Cullen Bunn’s co-writing this storyarc, or perhaps it’s the fact that Brubaker is done with work-for-hire superheroics, but this entire “New World Orders” storyline has felt completely out of sync with the rest of Brubaker’s work on the series. Add the lackluster, “house-style” artwork of Scot Eaton and you have a barely passable comic book in what was once the best series on the stands. Bummer.
The Discordians continue randomly attacking people, people continue randomly rioting out of fears and insecurities rooted in economic and social unhappiness, television pundits keep egging on said riots, and, for some reason I still can’t understand, the Steve Rogers/Sharon Carter relationship continues growing shakier and shakier. Cue spinning wheels. And while I’m on the topic of spinning wheels, Diamondback? What’s she doing in this book this close to the end of the series? And hitting on Steve Rogers no less! Where could this storyline possibly go?
There is some cool Baron Zemo Vs. Sharon Carter in space stuff toward the end of the issue, but it’s all quickly overlooked in favor of giant robots. Part of me wishes that we could have skipped this whole “New World Orders” story and gone straight to Brubaker’s swan song. I understand that the Codename: Bravo and New Hydra storyline needs to be resolved, but I don’t feel like this storyline is doing so effectively, and, as a result, it’s tarnishing the series’ quality in its last few issues. Double bummer.
Again, Eaton’s work is okay. It tells the story and captures the action well, but for a book that features the visually distinct styles of Steve Epting, Butch Guice, Bryan Hitch, Steve McNiven, and, for that one time, Gene freaking Colan, Eaton’s traditional style just isn’t up to snuff. Triple bummer.
Skip it. Buy #19 when it hits the stands in a couple months.