I read the crossover story Civil War, and planned on reading, and reviewing the tie-in novels that I had, and although I read them I never got round to reviewing them. I am however hoping to do that now, and am continuing with the this Captain America tie-in volume, with this being my third review on Captain America.
As the superhero Civil War rages on, Sharon Carter is tasked with bringing in Captain America, Bucky Barnes continues his work for Nick Fury infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D., and Captain America feels it's his responsibility to stop a HYDRA group who's taking over an empty A.I.M. base. Also Bucky spends his first Christmas since regaining his memories, and reminisces over fonder Christmas', whilst also having to help the Young Avengers.
This was a great book, and although the crossover event has slightly hurt the flow of the series, it's not affected it as much as some tie-in events do, still managing to stick to it's own story development. Ed Brubaker has done an excellent job on this book, giving three individual stories that merge together, setting up the future of the series, as well as playing nicely into the Civil War event. I also loved how Brubaker managed to use the event to his advantage, not letting it take over his series like some events do to other series'. There was also plenty of action, as well as some emotion, and conflict, making for a very dramatic, and suspenseful story. Brubaker also did an excellent job of showing how this has effected Sharon's career as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, as well as how Bucky's growing in this modern world.
The art was mainly done by Mike Perkins, with Lee Weeks doing the art on the Winter Soldier: Winter Kills special. Perkins art was simply amazing, and really realistic, with great attention to detail. The layout of his art is also brilliant, adding drama, and depth to the story, as well as helping to give tone. Perkins also did a great job of both the action, and the facial expressions, as you could easily see the character emotions, and the action was very explosive, and exciting. The colours from Frank D'Armata was also amazing, helping to give tone, as well as make Perkins art stand out more. Weeks art on the Winter Kills special was also very good, as although it wasn't to the same quality level as Perkin's, it was still brilliant, and suited the tone of the story, especially during the flashbacks.
The first issue would see Sharon go to a S.H.I.E.L.D. psychologist, telling him how Maria Hill has put her into a awkward position of helping to bring in Captain America. I found this to be simply amazing, with lots of depth, and emotion to it. I also loved how Brubaker handled the conflict within Sharon, and how she wanted to be loyal to Cap, without jeopardising her job as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. I also liked how it referenced events from The New Avengers #21, but in a subtle way, not feeling forced.
This story would also see the continuation of Bucky working for Fury, by going into a S.H.I.E.L.D. base, and allowing Fury to take control of one of the body-double robots of him that S.H.I.E.L.D. have been using. I just loved how Bucky was able to show his own concerns, and opinions on the superhero Civil War, whilst also staying focused on his own agenda of finding Aleksander Lukin. I also loved the action, as well as the interaction between Fury, and Bucky, as it added drama to the story, as well as some depth.
This story would also show that Cap hadn't forgotten about his responsibilities, by stopping a HYDRA group form taking over an empty A.I.M. base. Now this was actually probably the weakest part of this story, as although it had some amazing action, it didn't feel as unique as the Sharon, or Bucky parts, also having less depth to it. I also questioned how Cap was able to have time to do this, as from other tie-ins, and the main event itself I wouldn't have thought he would have. All the same it was still a great part of the story, and very exciting, also delving deeper into Cap's thoughts on the Civil War.
This book would also feature the Winter Kills special which would show Bucky spending his first Christmas since regaining his memories. This was an amazing story in itself, and I've always felt that Brubaker's best work has came from the Bucky character. I also loved how we also got to see some of his time with fellow Invader, Toro, and how working with the Young Avengers in the present reminds him of his time as an Invader. I also loved seeing Bucky, and Namor interact with each other again, and overall this was a great additional story.
This was a great tie-in story, and although it took away slightly from the pace that the series was going at, Brubaker used the event to his advantage, helping set-up the next story brilliantly. It also had some amazing action, as well as interesting character development, with plenty of depth, and drama. The extra story was also amazing, and I'd easily recommend this story to anyone, but would obviously also recommend getting the main Civil War story either first, or to go with it.
The next Captain America book I'll be reviewing will be Death of Captain America: The Death of the Dream.