Reprints are not budget-friendly
At first glance, Fear Itself: Sins Past might seem like a cash-grab: it's three older issues of Captain America reprinted with about four pages of original content. However, when looking into the implementation, the results are surprising.
The entire point of this issue is to see how Steve Rogers has reacted to child brainwashing/influencing in the past; hilariously, this includes going undercover as a 15-year-old with the help of Sersi's magic. There's an implication that Sersi wants some sexual company in return for the favour, and seeing her imply this to a younger Rogers is pretty darn funny.
What's good about the reprints is that we get to see Rogers in a very vulnerable state: his super-soldier serum enhancements didn't carry over in the magic process, so he gets his butt kicked a lot in these flashbacks. He's placed into a lot of situations where he's unable to protect people as usual, and that weighs pretty hard on his shoulders - I forgot how hardcore these old issues were: a girl gets her neck snapped in front of Steve, and a police officer gets immolated. That feeling of weakness is something that carries over to the present day with this whole "Sin" business: the feeling of hopelessness transfers over and enhances the current story. I'd say it was a masterful use of reprints without having the original stories seem dated.
I don't feel right giving a grade to this issue, but I'll give it a high one because the implementation of what they were trying to do was done well.
I made the mistake of not opening this book until after I bought it. Oops - that's $4.99 I'd rather have back. This issue only has maybe 3-4 pages of original content in it: the rest is reprints of the past issues. This might not be worth a lot to people on a budget.
This is a great issue for those looking for more context to Fear Itself, but it's really unnecessary to the understanding of the rest of the event. It's a 5 minute look into the pysche of Steve Rogers and how he's dealt with this kind of thing before, and that's something we don't get nearly enough of. Pick it up if you have the cash.
For those keeping count: this bingo card includes Fear Itself #1, this issue and Fear Itself: The Home Front #1. More issues will be added as they get released. Besides the "Dark Past Confronted" square (which was already filled in) I've decided not to include the reprints in the scoring.