Rick Remender shows us exactly what you do to follow a long running and fan favorite run of a character. Ed Brubaker left some big shoes to fill with the adventures of Captain America. Remender looked at those shoes, threw them out and put on a new and fancy pair of high tech running shoes.
Captain America has recently started getting close to Wolverine status in terms of appearing in countless titles at the same time. Readers should just enjoy each separate appearance but we can't help but wonder how he can fit in all the adventures with just a seven day week. When the first issue of this new series came out, that same question popped into my mind. When does this story take place in comparison to AVENGERS and UNCANNY AVENGERS? It really doesn't matter. After you turn the recap page and see three words on the page, be prepared for your jaw to drop. This explains a lot. It doesn't explain everything, that's still to come. But pieces are starting to fall in place.
Captain America in Dimension Z is a trip. When I saw where this was going in the first issue, I was unsure. Seeing the story unfold here, you can appreciate that this is a pure story. You'll get pulled in, seeing how Cap will deal with being in a strange world and not necessarily have the strategic tactics he's known for. We're seeing a more desperate Cap but that doesn't mean he isn't completely capable of kicking ass. Remender is showing us we definitely haven't seen all there is to see about the character. The use of flashbacks to Steve's youth also build on what makes him who he is today.
While I am not one that feels complete displeasure in John Romita Jr's art, there are times it gets a little rough. We have some strange residents in Dimension Z and in this style, they don't look as formidable as they should. There's also the character (seen on the cover) with Cap. When I first saw the cover, I wondered who the little girl was. It turns out, it's not a little girl.
Talk about a cliffhanger ending. I actually sat there for a couple seconds trying to see if the page was stuck to another and there was at least one more page.
This isn't the Captain America series you were expecting. Rick Remender has taken the reigns and is taking us on a completely tripped out and wacky adventure. We've been seeing so many stories of Cap as a soldier working for the government. While the Brubaker stories full of thrills and espionage were great, Remender is clearly doing his own thing. He's showing it's not necessary to try to replicate what happened before and is delivering stories on his own terms. This means we're getting Cap stories we didn't think was possible or may have forgotten were possible. The concern with the issue is the art. Seeing the different inhabitants of Dimension Z doesn't have quite the feel you would expect it to, given the tone of the story. The style definitely is setting it's own tone but some of the creatures don't look as menacing as they should. If you're looking for Captain America stripped down to the core of his character and want a fresh start, you definitely need to check out what Rick Remender has cooking.