Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Captain America

I grew up as DC kid. I read mostly Batman and Justice League comics (looking back at the Justice League covers, man are they goofy). I suspect this was due to the influence of the Superfriends TV show, but it may also have been to my neighbors who had the comics I was reading for free. I did have a friend who had a lot of Marvel collected in books, and I read those, but I never really read the comics. One of the characters I considered completely uninteresting was Captain America. He seemed like he was just a really strong guy with a Dudely Do-Right sort of persona. Oh what a mistake.

I've just finished reading the very large Captain America Omnibus (pricey! You might try the library) and the follow on Death of Captain America trilogy. Although it covers over 30 issues, it maintains just a few story arcs over that entire period. There is little or no episodic story telling, instead we get a long, grim fight against terrible odds and with innumerable setbacks. The story includes Captain America's exploits in World War 2, the Cold War and a long simmering revenge tale. Yes, it is a comic book story, but it is a very good one.

Really, the characters are important here, but I think the most important part of its success is the writer. Ed Brubaker wrote this one and everything I have read by him is excellent. If you go visiting the comic shop, his name should be enough reason to try something out.

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