The fact that the Grand Comic Database calls this “2005 series” instead of a volume number, or that a title that lasted this long even has so many #1’s is part of the problem. That’s for some other time, though.

“I told them to wait until I got clear.”

Captain America #1

Marvel Comics (January, 2005; appearing in the comiXology digital trade “Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection”)

“Out Of Time” part 1

WRITER: Ed Brubaker

ARTIST: Steve Epting

COLORIST: Frank D’Armata

LETTERER: Randolph Gentile

ASSISTANT EDITORS: Nichole Wiley & Molly Lazer

EDITOR: Tom Brevoort

Five years prior the Red Skull met with General Aleksander Lukin, a former KGB man who would love to reform the Soviet Union, selling weapons left behind, like a gun that shoots you into or with the Negative Zone, I wasn’t certain. There was also a man in a tube, but Lukin would only exchange that for the Cosmic Cube, which Skull didn’t have at the time. In the story’s present day, Red Skull is watching and plotting against Captain America, who has been getting so edgy even Sharon Carter is taking notice. Not that it matters for the Skull. He’s put together shards of a previous Cosmic Cube and reformed it, but Lukin sends someone in to kill him and take the Cube.

What they got right: As a setup for this story it seems to work. Considering the collection I’m reading from we can guess who is in that tube. We see what Red Skull is doing to Steve and how it’s affecting the hero. We also see he’s still suffers from PTSD after being in World War II. Also a surprise twist where we thought Skull was going to be this story’s villain (although it may still be later) but being this new character instead, who seems to want the Cold War back.

What they got wrong:  The then-current Red Guardian is immobilized and then killed by a bullet to the head. I don’t care that he isn’t as big a character as Ted Kord; it bothered me then and it bothers me now. This is not how you treat heroes. There’s also signs of the decompressed storytelling when Captain America is fighting a bunch of terrorists. Not as bad as Bendis, mind you, but the story slows down a bit to make sure we know the shield is heading for the tail rotor on the helicopter.

What I think overall: Brubaker’s run on Captain America gets a lot of praise but this is the kind of grimdark stuff I try to avoid. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve the praise as I haven’t read a lot of his work and by the time I’m done with this collection I should have a better idea of his work. I’m just saying this is why I was never big into the Marvel universe.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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