Graphic Novel Review: Captain America: American Dreamers

15:41 09 March 2012

Captain America: American Dreamers

Captain America: American Dreamers

Archant

(Panini, £10.99)

AFTER the events of the superhero Civil War, his assassination and replacement by former partner Bucky Barnes, then his traumatic journey through time and his eventual resurrection, Steve Rogers is back where he belongs in the red-white-and-blue costume of Captain America.

But despite these life-defining events for the Sentinel of Liberty, the world refuses to stand still, and the threats to freedom are still as prevalent as ever.

When the funeral of his WWII sweetheart Peggy Carter is disrupted by a sniper attack, Cap uncovers a plot dating back to his adventures during the war, and involving a comrade-in-arms thought to be long dead.

Flashing back to 1944, Rogers recalls a mission to destroy an advanced weapons facility operated by Nazi madman Baron Zemo and the forces of Hydra. Cap and Peggy are aided by costumed hero Agent Bravo and the young Jimmy Jupiter, who can enter dreams and reach a dimension where wishes can become reality. Jimmy is used to provide a gateway into the Hydra lair, but events conspire to leave him a vegetable and Bravo trapped inside the dream dimension for decades…

But now he’s back and working alongside a new Hydra Queen, the latest Zemo, and one of Rogers’ long-forgotten foes, Lyle Dekker, the lunatic behind the creation of the 18-foot Captain America robot known as The Ameridroid!

Long-term Cap writer Ed Brubaker here teams up with artists Steve McNiven, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Mark Morales, Jay Leisten and Matteo Buffagni to launch the sixth volume of comics starring the Star-Spangled Avenger.

As with many of his best stories featuring the character, Brubaker makes the most of Cap’s rich history, and weaves a tale which jumps neatly between the past and present. As a fresh start for Steve Rogers following the dramatic events of the past few years, it ticks all the boxes, although there is a Bucky-sized hole left by the departure of Mr Barnes, who succeeded in wielding the shield during Steve’s prolonged absence from the role.

More of an action adventure than a character piece, it is also something of a standalone tale after the conclusion of a five-year story arc, and while that is occasionally welcome, let’s hope Brubaker soon gets back to weaving the complex narratives for which he is famous.

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