Captain America #9 lets the Falcon and Sharon Carter shine in Cap’s place. . . .
Captain America #9 lets the Falcon and Sharon Carter shine in Cap’s place. . . .
As I’ve been reading Cap for most of my life and he’s finally getting the Hollywood treatment he deserves (as opposed to the atrocity of 1990), I thought now would be a good time to rummage through my archives and pick… oh, 10 – that sounds good – the 10 best issues of Captain America from 1968 to today. Rather than say that any issue is better than any other, I’ll just start from today and take it back to the good old days.+Continue Reading
Our “Where to Start” articles act as a guide, giving you our best suggestions on where to start on a certain character or creators work. Every article lists several books, each in the character’s or creator’s chronological order despite it’s publication date (so the first choice is at the beginning of a characters career, the last is the furthest along). While in order each book was specifically picked as a good individual starting point; so feel free to start at the beginning, in the middle, or towards the end if you want to get caught up quickly. And if you have any more suggestions or questions just leave a comment.+Continue Reading
It’s happy trails for Ed Brubaker… Did he leave on a high note?+Continue Reading
So, what happened with John Steele to turn him from a patriotic soldier to a thug for the villainous Shadow Council? Secret Avengers #11 by Ed Brubaker and Will Conrad begins a two part arc to answer that very question.+Continue Reading
Shang-Chi is in the hands of the enemy! His father is only moments away from sacrificing him so he may return to full life! Will the Secret Avengers be able to stop the Shadow Council and save the Master of Kung Fu or will they be too late to prevent the return of one of the worst beings in the history of the world?+Continue Reading
So, who might this John Steele guy be? Well, he’s many things, and we get to learn all about him in the newest issue of Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato’s Secret Avengers #9.+Continue Reading
Tom DeFalco continues the return of a fallen hero, sort of, in “Learning Curves,” the second issue in the Thunderstrike miniseries. Young Kevin Masterson manages to transform from super-powered doppleganger of his father back to himself by tripping, which knocks the Thunderstrike mace on the ground (may I just say how confusing it is to have the weapon and the hero share the same name?). Kevin gets a call from, and hangs up on, Steve Rogers, Kevin saying he’s had enough of this and doesn’t want anything to do with it. Kevin goes home, and his mother is less than pleased to hear the figure she saw on the news was her son, looking like her late ex-husband. Marcy, Kevin’s mother, tells him she doesn’t want Kevin following in his father’s footsteps, and Kevin agrees too. Kevin’s stepfather provides some actual logical thinking, cooling the tempers of mother and son, and even speaking well of the late Eric, suggesting for now the mace, changed back into a cane, be placed in a safety deposit box.
The next day sees Kevin at school, dealing with the repercussions of his fight with a student from first issue, being snubbed by a cute girl he sees in the hallways. In a very nice touch, Rakesh Vanamala, the student Kevin beat up, actually stops Kevin in the hall… to apologize and thank Kevin for not telling on him. Seems the lad posted some photos of Kevin’s mother, one of those strange categories of the famous called a “fitness celebrity,” on the web, which Kevin found out about. Later, Bobby Steele, Kevin’s step father, shows up to pick him up from school in a flashy red sports car, actually telling Kevin that knowing his parent is a tv star will help his social life. I think Bobby is actually trying here. They take off to go put Thunderstrike in storage, after a scene from the mysterious collector from issue one dispatching a strike team to track down the new “mystical artefact.” Bobby is doing a nice job of talking Eric up to Kevin when they get attacked by said strike team. Both Kevin and Bobby are more than willing to hand over the cane/mace, but before they can, the Valkyrie from last issue finally arrives.
She tears into the team with ease, urging Kevin to join her, which neither he nor Bobby are wild about. After she loses her helmet and reveals herself to be a gorgeous redhead, Kevin is listening to her a lot more (hey, he’s a teenager), and finally fires up the magic, transforming himself back to Thunderstrike. Introductions are made, the redhead is Gruenhilda, who Kevin dubs Grunny. She, in turn, goes from calling him mortal to “mort.” Bobby cringes in the car, wondering how badly Marcy will blame him for this.
Kevin and “Grunny” best most of the team, as Grunny hints there are many things Kevin hasn’t learned yet about Thunderstrike, interestingly for me, in response to Kevin’s comment about not liking looking like his dead father (more on that later). Kevin gets the hang of the mace returning when thrown, but the strike team leader does as well. The leader provokes Kevin into throwing the mace by shooting Grunny, but then manages to snag the weapon in some strange green energy field and fly off with it. There’s an amusing scene from the sidelines as Bobby thinks Kevin is good at this, and wonders about basically getting him an agent. The team retreats with their prize, shooting out a wall that falls on Bobby. Kevin catches it, urging Grunny to save Bobby, and she warns of the transformation back to Kevin’s mortal self in sixty seconds. Touchingly, this is the first time I recall Kevin calling Bobby “Dad.” There is much yelling and rubble falling, a flash of magic… and the infamous to be continued.
What I liked and what I didn’t:
There’s been a lot of growth with these characters. Kevin is different, and while I don’ t like him being anti-hero, I can understand it. Bobby has matured a lot, and really seems to be trying to be a good father to Kevin. The scene with the kid at the school was nicely done, as was Kevin’s reaction to “Grunny” when she lost the helmet. I thought it was funny that Kevin and Bobby were both willing to hand over Thunderstrike when surrounded by enemies with superior firepower. Really, who wouldn’t? Grunny’s bit about more to learn was interesting, I bet Kevin will learn how to transform into something that doesn’t look so much like his Dad down the road. Oh, and the last issue summary being a progress report from Kevin’s school was a really nice little touch, as was the title applying to both Kevin’s needing to learn so much as well as just plain Grunny in general.
We haven’t really seen anything of Marcy yet, so I don’t know how, if at all, she’s changed. I have a pet peave in stories that got triggered here- I don’t like high tech beating magic, and vice versa. Seems to me like they should be different things, but they are increasingly treated as the same, as apparently happened here. Other examples include the JSA story with Roulette a while back when a guy could wipe out both Atom Smasher’s scientific powers and Black Adam’s magic ones, or Rogue of the X-men, who can drop any type of hero from mutants to gods, oddly excepting Wonder Man. But that’s just me, likely.
This is a fun story, and I’m looking forward to the next issue.
|the growth in the characters, especially Bobby and Kevin. Grunny’s ‘Mort’ line||the mace taken so easily, like to see more of how Marcy is now|
The Secret Avengers are up to their armpits with some serious stuff. Shang-Chi’s father is looking to return from the dead and the secretive Shadow Council is not only helping one of the most evil men in the history of the world, but they have called on one of their big guns, John Steele, America’s first real super-soldier, to help take out Steve Rogers’ team and capture the Master of Kung-Fu.+Continue Reading
The Secret Avengers continue to track down the Hai-Dai clan who is helping the mysterious Shadow Council resurrect their leader. Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, is assisted by Steve Rogers’ team in hopes that they are not too late to stop the Shadow Council from bringing back one of the most terrible threats the world has ever known.+Continue Reading
The first official images of Chris Evans as Captain America have surfaced and guess what, we have opinions on it. But first…the photos…