I own this issue due to the cover, which is one of the Women of Marvel Variants, that has Kitty Pryde as one of the ladies making up the frame.
The Black Widow is brought to us by Mike Perkins and Frank G. D’Armata.
Cover Dated October 2012
Writer Ed Brubaker
Penciler Butch Guice
Inkers Rick Magyar, Andrew Hennessy and Butch Guice, Andrew Hennessy
Colorist Paul Mounts
Letterer Joe Caramagma
No Escape Part Four
I missed out on all but this one issue of Brubaker’s incredible seven year run on Captain America. I heard amazing reviews of the run. I only know Brubaker from his less than stellar (pun intended) run on Uncanny X-Men that he thankfully handed off to Matt Fraction.
Prior to this issue, Steve Rogers Captain America died at the end of Civil War. He got better.
While dead, James “Bucky” Barnes (who Brubaker brought back to life) gives up his Winter Soldier identity and becomes the new Captain America. While as the Winter Soldier, he had a relationship with Black Widow, who is a constant companion during his Captain America.
Also a companion is Falcon, who starts this issue with some bruised ribs.
Steve Rogers is back in the world of the living, he was actually bouncing around his own timeline, setting right what once went wrong Beckett-style (he may not have been doing this). He’s going by Super-Soldier at the moment so that he doesn’t mess with the Captain America brand. I’m not sure if he’s the Director of SHIELD at the moment, I believe he may be as he was wearing his new uniform in every appearance I saw him as the director but maybe he had it before and kept it after, I’m not sure.
So fun how much this issue ties into the latest movie, with the cast.
Baron Zemo, who I absolutely adore from Busiek / Bagley’s and beyond Thunderbolt run, as well as Avengers Under Siege storyline. His father’s one claim to fame was that he killed Bucky, Captain America’s World War II partner. Learning that Bucky actually didn’t die due to his father’s actions, upsets him and he sets out to correct that mistake. Zemo is sporting a new addition to his costume, a purple sleeveless jacket, I’m not sure if I like it and I don’t see what it adds to the classic costume.
In the previous issues, Baron has set out to ruin Bucky’s quasi-good name. He has revealed to the world that this new Captain America use to be the Winter Soldier.
This issue opens with Bucky getting ready to move out of his apartment (before Zemo reveals that location to everybody in the world) and into a safe house Natasha, the Black Widow, is setting up for him. This is the smart move, to go underground and wait until this passes. It isn’t his style but it is the smart play.
Bucky is packing a bag when he passes by his bathroom. There is a message on the mirror, to come to where he was born. Bucky smashes the window and takes off.
Black Widow, Rogers and Falcon make it to Bucky’s apartment, as he didn’t go to the safe house. They see the message. Natasha knows he was born in Indiana, so could that be where he is heading? Rogers states that the message is addressed to ‘Bucky’ so he must be heading to Camp Lehigh.
Before they can leave to help Bucky Cap (as Spider-Man started calling him), Falcon notices the birds are squeaking. Right then, Iron-Hand Hauptmann (had to look him up) fires a sniper riffle at the three heroes. They scatter and take the fight to him.
Iron-Hand bruises some more of Falcon’s ribs. Rogers finally grabs his hand, and for some reason, is under the impression that his robotic looking glove is an actual robot hand, so he squeezes it with all of his might. Iron-Hand lets out this painful howl and Steve is force to be shame face. That guy’s hand is crushed.
Bucky is wondering why Zemo would want to meet him there, as that place has so many good memories. It was the last place he saw his father, the first place he met Steve. All good times, start there.
I like how once Zemo sees Bucky Cap, that Zemo claims he knew Bucky would have come there by mistake. Which is awesome as I’m not sure if he mutters it or says it to himself but Bucky doesn’t respond to it at all.
So they fight, Zemo brags about his new uniform is double reinforce so that he can withstand Bucky’s blows. Which must be an important plot point as Bucky has a metal arm, so I imagine that must hurt. I like it when people who are punched by Wolverine, act as if they got hit by a toaster, as metal bones have to hurt twice as hard, if that thrice as hard!
Zemo throws a gadget on Bucky’s fake arm, shutting it down. Bucky then tries to take that arm off, which is crazy! Zemo knocks him out and this story ends with what Zemo meant. Zemo is going to take him to the birth place of the Winter Soldier, which is the middle of the Atlantic where he should have died.
This is the only issue I own so I can tell you this, Bucky doesn’t die. He does die in Fear Itself but then that is reversed at story’s end and I know he’s back in a comic to tie in the latest film so he is still around.
Writer Sean McKeever
Artist Filipe Andrade
Colorist Chris Sotomayor
Letterer Joe Sabino
Welcome Home Part Two
I really like McKeever, he’s a great guy. As he’s a friend of mine of Facebook, I feel like I can say he’s a friend of mine. He was a pretty regular poster over at the Joe Quesada boards, which I loved when they were active.
McKeever has written some very fun and amazing stories over his career. Not so many with the X-Men besides Mystique, a good run – but no Kitty Pryde appearances, so he doesn’t show up in my kept collection.
I have really enjoyed his creation for Marvel, Gravity. His runs on Mary Jane and Mary Jane : Homecoming (where he did a very fun take on showing Spider-Man and Peter Parker), then it was rebranded Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane – which was my favorite of the three but it really is all one big story. Megamorphs, which reunited the New Fantastic Four. He had the team go to the Xavier Mansion, and had the entire cast of the Whedon / Cassaday Astonishing X-Men crew, minus the one I wanted. He also had a fun Sentinel ongoing for a while, as well.
Creative own work, if you haven’t read, pick up Waiting Place, it is so good!
Back to his Marvel Work. So in 1996, Onslaught happened, and with it, the deaths of the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Captain America and the Avengers (but not all of them) as well as Doctor Doom. By deaths, I mean Franklin Richards sent them to Counter-Earth, a pocket dimension.
Essentially, Marvel sold the rights to Jim Lee’s Wildstorm (FF and Iron Man) and Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Comics (Captain America and Avengers). Liefeld only lasted six issues, then Marvel sold those two to Jim Lee, essentially. They were still Marvel Books, but operated through these companies. Sort of like Marvel Knights but not as in house.
Anyway, Captain America got a new Bucky, this time, a young lady – Rikki Barnes. Once the heroes went back to their proper Earth, Doom conquered this Earth – now called Counter-Earth (not sure if this is still the case or what has happened since the initial revisits).
At the time of this issue, she is going by Nomad, and is living on the Proper Earth. Steve Rogers, with his connections, is trying to give her a normal life. She goes to high school with Spider-Girl, Anya Corazon. Which that character made things a little hard for May Parker, MC2’s Spider-Girl, publication wise.
Nomad has three days to get back to Rogers with his deal. Last issue, she broke up a ring of racist criminals. She punched one of them in the face. She sees a fellow student with the same injuries and follows him to the next big meeting.
While she is observing them, her cell phone goes off, which reminds me of that episode of 24 where Jack Bauer forgot to turn his cell phone off.
The thugs hear the phone, look up and start firing shots at her direction. Rogers and the Black Widow come barging through the wall and start taking the villains out. Steve pushes Rikki out of the day, and takes a bullet to the side. Rikki is shocked and frozen in place. This sets her up to be knocked out by the high school student and the story ends there.
There are some fun house ads in this comic that work as a nice time capsule of how many good comics they were releasing at the time :
Jason Aaron’s Wolverine relaunch, where he goes to Hell.
Hickman’s threat of killing one of the Fantastic Four – This ad shows Reed, Ben and Johnny
Parker’s Iron Man fighting Red Hulk
Shadowland Issue Three
Daken, Dark Wolverine
Avengers Children’s Crusade Issue 2
Incredible Hulks 612