Captain America 70th Anniversary Special #1 (Marvel Comics)
by James Robinson & Marcos Martin
I hadn’t heard about this one-shot until a couple of days before its release. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick it up, but Marcos Martin’s association with the project was enough to get me on board. After all, his recent Marvel work (Dr. Strange: The Oath, Amazing Spider-Man) has been tremendously strong. Unfortunately, that strength just isn’t as prevalent in this one-shot. The problem lies with his depiction of an emaciated, pre-Super-Soldier-Serum Steve Rogers. He looks like a concentration-camp detainee, not a feeble young man from the streets of New York City. Conversely, James Robinson’s plot seems to ignore the notion that Rogers is meant to be physically weak before his transformation into Captain America. In this story, the 90-pound weakling is as fast, agile and accurate as Cap. The point is to try to show that what makes Cap so special is his spirit, but instead, the focus remains on physicality.
To appease readers who mightn’t be happy about the inflated $3.99 US cover price, Marvel has opted to include a Golden Age Cap/Bucky reprint story. I would have expected the original version of the Cap origin story, but instead, editor Stephen Wacker opts for a somewhat goofy baseball story. I like that the reprint material isn’t redundant or familiar, and the oddball nature of the plot was entertaining. Still, it seems an odd choice, and I would have rather paid $2.99 US for the comic without the reprint. (Actually, I wish I hadn’t forked out any money for it in the first place.) 4/10