Captain America #5 by Ammar Al SubahiPublisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Steve McNiven & Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Jay Leisten & Matteo Buffagni
Colorist: Justin Ponsor & Laura Martin
Premise: The final showdown between Captain America and Agent Bravo.
This is it, the final chapter of the American Dreamers arc. Captain America vs Agent Bravo in the dream world, and Sharon Carter vs the new queen of Hydra in the "real world." How was it?
Well, personally, I was a bit underwhelmed, actually. This series hasn't been afraid of playing up the cheesier aspects of super hero comics before. I mean, Cap just fought a big giant robot look-a-like just some issue ago. But this issue, I don't know, the whole final confrontation, the way Sharon brings back Steve from the dream world... it all felt so cliche. It's all so conveniently wrapped up here. To be honest, I expected better from Brubaker.
But my biggest problem here lies within the art. Notice that this issue has an expanded art team, right? Well this issue Giuseppe Camuncoli fills in for Steve McNiven in some places. If you've read either Hellblazer or Dark Wolverine, you might remember this guy. Camuncoli's art is darker and grittier, so it's a clear contrast to McNiven's art.
And I didn't actually have any problem with the art per se, here. My problem lies in that first, I hate it when artists get switched anywhere along the story arc. Second, the fill in didn't make any sense, it's all just random. They could've split up the art so that one could do the real life scenes and the other would pencil the dream world scenes. At the very least we'd have some form of cohesion, and the contrast between the two art teams could've been used to, for instance, as a visual way of showing Bravo's point of view of the situation: the lush and colourful dream world he loves vs the smudgy and bleaker world of today that he despises. Instead, Camuncoli just randomly fills in after McNiven in the middle of a sequence and then returns for two pages during the epilogue.
Was McNiven falling behind schedule? Is that the explanation? I don't know, I don't care, it doesn't matter a bit. The end product is what we get.
And sadly, the end product wasn't much good.
It's not a BAD issue, it's okay. But I expect much more than simply 'okay' from this series.