HEROES

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I Want More #6

By • Aug 8th, 2009 • Category: Reviews

Originally posted as Heroes message # 25769 Feb. 5, 2008

Welcome to the latest installment of I WANT MORE, a recurring fanfic review feature!
Today’s offering is CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 – 28 at the main imprint of Avengers2000, written by Michael Franzoni. Find it at http://ironrodstudio.com/av2000/issue.asp?titleid=CAP.
Hey, how about that Captain America, huh? He’s had quite a ride lately over at marvel Comics, what with leading the underground resistance during Civil War and surrendering into state custody and getting assassinated and having Joey Q bequeath his shield to Stephen Colbert and getting his costume redesigned by Alex “Ooh, shiny” Ross and being replaced by the one person everybody thought would always stay dead … um, spoilers …?
OK, seriously, I didn’t come here to start a flamewar about Marvel Comics’ handling of one of their oldest and best-loved characters. As far as I’m concerned it’s Marvel’s character to do with as they please, because honestly, I’ve never followed Captain America that closely. I enjoy him as part of the overall Marvel tapestry, love him as a member/leader of the Avengers, but never collected his solo title with any kind of regularity. I respect Cap as a good, solid character, but his book never reached out and grabbed me, for whatever reason
Franzoni’s Captain America, on the other hand, has done what the comic books couldn’t. It got me hooked.
Franzoni’s run starts quietly, which makes for an excellent jumping on point. Captain America is on his own, not on the current roster of Avengers, answering only to himself … although S.H.I.E.L.D. would like to keep tabs on him and assigns a young agent named Cole Prentis to do just that. Of course the presence of an intermediary doesn’t stop Cap and old flame Sharon Carter from interacting on a regular basis. But first things first, Cap is called upon to honor the requests in the last will and testament of a complete stranger.
I really like this intro to Cap as an entity. The phrase “living legend of WWII” gets thrown around a lot with regards to Cap, and the last request angle plays into that nicely. Cap is a mega-celebrity, and an incredibly decent guy who seems to understand how he can mean so much to someone he’s never met. It just captures a lot of the essence of who Cap is and how he fits into the world.
Of course, not everything is as simple as it seems, and soon Cap is in possession of a memento that belonged to the deceased, which sets him off on an intrigue-filled trip to Europe, and we get into the solid superheroic staples of assassins and exploding buildings (yes, if you’ve read I WANT MORE before, you know I love exploding buildings) and so forth. Sure, the same adventure probably could have been kicked off by having Batroc or Crossbones appear out of nowhere, beat on Cap, and disappear, leaving Cap thinking “I better investigate!” but I tip my hat to Franz for putting a little more thought into it than that.
By the time issue #28 draws to a close, the major villain of the piece is revealed, and it’s NOT who I expected but it IS an inspired choice and I look forward to both the spotlight time the villain was promised in #29 and the ultimate resolution of the whole epic arc somewhere down the road … but unfortunately #28 is where Mr. Franzoni left off, sometime around January of 2007. So cruel.
This run on Captain America does what any solo series should do: it makes the central character come alive. Franzoni writes with what I can best describe as intensity, so that even the parts of the story which are mostly dialogue have a compelling energy to them. Through every scene, Cap is definitely one of the Good Guys, but he’s also human. And by the end of #28, he’s in trouble. I want to see how he gets out of the trouble, I want to see more of what makes Cap tick, I definitely want to see more of the bad guy … you see where this is headed. Read the run so far and you’ll be howling louder than a crazed Cap-Wolf … I WANT MORE!!!
(Sorry about the Cap-Wolf reference.)

UPDATE: Breaking the land speed record for fastest turnaround after an I WANT MORE, Franzoni submitted Captain America #29 about two days after my review went up. It appeared on Avengers2000 on February 11, 2008. Also, it is fantastic, a flashback issue that enriches everything that has already been revealed in Franzoni’s arc. And #30 is reportedly in the works! I am proud to be an American!

is a 32 year old happily married man who loves comics and the characters associated with them so much he writers Fan Fiction based on them. Currently He is the Editor in Chief of Altered Visions, Marvel Reborn, and Ultimate DC.
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