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Advance Review: “Captain America” #16.NOW

Rick Remender’s “Captain America” has been through a life-changing ordeal. Cast away in Dimension Z for twelve years, he has finally returned to the world as we know it. While away he lost a son and a lover, but he gained an odd ally in Arnim Zola’s daughter Jet Black.

She serves as the focus for this chapter. Remender revels in having this anti-heroine explore the new world around her for the first time. Cap has never looked better thanks to Pascal Alixe’s sharp lines and detailed character work. He draws Jet Black with certain contempt as she analyzes humanity. As she does, Remender’s script toils in her ultimate decision, will she be friend or foe?

WRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: Pascal Alixe
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: February 5th, 2014

Jet Black is easily the most alluring element of Remender’s Cap run. She is destined to be a villain but when met by the ideology of helping the weak she’s conflicted. Through her interactions with Cap her ideology has come to reflect on him. There’s this paradoxical and beautiful give and take that sees both characters adopting each other’s traits.

For Jet, the terrible thought of fulfilling her destiny hangs over her head. She is strong willed, convicted, and self-sufficient but lost in a world populated by people who don’t possess such traits. She feels her time isn’t best suited helping the weak, but showing them how to help themselves. She provides an interesting spin on the usual Cap formula.

The overarching conflict begins to “bubble” to the surface. Its still not clear which side of the conflict Jet will find herself on. Remender uses this issue to sow seeds of doubt, and it works magnificently as a reintroduction to his world. The first page brings you up to speed, and the remainder of the issue deals with what is sure to be the core conflict of Remender’s run: the idea of fulfilling your destiny or duty.

Pascal Alixe’s art provides a breath of fresh air. I wasn’t a fan of the JRJR stuff in the first chapters, so I’m happy to report that those looking for a harder edge to their Cap book will find it here. The art is polished and gritty if that makes any sense. Alixe’s art reminds me of an up and coming Jerome Opeña.

There is a smoothness and detail to the character work that makes them incredibly inviting to look at. Jet Black’s physique has never looked more tantalizing. I’d go as far to say that this is the art I’ve been craving on the book since day one.

So the next chapter of Remender’s Cap story begins here. Big threats are coming to tear apart the fractured man. We will see this disillusionment continue to “bubble” in the oncoming issues. A broken Cap and morally grey sidekick will carry one of the best and most original “Captain America” stories ever told into a new age. I want more NOW.

Rating: 3.5/5 Skulls.



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