By Andy Diggle & Adi Granov
This book has been on my radar since it was announced back in October 2010 as Astonishing Captain America. It’s exciting to finally see it in print! The story begins with a World War II flashback in the Bavarian Alps. Russian soldiers, led by Sergeant Volkov, attempt to infiltrate a German rocket site. The Americans, led by Captain America (Steve Rogers), assist in the attack. Then the book jumps to present day on a space station where a new form of energy is being tested and, of course, something goes terribly wrong. Steve Rogers begins to investigate the matter and a name from the past comes up…
Some of the best Captain America stories have conflicts or villains that originated in Steve’s past and they have returned to haunt him. It is only the first issue, but this storyline seems to follow that concept. Oddly enough, Cap does not appear much in this issue, but it works because writer Andy Diggle is providing the reader with all the necessary exposition for the main conflict. Using historical events as a central part of the plot, such as the space race in this story, enriches it and allows the mini-series to stand out from other Captain America tales.
The other key element that makes this book distinctive is Adi Granov’s stellar artwork! He is arguably one of the best modern sequential/graphic artists today. He usually does cover work, so it is a real treat to see him illustrate a whole issue. His panel layouts in Captain America: Living Legend are very dynamic and are rarely duplicated. The combination of his sketches, colors, and layouts seem to accentuate the concept of how strong of an American icon Steve Rogers is. The full-page shot that introduces Cap in the book demonstrates this…truly awe-inspiring work.
I’ve waited three years for this series and the first issue did not disappoint. Andy Diggle was right when he said in an interview this would be worth the wait. Definitely go pick up a copy!