By Rick Remender, Nic Klein, & Dean White.
Steve Rogers is regarded as the man who never quits; who does what is necessary, who does what no one else can, or will, and he is forced to be this person and more in Captain America #21. The Iron Nail has executed his plan for absolute domination and has unleashed a Helicarrier-turned robot machine on the country of Nrosvekistan. Captain America is the last chance at preventing the destruction of a nation as the anticipation and excitement in this issue are enhanced to no limit. Rogers’ character is presented at his best as this story feels exactly like what a Captain America story should be: fast-paced, exciting, dramatic, and above all, heroic.
Rick Remender writes this character beautifully, even down to Rogers’ dialogue, it looks, sounds, and feels like classic Cap. A fast pace is kept throughout the entire issue as it is exactly what you’d expect to see in the final climax of an action movie, but spread out through 25 pages. All the elements that make a story gripping and intriguing were present; the world in danger, the hero against all odds, and those he cares about in danger were all examples of what drives you to turn the page and find out what happens next. In other words, whatever seat you were sitting in, this issue surely had you on the edge of it.
Nic Klein’s art also contributes to the high intensity of the action, especially the issue-long brawl between Cap and Iron Nail. Klein’s pencils combined with Dean White’s colors bring the action up to a whole new level as White’s colors are easily the highlights of any panel featuring energy, explosions, whenever Cap throws his shield, leaving that red and white trail behind it, etc. Each page left so much anticipation for the next that before you know it, you’re finished the book wanting even more. Then you’re hit with the realization that an entire month separates this issue from the next, but as heartless as this sounds, the comic book did its job, and did it quite well.
From Dimension Z to Dr. Mindbubble this series has shown that there are no shortages of interesting Captain America stories to be told, and Remender has proven it once again with #21. Overall, this issue was nearly perfect. It was met with minor drawbacks that many comics suffer from, like the lack of story actually told, but where there was a lack of story progression there was an abundance of fantastic action. Even if this issue ended too abruptly, it’s still clear it has to set up for further stories, which are surely to be as action-packed as this one. However, it wouldn’t be a terrible change of pace if one issue were to be more plot-heavy as readers will surely get their fill of action here. Whether you loved the action here or are in need of more story development, there is no denying that the ending of this issue will be a shock to most, leaving much anticipation for what comes next.