By Rick Remender, Carlos Pacheco, Mariano Taibo, Dean White & Lee Loughridge
Steve Rogers’ life has turned upside-down since last month’s conclusion and now he must live with the consequences. Captain America #22 follows the aftermath of Cap’s heroic service in preventing World War III, and defeating villain, The Iron Nail. Now, from the conclusion we were left with last time, this issue looked to have a lot of plot possibilities to capitalize on, which created a lot of anticipation. Unfortunately for hardened Cap fans, this issue did not deliver on the hype it created for itself.
As for the art, it was appealing as ever. Pacheco’s art looks like a wonderfully detailed cartoon, with a realistic, yet animated, appearance. Dean White and Lee Loughridge team-up to bring a bright and colorful palette that adds a shine to every page. The collective art makes even the most stilled scenes appear visually interesting. If the conversations look great, you can bet the action scenes look even better (too bad there were too few of them).
Dimension Z, the first story arc in this relatively new series, is coming back into the light as elements from that first arc are returning into the current story. It seems as though everything from villains, to story, to vengeance is coming full circle, creating a complexity of problems for Cap and his fellow heroes. Steve is certainly seen in a new light as he has been physically restricted, to say the least, since last issue. However, even with all the drawbacks he’s experienced personally, Remender maintains his high morals as Cap disagrees with the choices of his fellow characters in favor of some that would be more just. Cap’s great character qualities were some of the few highlights of the issue, unfortunately. A lot of tiny downfalls riddled throughout the issue prevent it from living up to expectations and culminate to make a fairly boring story.
There were a lot of villains revealed this issue that look to take down Cap and the Avengers once and for all, but we are only shown the villains discussing their evil plans as opposed to implementing them, like we would rather have seen. The highlights of this issue came within the last couple pages, which speak to the overall quality of the story throughout the majority of the book. The ending looks to provide a great, action-filled story next issue, but why was that story not provided for us this time around?
It could have been called a plot-heavy issue with minimal action, if there were much plot involved at all. Most information provided was old news for returning readers and the new information given wasn’t enough to create excitement. This issue was the perfect example of a story within a story, as it acted as a filler leading into next month’s installment. Cap’s issues have been great and the overall story arc has been fantastic, but this issue did not live up to its hype. Hopefully #23 doesn’t make the same mistakes and provide what is expected.