By Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, and Dave Stewart
In the follow-up issue to the return of the superb comic duo of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Captain America and the Howling Commandos are deep in the trenches of WWII. After a shocking event, the group must traverse some of the most treacherous terrain to continue their covert mission. All the while, Bucky questions himself and his actions…
This installment in the Marvel COLOR series continues to be extremely melancholic and emotional. Jeph Loeb writes with such a despondency in Captain America’s narration; it’s heart-breaking. It’s a fascinating exploration of his inner turmoil as a man out of time. Loeb doesn’t shy away from the pain of loss and the desire to be with one’s loved ones. Despite all this, there are some powerful moments such as Cap assuring Bucky that he made the right decisions in a crisis. There is a cameo and nod to other super-powered characters that played a big part in Marvel during the war, which are the perfect beats to lighten the tone and breathe awe into the material.
Tim Sale’s depiction of Steve Rogers during this period is a stark contrast to the character’s narration. His eyes exude such confidence that they pull focus from his costume or actions. Sale has always been able to capture intense facial expressions and this book is definitely no exception. Colorist Dave Stewart continues to use shadows and shade in his work, but the settings truly stand out. Having flaming debris in the water made for a stunning backdrop that Stewart brings such vibrancy to. The soldiers predicament feels intensified with the imagery and colors. Tim Sale also makes sure that his full-page shots count by making full use of his foreground and background. Dave, no doubt, had his work cut out for him, but delivers on every panel. This artistic team clearly play off each other very well.
It goes without saying, but this issue strongly continues Loeb and Sale’s red, white, and blue tale. Fans of their work will be pleased and newcomers should hop on board. This is only the second comic in the series, so there is no issue with trying to catch up. This looks on track to be another Captain America that will stand the test of time.