By Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale & Dave Stewart
The conclusion to this long-awaited installment in the Marvel “color” series hit shelves this week. Captain America battles his arch nemesis, the Red Skull, in France atop the Eiffel Tower. His trusty companion Bucky Barnes has been captured by the crimson villain and forces the first Avenger to make a choice: the world or his best friend…
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are, without a doubt, one of the best creative collaborators ever in comics and have have left their beautiful mark on the Big Two. With Marvel, their “color” series looked to the past of key characters to tell their stories in the present. Loeb and Sale created nostalgic stories for the Marvel icons and Captain America: White is no different. Each color book dealt with the theme of loss or regret and, in White, Steve Rogers reminisces about his long dead partner and friend, Bucky Barnes. Jeph’s writing really conveys the heartache and deep sorrow that Cap feels for still being alive and without him. Unfortunately, that’s really the best part of the writing because the rest is a bit one note. The story that unfolds is fairly generic and doesn’t quite seem like the best point of reference to exemplify Steve and Bucky’s friendship.
Tim Sale is a consummate artist and this book continues to prove that. The way he depicts the maniacal nature of the Red Skull is spot-on and Dave Stewart’s coloring only further expresses that. The pages maintain the hand drawn quality with the panel outlines being very rough; it adds a nice touch of craftsmanship. Considering most of this issue takes place at night, the color and actions are vibrant. Readers will feel every punch landed into Skull by Steve. It’s a fun sequence to read. What feels a little off are the facial expressions of some of the more intimate scenes; the emotion just doesn’t resonate too well.
Some may have kept hoping after each issue that the material would get better, but, after concluding this final issue, things did not change. The previous mini-series were so poetic and beautiful; sadly, Captain America: White seems too little, too late. It’s just a shadow or glimpse at some the amazing work these two have done. Completionists should pick this up though.This is a recommended series to someone new to Captain America or the work of Loeb and Sale because they can only go up after this series.