I’m still unsure if Rick Remender is the man for Captain America. Thankfully, his excruciatingly drawn-out arc involving Cap in another dimension has concluded. The fall out from the story is severe. Ian, Cap’s son during his twelve year stint in Dimension Z, has died (well, not really, but Cap doesn’t know that), and his longtime love Sharon Carter perished in the final battle with Zola. Now, after being away for twelve years in his memory and only a few seconds in our reality, Captain America is again a man out of time.
Captain America #11 is essentially a regrouping story. While his own series has been focused on Cap vs. Zola, the rest of the Marvel Universe has been moving ahead in a post-Captain return. We know he continues on, but how does he do it, and what other problems await him? These are the questions issue #11 attempts to answer. After extensive surgery to replace the hole in his body, Captain America is up and ready for action. It’s hard to believe that, after the beating he took, Cap could ever be put back together. I guess we’ll just file this under “Super Soldier Serum.”
As our beloved hero gets stitched up, his partner from Dimension Z, Jet Black, is getting questioned by Nick Fury Jr. Apparently, the new guy in SHIELD is not big on Jet returning to society. Captain America is okay with it, and has Jet released into his custody. Returning to his underground home, Jet and Cap draw some really clichéd and easy conclusions about letting go of the past and moving on. The end of the issue is an eye-rolling page of Captain America burning his old trophies, setting the example of leaving the past behind.
Remender attempts to tie all this together with more flashbacks to Cap’s childhood. It doesn’t really work, as the flashbacks have been one of the weaker points to Remender’s run. Overall, nothing really happens here, although there is a brief appearance from Nuke, who I’m guessing will be Cap’s next problem. Here’s the thing – Remender has a long road ahead of him. Watching Captain America in other books, he seems just fine, which is impossible. Remender has left it all up to him to explain Cap’s recovery, and lead us through the healing process. If he does this successfully, Rick Remender’s run on Captain America could rival Ed Brubaker, at least in emotional impact. If not, then Remender has failed both the character and the fans.
Oddly enough, Carlos Pacheco picks up where John Romita Jr. left off. This is odd to me because each man should have been doing the other work. Pacheco’s darker shadowing and more realistic pencils would have helped the Dimension Z story. John Romita Jr., one of my personal favorites, would have been perfect for the return of Cap to his own time. Though I love Romita Jr., his blockish characters never fit the dire nature of the Dimension Z arc. Pacheco’s work here is strong, his shadowing nicely executed. The softer pencils of the flashbacks work well against the stronger, heavier inks of the current timeline.
(3 Story, 4 Art)