Advance Review: Captain America #16


I have not been the biggest supporter of Rick Remender’s run on Captain America. To he honest, I hated the entire Arnim Zola Dimension Z arc, and I haven’t been huge on the less-than-spectacular follow-ups. Marvel Now launches into Captain America with issue #16, and has decided to completely focus on Jet Black, the daughter of Arnim Zola and the woman Captain America convinced to help him escape Dimension Z. I’ve long had an issue with the whole Jet Black character, her betrayal of Arnim Zola, and the fact that she was nothing more than a plot device.

The turn of Jet Black from evil to good rivals Anakin Skywalker’s as the most giggle worthy “turn” in recent memory. During the arc, which was supposed to take place over ten years, all Jet Black knew was her father’s will and his design for her to take over the Earth. Then, after a few frilly words from Cap, she suddenly decides to throw it all away. It didn’t jive with the character at all. Captain America and Jet Black return to our dimension, right after Sharon Carter was killed during the attack on Arnim Zola, and JB was promptly forgotten.

Jet Black has returned, and she’s pissed off. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop in New York City, Black waxes philosophical about how much she hates Earth. She has valid points. A cesspool of pollution and greed. A weak planet of obese and soft complainers. There’s little to argue with when it comes to Jet Black’s reasoning. During her swing through the big apple, Black comes upon a shopkeeper being beaten up by criminals. After scaring them off, Black chastises the shopkeeper for being weak.

Now is when it gets weird. Marvel is very specific about the hush-hush nature of these advance reviews, so I won’t get too far into spoiler territory. I will say this; Jet Black’s life unfolds like a weird acid trip. She’s faced with those who see Arnim Zola as a visionary, and Black is pushed into some very hard choices. Do they stem from reality or her mind, and how will they affect the future of Captain America? Hard to say. It’s also difficult to tell if Jet Black is stepping up to become a major part of Cap’s world, or if this is just a reminder that she’s still around.

Pascal Alixe artwork is bizarrely inconsistent. His line work is thin, and he tends to pencil characters in small, far-off shots, which makes them look either disfigured or unfinished. What’s odd is that the Jet Black scenes, when she’s jumping buildings, are wonderful. Alixe has an exceptional ability to communicating movement. The problem is that what’s moving often looks like blobs of color. Even faces look off, which is never a good thing for a book that already lacks clarity.

(3 Story, 2 Art)


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