Captain America Annual #1
Travel back to 1944 with Cap and Bucky for a fun stand-alone issue that marks Tini Howard’s first Marvel work. Deep behind enemy lines, our heroes encounter three Camp escapees and vow to bring them safety, a vow doubled when Cap learns that the man was imprisoned for the crime of being gay within the Reich.
Howard mentions in a post-script that part of this tale was personal for her, having Romani ancestry, but for the reader, it really does come off as just a fun issue. It’s incredibly straight-forward: encounter the escapees, get to know the escapees, rescue the escapees, carry on to the next mission. I found myself waiting for a phantom shoe to drop. Are these escapees Hyrda agents? Spies? Nazis? But no. They were simply people rounded up, as so many were, for being Others. Howard does a great job at reminding us that not every comics tale needs to be tied up in deeply rooted continuity. Sometimes, its just enough to have a warm and thoughtful story that stands on its own.
The art team here (consisting of eight people! I can’t ever remember reading a book with so many people on art where it wasn’t obvious that there were too many hands) does a good job of providing a vehicle for Howard’s writing. There is nothing overly flashy or rambunctious happening here, but the art is solid throughout. In many ways, this issue reminds me of a simpler time in comics, where the objective was to tell a story through image and art, and that was it. I found it oddly refreshing.
This issue won’t change your life, but its definitely worth a read. A pleasant surprise from a writer I only know by reputation and an art team I couldn’t quite wrap my head around working together well. A solid book all around.
Captain America Annual #1: We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place
Writing - 7/10
Storyline - 6/10
Art - 8/10
Color - 8/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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