Saturday, December 04, 2010

Steve Rogers - Super Soldier #2, #3 and #4 - Marvel

Captain America is somebody that I've always held a passing interest in. However . . I can't afford everything. So . . I don't usually follow this book, or character on a regular basis. I do however know enough about the character that I'm not usually lost if I decide to pick up a few issues . . or follow a mini-series. I really liked the story about Cap's return, so . . when I saw this mini-series coming out, I decided to give it a shot. Of course it didn't hurt that Dale Eaglesham was doing the art. I think he's a great talent. I love his work. Anyways, in the first issue we saw that Doctor Erskine . . the original doctor that created the Super-Soldier formula . . apparently he had a grandson. And, as evil genius' progeny are apt to do, he's also decided to follow in his grand-father's footsteps and is trying to recreate, or refine, the formula. However, he doesn't appear as altruistic as his grand-father, as he's attempting to mass produce it and sell it on the open market. However, when Steve goes to Mandipoor to confront him, the professor is as shocked as he, as he claims that he was developing it as a cure for cancer. But he doesn't tell him much else as a sniper bullet then ends his life. Steve's also surprised to see the the professor's wife bears a striking resemblance to his first love, Lieutenant Cynthia Glass. But she died back in WW II, so . . this can't be her. It isn't long though before we find out that the actual person behind all of this madness is the Machinesmith. He's an enemy that Steve has faced before. But in his previous demise, his soul, or personality, was captured within an electronic device. He can now apparently move from one electrical device to another at a whim. So he's infiltrated the professor's company, Nextin Pharmaceuticals. He built a construct to pose as his head of security, and then he built a woman to be his wife, Anita . . who also resembled Cynthia, to lure Steve into the picture. Anyways, by the end of issue #2 the Machinesmith has deactivated the serum in Steve's body, and has reverted him back to his 98 pound weakling self. I assume that the reason he doesn't also age is because the serum is actually still in his bloodstream. It's just dormant. I guess. Anyways, Anita helps him get back to normal, and then . . they're off to stop the sale of the formula. In issue #3 we learn a lot about what made Steve the man he is. And it doesn't really have a lot to do with the formula. Sure it helped him achieve physical perfection, but . . the drive, the stamina, the desire for truth and justice . . those things all came from Steve's adolescence and his personal experience. And then all the fighting and strategy and such was taught to him when he joined the armed forces. So . . keep that in mind, because next Steve takes down the Machinesmith. With Anita's help of course. She sacrifices herself. During the course of the fight Steve gets the Machinesmith to destroy everything else in the bunker. So when they shut down the satellite and cell transmissions, he has nowhere else to go but into his creation . . Anita. However, with the Beast's help, they've rigged her so that signals can get in . . but nothing can get out. And then Steve shuts him off. Unfortunately you know the Machinesmith will be back. He's not going to be taken out that easily. But in the epilogue we find out the he's not the real villain here. At least . . he's not the brains behind the whole thing. We find out that Dr Erskine faked his death. And then, with what looks to be a government type, they massaged the circumstances so that it looked like the Machinesmith had manipulated this whole series of events. When actually they were the ones putting all the pieces into place. Since Steve took out the Machinesmith he has no reason to suspect, or look in their direction. And they are proceeding with the Super-Soldier program. But they're focusing on Steve's social/economical background as well as his body type. They've got a dozen or so young men around Steve's original age . . with similar life experiences that they're keeping an eye on. So, nothing will be happening soon . . probably. But . . it's still in the works. This is all going to come back to bite Steve sooner or later. I thought Ed Brubaker constructed a great story here. The Machinesmith part of it all was a bit predictable, but . . I liked the little twist at the end. And of course Dale's art looked fantastic. Overall this storyline probably wasn't to important to the character, other than putting into motion a series of events that will affect Steve in the future. But . . it was interesting. And . . I liked it.

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