Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review- CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE BLOODSTONE HUNT

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE BLOODSTONE HUNT (Marvel, 2010 edition; Softcover)
Collects the main story from Captain America Nos. 357-364 (cover dates Early September- December, 1989)
Writer: Mark Gruenwald
Artist: Kieron Dwyer with Al Milgrom and Danny Bulanadi
The late Mark Gruenwald clearly watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and Romancing the Stone numerous times before writing this story arc. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. I loved the play on titles such as Necromancing the Stone. There's a lot of tongue in cheek writing here, as well as numerous nods to the aforementioned films.
The gist- The story deals with Captain America and Diamondback trying to prevent Baron Zemo and his hirelings, Batroc the Leaper, Machete, and Zaran from assembling all five fragments of Ulysses Bloodstone's gem, which is also called the Bloodstone. These issues are notable because they feature the first appearances of Crossbones, a staple of Ed Brubaker's celebrated run. There are plenty of great action sequences in this highly entertaining read.
I loved how the Bronze Age Horror/monster genre was brought into the then-present in such a way that one didn't have to know the history of the Marvel Universe to understand and appreciate them. There are nods to continuity without alienating new readers. I think that the kids these days call them Easter Eggs. I loved the references to Bloodstone, and seeing the Living Mummy completely rocked my socks off. Can we please get a Living Mummy Masterworks or hardcover?
This book collects the main story from each issue. The US Agent back-ups from issues 358-362 can be found in the Captain America: Scourge of the Underworld trade paperback. You are SOL for the others.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Wonderful dull matte finish, coated stock paper. This book offers a huge upgrade in linework and color restoration over the original 1993 trade paperback. The cardstock cover has the same highly durable coating that makes my OCD swoon.
Linework restoration rating: 5 out of 5.
Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5.
Binding rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Cardstock cover rating: 5 out of 5.

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