CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 5: THE TOMORROW SOLDIER (Marvel, First Printing 2015; Softcover)
Collects Captain America #22-25 and Marvel 75th Anniversary Special #1 (cover dates September- December, 2014)
Writer: Rick Remender with Stan Lee (Marvel 75th Anniversary Special #1)
Artists: Carlos Pacheco, Paul Renaud, Stuart Immonen, Mariano Taibo, and Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorists: Dean White, Lee Loughridge, Sonia Oback, Veronica Gandi, and Marte Gracia
This is it, the big payoff to Remender's run. And what a payoff it is! S P O I L E R S abound from here on out, so if you haven't read this yet and don't want it ruined, turn back now. You have been warned...
Arnim Zola is not dead. He tips his hand to reveal his long-gestating plan to destroy New York City and every Avenger in it. He is working with the Red Skull and brings his army from Dimension Z to invade New York. Steve Rogers is down for the count as Captain America, as The Iron Nail's removal of the Super Soldier Serum appears to be permanent. (Yeah right.)
Without giving you a blow by blow play by play, the Falcon saves the day and with Steve's blessing becomes the new Captain America. Jet Black does Arnim Zola's will by betraying him, with Zola manipulating the heroes into betraying her, thus fulfilling his original plan. Not for nothing is Arnim Zola considered a genius. Sharon Carter and Steve's stepson from Dimension Z, Ian, are alive and well. Ian is now an adult since time moves more swiftly in Dimension Z than it does here. (Remember, in the first two volumes Cap was gone from our dimension for a minute and twelve years elapsed there.)
The movie incarnations of Iron Man, the Falcon, Thor, Nick Fury, and the Hulk are all represented here. I don't have a problem with a singular version of these characters existing across all platforms (print, movies, cartoons, video games, etc.) so long as they are consistent. Iron Man in particular flies in the face of his established personality in print. On screen you have Robert Downey Jr. carrying the snark, but on the printed page he comes off as a smug prick. To the civilians out there who walked into the comics this is fine. To me it is fine only so long as they make this a consistent thing and move forward with it. I would rather have the comics be accessible to the masses, so this singular version works as long as they keep it going forward. I want comics to survive.
I am glad that my local library had Vols. 3-5, as I always wondered how this run ended. I dropped it after the first two books in the line because there are too many books from too many publishers offered for me to afford following everything that I would like to. This was a satisfying read that would even be worth paying for.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Good weight coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.