CAPTAIN AMERICA: WAR & REMEMBRANCE (MARVEL PREMIERE CLASSIC VOL. 57) (Marvel, 2010; Hardcover)
Collects Captain America Nos. 247-255 (cover dates July, 1980- March, 1981)
Writers: Roger Stern and John Byrne (co-plotter)
Artists: John Byrne and Joe Rubinstein (inker)
I love the soon-to-be-defunct Marvel Premiere Classic line of hardcovers. It served two purposes: 1: To get long out of print trade paperbacks from the '80s and '90s fully restored by modern standards and back in print. 2: To collect select arcs or second or third string properties. Sort of like a line of “junior Masterworks”. Sadly, this line failed due to low sales, which can be attributed to there simply being too many collected editions being released each month. This was a double dip upgrade me from the 1990 trade paperback.
If you have never read this arc, then you need to do yourself a favor and run out and buy it immediately. Roger Stern and John Byrne were in their prime and firing on all cylinders. This book features a wonderful rogues gallery: the Machinesmith, Dragon Man, Mr. Hyde, Batroc the Leaper, and Baron Blood. The Baron Blood issues are the highlight among a book of highlights.
Stern and Byrne have that go for the throat intensity that makes so many modern comic books seem flat and dull by comparison. Byrne's artwork leaps off of the page. The fluidity is reminiscent of Byrne's unparalleled run on The Uncanny X-Men, where there is never a dull moment or chance to catch your breath. If space aliens land on Earth and ask me “what is a superhero comic book?”, I will hand them this book.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The Marvel Premiere Classic line have superb coated stock paper and sewn binding. The linework and color restoration are great here, with maybe one or two pages looking spotty to my anal-retentive eyes. They are printed with the delectable aroma of Chinese ink with paper likely sourced from virgin Amazon rainforest trees. Sorry rainforest, but I like my books to be made with superior craftsmanship.
Linework restoration rating: 5 out of 5.
Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5.
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