CAPTAIN AMERICA BY ED BRUBAKER VOL. 4 (Marvel, 2013; Hardcover)
Collects Captain America Nos. 15-19 (cover dates September- December, 2012)
Writers: Ed Brubaker and Cullen Bunn
Artist: Scot Eaton and Steve Epting (Issue 19 only)
Ed Brubaker belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the greatest Captain America writers of all time. This was a bittersweet read, knowing that this is the end of an era. When news that Hostess was closing made the news, I panicked. I managed to snag a box of Hostess Cupcakes on the shelf at Kroger after work that night. I enjoyed those Cupcakes but felt sad knowing that this was all that there would ever be, just like this book. Unlike those Cupcakes, I can go back and re-read his run over and over, as it will last forever...just like those Cupcakes would if I were to have left them sealed.
Brubaker's last arc is a politically charged to do, and I love it. Like that Red Skull arc that predicted the US economic collapse of 2008, this arc taps into the zeitgeist of America in late 2012/early 2013. The talking head on the idiot box spewing insanity while people lap it up like zombies, the feeling of impending doom socially and economically, gun nuts...this is a compelling snapshot of the here and now. Worse still, the scenarios that occur because of catalysts like the Discordians are entirely plausible.
The working man and average American have been screwed by corporations, and the powers that be are twisting people's minds with the media. The Internet has made this situation worse, as it's low barrier to entry has made the spread of disinformation appallingly easy. What should have been the single greatest advancement in the history of mankind's education is instead a shopping catalog, porn machine, and propaganda factory. Sad.
Back to these comic books, we are treated to fantastic artwork by Scot Eaton. Steve Epting returns for Brubaker's final issue, which did not disappoint. Again, I am sad to see this era end, but at least Brubaker hasn't abandoned comic books as a whole. We still have the outstanding Fatale. I will definitely give Rick Remender and John Romita, Jr.'s run a shot (in collected edition format, of course). Those are some great talents, but I sure as Hell wouldn't want to be the guy to follow this act.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Typical Marvel Premiere Edition Hardcover, with the same production values that the format has to offer.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5. Coated stock with a slight sheen, perfect for modern coloring.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. It's glued, but it's a thin hardcover. I did hear creaking once or twice as I read it. I will stare at the ceiling laying in bed tonight worrying that the pages will fall out next time I open this book. I will probably go downstairs in the middle of the night and check. May have to come back and change the binding rating if my fears come true. (EDIT- It turns out that the book was fine and I am just mentally ill.)