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Captain America Reborn 5: spoiled but not rotten

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Captain America Reborn #5 Cover (front and back)Issue five of the limited series wherein Captain America returns from the dead came out a bit back, and while it's good, things are seeming a bit strained on the Captain America front. First off, this series was originally intended to be a five issue tale - this book was meant to be the last of the story. However, it was deemed that the story of the Captain's return was too big for a mere five issues, so they added one.

Which this Examiner found odd. I almost always enjoy the writing style of Ed Brubaker, and most of his stuff at least seems well thought out. And I always thought, though clearly I was rather mistaken, that professional writers write from an outline - you know, one of those things that says what happens and when, so that you can complete the story as it was intended, instead of having to make odd adjustments at the end.

This alone did not ruin the story - one would imagine that if the writer needed more time to 'finish', that should be okay as long as it makes sense (and isn't some crass money grab). But the problem is that Marvel didn't even bother waiting for the last issue of this story to come out to release the one-shot 'aftermath' issue for the Captain America Reborn series. Think of this book, 'Who Will Wield the Shield', as issue seven.

So issue seven, this bridge between the Reborn limited series and the Siege limited series (Marvel's latest mega-event, which we'll get to later), was released before issue six. Yes, instead of say delaying the one-shot that runs with the conclusion of the series (sure we know Cap was coming back but still, way to kill the dramatic tension), they went ahead and released it as scheduled, with a footnote apology on the title page.

Which, by the way, explains what happened in the book that hasn't come out yet. Thanks, Marvel, stay classy.

This is all a big pain in the butt, yes, but what about the actual issue at hand? It's more of the same you've probably come to expect of Brubaker's Captain America by now - which is to say, the story itself is pretty good. While riding around in the first Captain America's body, the Red Skull is taking on the Avengers assembled by the current Captain America - his old partner, Bucky - while fighting off Cap inside his own mind.

It's a two-pronged assault that ends with the Red Skull seemingly triumphant - and Bucky once again having to deal with a wrecked robotic arm. This book was $3.99, and if you're interested in the 'final' fate of Cap, or even the general history of Marvel's 'big three' heroes, you'll want to get this. Though if you picked up that there one-shot that came out recently, you know the details of how the original Cap is back anyway...

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