The second issue of this limited series came out recently, and it's a good continuation of the rather impressive beginning of Ed Brubaker's take on the origins of the Marvel Universe. While we last saw the origins of the Angel, we see him in costume this time around, fighting crime at the dawn of the Golden Age. He's often been billed as Marvel's first super hero, and it shows here, with him battling evil while the Human Torch was still an outlaw.
Though Marvel's first hero, the Angel was definitely not the last. A wave of costumed adventurers followed him into the streets, including the Fiery Mask, Mister E, and the Phantom Bullet, the first two of which are currently being featured in the Twelve series, but the Phantom Bullet made his modern Marvel debut right here. This fellow hasn't been seen since Daring Mystery Comics #2 - even if he died in this very issue.
And we didn't even get to see his nifty gun that shot ice bullets!
But the death of one obscure hero isn't all we got to see in this book. No, we get to see the evolution of both the Angel and the Human Torch into the heroes they are better known as, as well as the beginnings of the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the creation of Captain America. This starts with the rescue of Dr. Erskine, a man who was being forced to work on a Nazi super-soldier program, by none other than a young Nick Fury.
This part of the issue is also rife with cameos of obscure Marvel characters, including John Steele, who also premiered in Daring Mystery Comics way back in the day, though this book tale adds a bit more to the man's story. Apparently he'd been fighting the Germans in the first World War, and was captured for study due to his... unique characteristics. Which is interesting, as his original tale revealed no such abilities.
Of course, that's all part of the mystery!
Once again, this is the book you need to be buying if you're at all a fan of the Marvel Universe - particularly its rather obscure origins. This book is hitting the nail on the head of a whole lot of little things that seem to make sense, when you look at them in the light they're presented here. That and it's just plain fun to read - Ed Brubaker almost never fails in that regard, which may be why his Captain America tales are so popular.
The book itself is $3.99, but that's not too bad for what you get. If you're not one of those patient folks that waits for the inevitable trade paperback Marvel will be pumping out a week after this series is finished, head to your local comic book store and pick this - and the previous issue - up today. You won't regret doing so - and you can pick up some of the newer books available today!