Captain America: White #1 (of 5) (Marvel Comics)
Aside from All-Star Batman & Robin, there’s arguably been no longer delayed comic than Captain America: White. The latest installment in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s award winning “color” line of miniseries following famous Marvel characters, White had a special “zero issue” released in 2008, and then….nothing. Putting the focus on the Sentinel of Liberty right after he’s woken up in modern times, this first issue is an extremely poignant and great look into the mind of Steve Rogers, and more importantly, it reminds you that yes, Jeph Loeb CAN still write good comics.
The theme of this series is Steve Rogers reminiscing about going into the battlefield with Bucky, and this issue revolves around the pair’s first meeting with Nick Fury. Jeph Loeb’s characterization is spot on, and he really hits at the tragedy that’s behind Captain America, something that hasn’t really been touched on in recent years. We’re all used to seeing Cap being the moral center of the Marvel Universe, but here Loeb reminds us that for a good chunk of his life he was dealing with the fact that many of his friends and family have died and the world moved on without him. Loeb’s script is pretty heartbreaking, but it’s also full of some great action, which is drawn wonderfully by Tim Sale.
Tim Sale hasn’t been seen much in the years since Captain America: White was announced, and I’ll be honest, after overhearing him mention it at a convention, I was pretty sure this project was never going to be finished. However, I’m pleased to say that Sale’s art, while not as good as it once was, is still pretty damn awesome. There are stunning full page splash panels of Cap and Bucky in the heat of battle with Nazis. There’s incredible WW2 era scenery, and of course, the shadowy figures that only Sale can pull off. Really the only negative things I have to say about this issue are that Sale’s depiction of the 60’s Avengers team looks a little strange, and there are also some rushed panels. But for the most part, Sale’s still got it.
The wait for this series has been so long that Marvel has reprinted Captain America: White #0 with this issue as well. That brings this bad boy to a $4.99 price point, and while it’s definitely some bang for your buck, if you’re grabbing this for the action, you might be disappointed. As someone who’s only read the other Loeb and Sale “color” series in trade form, I was a little surprised by how abruptly this issue ends, but at the same time, I’m ecstatic that White is even out. Here’s hoping that Loeb and Sale can continue this good start.