Let me boast for a moment. I read comics to my two daughters all the time, and since they are getting their comics filtered through me, they are exposed to weird characters and books that aren’t usually the top draw. I know that I’m doing the right thing, because when my five-year-old saw the cover to Captain
#4, she said “Is that Big Barda?” So not only does my daughter know who Barda
is, but that means that John Romita Jr’s attempt to design a Kirby-esque
character certainly succeeded.
I give Rick Remender and Marvel a lot of credit. This isn’t exactly a guarantee for sales. Since the relaunch, Cap has been exiled to another dimension, aged 11 years, and grown an Arnim Zola faceplate in his chest. The story is self-contained and new-reader friendly, but man, this isn’t a book someone would pick up off the street and “get.”
So yeah, Cap is looking mighty haggard after 11 years and constant fighting against Zola’s influence on his psyche. I like the addition of Cap’s Mom to his mythos. I don’t think I’ve seen much of her before; now she’s the one who instilled Cap with his sense of honor and moral fortitude.
It will also be interesting seeing if Ian ends up being added to Cap’s supporting cast. (How weird is it that Captain America and Batman both got crazy artificial sons recently.) Jet Black has the look to go places too; that Kirby design totally works. I still think that this is going to all be wiped out in an alternate world or something, but I hope Jet Black makes it back to the
Man, John Romita Jr. I love his monsters; he’s been drawing fantastic creatures for decades now. He’s the perfect artist for this. He can deliver the period stuff too, the 1930’s materials is dramatic and effective. I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to seeing JRJR do some more straightforward super-heroics, but for now, seeing Arnim Zola’s monsters will do.