Saturday, February 24, 2018
Home  >  Features  >  Marvel NOW! Double Feature Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 and INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #1

 Captain America 1 cover


MightyVille's Sommer K shares her review of two of Marvel's big releases from this fall's Marvel NOW! initiative: Captain America #1 and Indestructible Hulk #1.


Captain America #1 by Rick Remender & John Romita Jr.

A critically acclaimed and fan favorite run of 8-years by writer Ed Brubaker is hard to beat. In addition, Captain America #1 is one of the earliest and most anticipated new comics coming out of the “don’t call it a relaunch” Marvel NOW! initiative from Marvel this fall. Picking up the mantle on Captain America is Rick Remender, who has had successful Marvel runs on Punisher and Uncanny X-Force and who is joined by marvelous artist John Romita Jr.

Remender’s Captain America #1 takes the series in a new, pulpy direction, complete with crashing airplanes, secret subway lines and menacing monsters. It is packed with action, and it has a fun pace. I enjoyed seeing Cap take on mad, passionate villains and fight to save his beloved America, and I appreciated that the story provided a believable love interest to further the Captain’s motivation to save and serve. But while I liked all of these things about Captain America #1, I still finished the comic and wished I’d had a better time reading it. I’d expected an exciting new re-establishment of a Captain America specific style and journey, and instead I received a very stylized story in which you could just as easily insert Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, or John Carter in place of Captain America. Nothing is really original in this story, and several things seem to be close copies of other stories, like opening the action with an airplane crash, the same way the action was kicked off in this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises. Other things seemed just randomly thrown in, such as the birthday present Steve Rogers is given but never bothers to open. While the pulp, sci-fi angle was fun, the overly convenient escapes and the internal monologues (in which Captain America often refers to himself in the third-person) were hard to swallow.

While I wasn’t completely sold on Rick Remender’s new, vintage spin on Captain America, I totally fell for John Romita’s beautiful artwork. His signature, classic style was a joy to view, and fit well with this sci-fi tale. His Captain America looked strong, valiant and timeless.

As an introductory effort for Marvel NOW!, I’m not sure what to expect from this Captain America series. I find it a bit of a strange way to re-introduce the character to readers, since the pulp, sci-fi style seems somewhat gimmicky and doesn’t feel flexible enough to be the start to something that will continue far into the future. But the story did include a solid, basic backstory for Cap’s story to build from, and the end of the issue provides an interesting twist that made me want to find out what happens next. Maybe the vintage storytelling style used is an indication that Marvel NOW! is not just reintroducing Marvel’s characters, but bringing them back to their roots.

3 out of 5


Indestructible Hulk #1 Cover

Indestructible Hulk #1 by Mark Waid & Leinil Yu

Since Joss Whedon reimagined him in The Avengers film earlier this year, The Hulk has had a surge in popularity. Now with the Marvel NOW! comic Indestructible Hulk #1, The Hulk gets a revamping in comics form by writer Mark Waid and artist Leinil Yu. In the new comic, Hulk continues to deliver huge, green, angry smashing, but this time his alter ego, Bruce Banner, has a new attitude. Banner wants respect for his scientific brilliance and intends to contribute positively to a world that his indestructible half has done much to demolish. The new direction cleverly allows both sides of Hulk’s personality to shine. While Banner uses his brains to address some of the world’s biggest problems, Hulk’s brawn crushes other issues that need more muscle.

Waid does a great job delivering both the brains and the brawn in Indestructible Hulk #1. In the first half of the comic, he gives us smart and quick dialogue between S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Maria Hill and Banner, as Banner explains his new outlook on The Hulk and spells out his case for why S.H.I.E.L.D. should fund his scientific research. Then, the writer gives us a huge smash of a battle that shows why S.H.I.E.L.D. should also keep The Hulk on their side. The battle is intense Hulk action, with the truly indestructible Hulk thwarting the calculated schemes of the science & technology-dependent Mad Thinker through sheer force. It’s a classic clash, complete with a ridiculously named villain, and I was very happy they went with just a simple, enjoyable brawl between a diabolical baddy and an angry monster.

Leinil Yu’s artwork is excellent. The panels of dialogue between Hill and Banner are lovely, and the art is awesome in the latter half of the comic. Yu excels in the battle scenes, and his double-page spread is, well, incredible and sure to become wall art for many a Hulk fan. I also really enjoyed Sunny Gho’s coloring, especially his use of mainly pale, pastel colors in contrast to the vibrant green Hulk.

Overall, Indestructible Hulk #1 was an enjoyable read with an intense Hulk battle scene that should please long-standing Hulk fans. Meanwhile, new readers should be able to jump on with this comic and not miss out for lack of back story. And while there was nothing all that original or inspired in Indestructible Hulk, it established a solid foundation that Marvel can use to build enjoyable and entertaining stories for both Hulk and Banner. Perhaps most importantly, it had a lot of Hulk smashing… which really is why you read a Hulk comic, isn’t it?

4 out of 5

What did YOU think of these two comics? Let us know in the comments section!


More Reviews on MightyVille:

"Catwoman Vol. 1: The Game" - MightyVille Quick Review

BATWEEK: "Batman: Earth One" - The MightyVille Review

"The Dark Knight Rises" - The MightyVille Review


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Which New #1 this week are you most excited about?

SIDEWAYS #1 (DC Comics) - 15.8%
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XENA #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) - 0%
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