Cloonan's "Punisher" Is A "Violent, Bullet-Riddled, Bleeding" Good Time
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s “return of Captain America” storyline from their first run on Captain America – Operation: Rebirth!!
This series is one of those rare occasions where you really can’t tell for sure who is doing the better job on the title – the writer or the artist. Mark Waid came up with a really strong story for Cap’s return, but Ron Garney was so dynamic on the story that it’s just about insane.
The first awesome Garney page came early on in Captain America #445, where they actually bring Cap back. Cap’s body was breaking down due to the Super Soldier Serum expiring, as it was never intended to be working over fifty years later. A cure was found, but the Red Skull stole it – he then has a bunch of goons steal Cap’s near-death body and put him into cyrogenics while they pumped Cap’s body with the cure) – I absolutely how they handle the drama building up to double-page spread AND how the use of cryogenics is a throwback to Cap’s Silver Age return (classic!).
And, of course, the spread itself…
Click on the double-page spread to enlarge it!
Waid gets big-time credit for reversing Sharon Carter’s silly death. What an awesome foil/love interest he brought back to the title!
Then we get to the actual plot, which involves the Red Skull bringing Cap back because Adolf Hitler has taken control of the Cosmic Cube, and who’s the best person around for stopping Hitler – Captain freakin’ America, that’s who!
Of course, Skull’s plan involves Cap stopping Hitler, therefore leaving the Cube for the Skull himself – will Cap follow Skull’s plan?
Cap is just about to enter the bunker and destroy Hitler. Cap’s subconscious, though, in the form of Bucky, convinces him this is all a lie and that he cannot break through that bunker door. Cap understands and, as you would expect, he is quite upset over all this (the Skull even recreated Cap’s mother just to be nice to Cap to spur Cap on in his quest to defeat Hitler)…
Cap holding the shield to the Skull’s throat is one of the most bad-ass Cap shots ever.
What a great opening arc.
The ONLY drawback to me was the multiple inkers on the story – Garney deserved better than having a different inker seemingly every issue.
But yeah, what a start to a great run by Waid and Garney. And what’s especially neat is that 15 years later, both guys are still doing excellent work on their respective comic book titles. That’s always nice to see!
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