Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
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 comics posted so far!
Today we look at the last issue of Captain America before Heroes Reborn, a one-off story by Mark Waid, Ron Garney and Scott Koblish…
It’s next to impossible to read this issue without seeing it within the context of the publishing strategy at Marvel at the time. Captain America and three other Marvel titles (Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Avengers) were being re-launched in a separate line of comics, with the books being handled by Image artists Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld (and their respective studios), both of whom were former star artists for Marvel.
This decision directly cut off Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s acclaimed run on Captain America, so this final issue where everything had to be wrapped up quickly had a good deal more gravitas surrounding it than a normal issue.
One of the most compelling aspects of Waid and Garney’s run was the handling of Sharon Carter. Brought back to life during this run, we slowly learn about all the events that conspired to considerably harden her as a person. She has become an embittered veteran covert agent, but when her path crosses with Steve Rogers once again, she cannot help but be inspired by Steve’s clear-headed, well, GOODness. Their relationship is great, and it’s great to see Ed Brubaker continue with what Waid left off with during his run on Captain America.
In any event, at the end of a previous storyline, Sharon Carter skips off with a valuable piece of American intelligence. In this issue, Captain America #454, we see where she went off to with it…
Pretty sweet opening, huh?
Koblish does a very good job on Garney’s pencils here. I think Koblish was probably my favorite inker on Garney on this run.
After a madcap race away from the bad guys, we eventually get to the bottom of what Sharon was doing here…
That perfectly sets up the dichtomy between the two – Sharon is a “realist,” while Cap is an “idealist.” However, Sharon WANTS to believe – she really does, she just needs someone to show her that ideals CAN be real, and Cap is just that person…
I won’t show you the awesome pages that follow, which include a stunning two-page spread by Garney and Koblish that captures the heart of Captain America wonderfully, or the classic final page. I’ll let you find this issue for yourself and enjoy it!
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