domingo, 30 de agosto de 2009

Reseñas de Captain America Theater of War: To Soldier ON

Ahí van algunas críticas, para variar buenas, de mi último tebeo. Otro día repartiré estopa sobre esto de la "crítica especializada" sobre todo la de los USA...

Art: Fernando Blanco
Colors: Marta Martinez
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Production: Paul Acerios
Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover: Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Adam Chapman
Quick Rating: Very Good
Rating: A

First, before we get to the review, a confession, as before I got to the final page here I didn't know who Bryan Anderson was. Until this issue was over, I didn't realize that it was based on a real-life person, and what happened to him during a tour of duty in the military in Iraq.

This is a very well-written and illustrated story. Even if it hadn't been based on a true story,
it still would have been powerful, and affecting. It's not really a Captain America story at all, he plays a supporting role, but he's not the main character at all. In some ways, he's almost the antagonist, depending on the main character's mindset.

The story is a simple one, as it shows a Sergeant who is severely wounded during his second tour in Iraq, and comes back to the US as a tripe-amputee. The first half of the story is about who he was, and the second half is about who he becomes as a result of the tragedy that befalls him, as he struggles on the road to recovery. The script is very honestly written, and doesn't hold back at all, as it's a very realistic-sounding account of one man's confronting his disability and trying to move beyond it, with physical therapy, to fulfill a promise he made to himself. The insertion of Captain America into the narrative actually doesn't detract from the story at all, because he's not the main character here. He's a force that is important in the main character's life, as they have two major interactions together while in Iraq, but at the end of the day this story is Bryan Anderson's and not Captain America's. The script is very well written, and as I already noted, feels very honest and frank. It's disarming and powerful.

The artwork by Blanco is excellent, it manages to pick up so many nuances in the script and put them subtlely on the page. There's so much here in the facial expressions, so that when the script says nothing at all, the artwork says so much more. The artwork focuses on realism, and in portraying an honesty in the visuals that is matched by the honesty in the script and dialogue.
This was a very surprising yet enjoyable read. I wasn't expecting this to be nearly as enjoyable as it was, or nearly as affecting. It's a great piece of writing, intimate, personal, and honest, and was well put-together. Kudos to the entire creative team for this well-done one-shot. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Ratings:

Story: 4.,5/5
Art: 4,5/5
Overall: 4,5/5

Reviewer: Timothy Callahan
Sun, August 16th, 2009 at 8:06PM (PDT)

I had assumed all of these "Theater of War" comics would be about Captain America's interactions with the soldiers of World War II. That's not the case at all, though, as this issue so dramatically demonstrates.
Here, Paul Jenkins and Fernando Blanco give us a one-shot tale of Captain America in Iraq, and though you might imagine absurd sights like Steve Rogers socking Saddam Hussein in the jaw, we don't get anything of the sort in this issue. One of the things Jenkins and Blanco do so well is make Captain America seem like a super-soldier, not a superhero. There aren't any dramatic angles of Cap leaping through the air, no dynamic knock-out punches, no five-carom shield tosses. Instead, we see Captain America running like a normal man -- a little silly looking, in his red, white, and blue costume -- into danger, and then commanding the troops respect through his direct and effective actions.
But this isn't Captain America's story at all. It's the story of Sgt. Anderson, the soldier who once tried to give Captain America a high-five in the middle of Baghdad. That high-five -- a high-five left hanging as Cap rushed back into action -- becomes the centerpiece of this issue, as Sgt. Anderson recounts the story again and again, and it comes to symbolize what this issue is about: the awkwardness of the relationships between men in combat, and the innocence of a simple high-five in the middle of deadly situations.
For Sgt. Anderson, that failed high-five was the worst, most embarrassing (but funny, even for him) moment of his entire first tour of duty in Iraq.
When he returns for a second tour, things get a lot worse.
Iraq isn't the same when he comes back. Captain America isn't the same. The squad takes on a special mission to work with the patriotic hero, escorting him as he visits with local mullahs and sips tea. It's a strange war, and soon Sgt. Anderson gets caught up in events that are far more painful than a failed high-five. And Captain America is partially to blame for what happens to him.
The rest of the story takes a darker turn, and then verges on sentimentality at the end, but Jenkins and Blanco provide such a deep sense of humanity here that it doesn't feel maudlin. In other words, this single issue is far more successful than the entire "Captain America: The Chosen" miniseries.
The title of this comic is ridiculously long, and the idea of Captain America in Iraq is equally ridiculous (isn't he supposed to be off fighting other superheroes in some kind of Civil War, or traveling through time in his brain?), but this issue tells a powerful -- if familiar -- story about war, duty, struggle, memory, and forgiveness. It's good.

Reviewer: JesTr
Story: 5 - Excellent Art: 4 - Very Good

Paul Jenkins is on a roll with these Theater of War one-shots. These stories make me miss Steve Rogers. I like Bucky as Cap and there are many good stories left to tell with him as Cap. However, stories that involve Steve Rogers the original Captain America during times of war are the best. In these kinds of issues we see what an inspiration Cap is to those around him. Captain America is not just an inspiration to characters in a story. He is an American symbol we can all get behind. This issue focuses on a soldier in the Iraq war who happens to have a few encounters with Captain America. He gets injured very badly and through is experiences with Cap he realizes what it means to be an American, a soldier, and a man. Paul Jenkins may be a Brit but he has a good understanding of Captain America and what he stands for.

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