Secret Empire #2 Review

www.hypergeeky.comWhen an argument divides the Underground, will hope survive?

Now that Rick Jones’ cellphone has been decrypted, the Underground hears out what he found out about Steve Rogers and the Cosmic Cube that rewrote history. By gathering the pieces of the Cube, which have been scattered all over the planet, our heroes can restore history and return Captain America to the man he once was.

But they’ll have to beat Rogers to it. Sitting atop his throne, Captain America believes he can bring back the dead and set things right — his way of right — by restoring the Cube and using its power to make the world a better place according to Hydra’s precepts. Rogers orders Baron Zemo to scour the Earth and retrieve the fragments, no matter the cost — foreshadowing all sorts of things to come.

With the search begun, both sides now face a clock. Natasha Romanoff has her own ideas on how to stop Rogers, and it means assassinating him. Spider-Man Miles Morales joins her, accepting whatever fate may come. In case you missed it — Back in Civil War II, a vision of Morales standing over a dead Captain America left Miles and the Avengers team shaken and in disbelief. Morales knows he’s no killer, but he’s ready to see what the future holds.

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Civil War II #1 Review

www.hypergeeky.comPrepare yourselves for war!


Hot off the heels of a Civil War movie — which, in turn, was based very loosely on the comic crossover of the same name — comes Civil War Part Dos #1. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with beautifully rendered panels from artist David Marquez and colorist Justin Ponsor, the next big event in Marvel history explodes from the pages of its first issue.

After Terrigen mist rolls through Columbus, Ohio, a new batch of Inhumans are born. One of them, Ulysses, gains the power of foresight and predicts a major invasion by a Celestial — or is it Galactus?

With the Avengers getting the heads-up and calling in all of its membership and various allies, the threat is averted, and Tony Stark throws a celebration to honor the victory.

Curiosity gets the better of Captain Marvel Carol Danvers, and the Inhumans decide it’s time to become a little more transparent. They introduce Ulysses to the Avengers, and Danvers makes a move to bring the human crystal ball onto her squad — which causes Stark to express his reservations.

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[Comic Review] The Dark Before the Dawn — Captain America #6

Things were escalating to a fever pitch last issue as Arnim Zola brought the war against the Phroxians down on their doorstep. A skirmish between Captain America and Princess Jet ended with Zola making a personal and frighteningly physical appearance, dominating the injured and infected Steve Rogers. Taking back his biological son, Zola left the battlefield believing Rogers to be dead, but the Captain survived and decided to “cure” himself of Zola’s virus by performing some emergency and impromptu surgery.

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War: Captain America #5 Review


The battle for Dimension Z begins as Armin Zola’s army descends upon the last of the Phroxians. Captain America and his young charge, Ian, after finding a possible exit to Earth, rush back to fight alongside their comrades.

From the get-go, things aren’t looking great for Steve Rogers. It almost feels like an understatement to say he goes through some difficult times in issue #5 as the virus that manifested itself in Rogers’ chest goes through its last stage, threatening to take over mind as well as body. Tasked with killing the Captain if the virus gets out of control, Ian must deal with the possibility of losing his adopted father, his countrymen, and his own life. The young boy has grown up tremendously within the span of a few issues — his training from his adopted father and the attitude he displays in stepping up to fight for an alien race’s survival shows what he’s capable of and also what he’s made of.

With the forces of Zola relentlessly and viciously attacking the Phroxians, Princess Jet goes on a personal vendetta to hunt down Captain America sparking a showdown that could have ended with a corpse without Ian’s interference. Jet’s blind rage succumbs when she comes face to face with her long lost brother, and the discovery enrages Zola, pushing him into a physical battle with the Captain.


So far, it’s the best issue yet. Rick Remender has crafted a story that’s percolated over several issues with themes relating to resiliency in the face of extreme hardship, the search for home, and the strong bonds of relationships. Issue #5 is a culmination filled with action, urgency, and gut-wrenching panels . The pacing is quick without being sparse, and the emotional gravity is felt without getting bogged down by narration. There’s a quirky little bit of camp when the Princess talks up her tachyon fu style, but for the most part, Remender’s scripting is precise and poetic.

John Romita Jr.’s pencils are some of his best so far on the series as well, though are some glaring flaws with awkward limbs and some confusing action bits. Romita Jr.’s panels are grandiose and filled with action, and the battle that takes place between Jet Black and Captain America with the rain falling down sells the drama with punch and bite.¬†There’s a Frank Milleresque vibe that sits on the noirish side, and Romita Jr.’s storyboards could be used for a stylish and action-packed animation. The colors by Dean White and Lee Loughridge work — they just do — and the otherworldly vibe from the unnatural color schemes make Captain America seem like it could be one of the most original titles being released each month.

It’s very possible that the next issue could even go above and beyond what’s happening here, which doesn’t discount how well this book is written, drawn, inked, colored, and lettered. The creative team is stretching further and further with a reach that’s going for fever pitch. What Captain America does so well as a title is bringing the legend face forward in a very relevant and relateable way. Readers familiar with the character don’t need to be told who he is — and the series has avoided becoming stagnant through movement and intelligent storytelling.

Captain America #5 (2012)
Writer: Rick Remender
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Tom Palmer and Scott Hanna
Colors: Dean White and Lee Loughridge
Letters: Joe Caramagna

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Captain America #4 Review

www.hypergeeky.comCaptain America continues the fight against Arnim Zola in Captain America #4 which takes place 11 years after the events in issue #3. Last seen in a moment of horror, Steve Rogers uncovered his chest in to find Zola’s face embedded into it.

Since then, the past decade hasn’t been kind to Rogers and his young charge, Ian, as they hunt together for food while keeping themselves and the Phrox tribe from being discovered. The pair have bonded as father and son with Ian being taught how to wield the Captain’s shield. Captain America doesn’t plan to live much longer as the Zola Consciousness Virus eats away at him mentally, prompting him to raise Ian as a fighter and hero.

After downing a quarry, the duo gets ambushed by a mutate. Searching the grounds, Rogers finds a computer with a map to Zola’s headquarters — a discovery that could potentially bring Captain America back home.

Rogers doesn’t have the monopoly on discoveries this issues as Ian finds out who his real father is. Ian also comes face to face with the virus exhibiting itself on Rogers’ chest, and both know it’s only a matter of time before Rogers turns. To save Ian and the Phrox, Captain America has to return home and call in the Avengers.

Back at Zola’s headquarters, Jet Black — Princess Zola — brings in a Phrox hostage, a banished chief who goes on a rampage attacking his captors, but not before mind readers reveal the circumstances of the Phrox Chief’s banishment. As Princess Zola tells her father that it was Captain America who banished the chief, Zola’s shocked to discover his enemy is still alive. He gives his daughter mutates bearing variants of the Captain’s shield as soldiers tasked with finding the man she believes killed Ian.


Rick Remender does a great job of bringing readers up to speed — Zola’s reign of terror has spread, and it’s right on the Phrox tribe’s doorstep. Things aren’t coming easy for the Captain, and after 12 years, he finally discovers a breakthrough that could finally bring him home. It’s a radical departure from standard comic book fare which resolves conflicts within a few issues, and it will be interesting to see how Remender deals with the lapse of time.

Captain America will also have to deal with the relationship he has with his “son” Ian. Will Ian become a part of the Marvel Universe as a new Bucky? This story arc could be the basis for many more stories involving Ian, and while it doesn’t feel like an origin story — it could very well be a part of Ian’s lore.

With each new issue, the title adds more layers to a well-developed story that’s complex but solidly laid down. Captain America #4 continues the pace adding new developments in a way that doesn’t dilute or distort the plot with unnatural twists and turns. Remender isn’t afraid to fast forward years into the future because he knows how to steer the plot, and it’s in very capable hands.

John Romita Jr.’s pencils add to the book’s consistency, and readers get to see what 11 years of wear and tear can do to the Captain’s uniform. Rogers appears gaunt, and disheveled, but his body and form are still excellent. While it’s nice to see Romita instead of a three-and-out — hopefully he remains for the entire story arc — his pencils aren’t as good this month as last’s — things just seem a little more bland this time around. There’s a bit of character fatigue — everything is starting to look the same, from the featureless Phrox to the featureless mutates. All life outside of Rogers, Ian, Jet Black, and Zola are made of shapes without defining features or characteristics that make them memorable apart from each other.


The colors by Dean White and Lee Loughridge look a bit muddy. It’s understandable why the landscape looks as bleak as it does, but the palette isn’t appealing with its kaleidoscope hues. It probably doesn’t help with the Phrox and mutate figures looking the way they do as it’s hard to add dimension and shades in the absence of detail.

Captain America is still one of the better books in the Marvel NOW! relaunch, and anticipation is building for a duel between a desperate Captain America and the man who stands in the way of him getting home. Rogers has waited too long, and fought too hard to fail. For now, the odds are stacked against him, but one can’t help but hope for the best because it’s easy to relate to a hero who’s far from home.

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Captain America #2 Review

www.hypergeeky.comA year passes in between issue #1 and issue #2 of Captain America, and the bearded superhero with his young charge have survived off instincts.

The never-ending quest to find his way back home has numbed Steve Rogers, but it hasn’t broken him though the thought to end it all with a self-inflicted wound is tempting. Captain America #2 follows with the themes Rick Remender put into place in issue #1 — even when physics and nature are against him, Captain America keeps standing up. But Rogers isn’t alone. Ian, the boy Rogers rescued from Zola’s lab, has grown, and Rogers wills himself to keep fighting to save the lad.

That means braving unknown territory, fighting hostile creatures that could attack at any minute, and maintaining an aggressive approach to getting home without stable cursors to guide them in the right direction. The goal is there, but the journey towards it feels like a ride in a hamster wheel. Another flashback to a defining moment in Captain America’s childhood further develops the reasoning behind Rogers’ persistent personality even in the face of daunting challenges.

There’s very little dialogue in this issue — most of the text is from Rogers’ thoughts — and the result is a introspective re-examination of a well-known character. It’s like readers are being reintroduced to Captain America who is being stripped down to his essence. Without any weapon but his shield and whatever he picks up, things are much more treacherous with no technology or cheat code to save the day. Blood, sweat, and tears are all the First Avenger has in his disposal.

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[Comic Review] Another Dimension — Captain America #1

Marvel NOW!’s relaunch of Captain America starts off with a flashback of Steve Rogers’ childhood. A son of struggling Irish immigrants, Steve sees firsthand how destructive violence can be, how it affects children, ¬†and what kind of strength can be found in simply rising to the task. It’s a great introduction with emotional impact that provides the basis for some of the conflicts and decisions Rogers faces in Captain America #1.

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