After 50 issues (of which the title character has been dead for the last 2 years worth) Ed Brubaker has brought things to a conclusion in Reborn. It’s not a bad summation to the story (or of Captain America’s history for that matter), and it does accomplish its main goal of resurrecting Cap without resorting to too large of a deus ex machina, but it does have a pretty major plot flaw.
So, two years ago, Captain America was shot and killed by girlfriend who was being controlled by minions of the Red Skull at the time. As it turns out what actually happened was that Cap became unstuck in time (slaughterhouse-five style) thanks to Dr. Doom’s time platform (which to be fair, had been introduced into the story before then). And now in this book the Red Skull has launched his master plan, to bring Cap back to the present and take control of his body.
As master plans go, not so original. And furthermore, this doesn’t really make sense as it was established pretty well in here that Cap’s time traveling was an accident because the time platform was broken. So, after all this time Brubaker’s master plan for the Skull was this, despite tons of villainous monologuing from both the Skull and his allies about how nefarious his plan was and how people would be astonished when it was unveiled. Yeah, not so much.
But looking past that flaw, the story’s pretty good in a widescreen action way, which isn’t a surprise with Bryan Hitch on art duties. The man is the #1 go to guy for illustrating enormous super hero battles, and Brubaker gives him plenty to work with here. And it does make for a pretty satisfying ending, but it is also a bit at odds with the more intricately plotted sort of espionage stories that Brubaker had been telling up until now. Brubaker can do better, but Cap still remains one of Marvel’s best books.