The sins of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark’s pasts plague them in Captain America/Iron Man #1. Written by Derek Landy and drawn by Angel Unzueta, the series unites the two Avengers’ headliners as they race against the clock to stop an emerging Hydra cell from coming to fruition. The debut issue is filled with all of the quintessential elements of both characters, providing fans with a healthy dose of Americana, self-deprecating humor, and lots of action while also concocting a unique and immersive plot.
Following her attempt to overthrow Hydra, Captain America/Iron Man #1 opens with Veronica Eden in handcuffs. However, Eden’s time in captivity is interrupted when Fifty-One, a former member of the 50-State Initiative, breaks her out of custody. Iron Man flies to the scene to confront Fifty-One but is assaulted by a convoy of armed Hydra agents. As Captain America arrives to help Tony, Eden shoots out the tires of a nearby bus. Cap and Iron Man save the citizens on the bus, allowing Eden to escape. Later, Eden and her Hydra cohorts confer over what to do next when Cap, Iron Man, and a group of former 50-State Initiative attack. Unfortunately, Eden and Fifty-One escape again, determined to “save the world” from Captain America and Iron Man.
Writer Derek Landy picks up where Falcon & Winter Soldier left off, following Veronica Eden throughout the first issue of Captain America/Iron Man. Focusing this story on Eden is a wise decision that allows Landy to introduce her to new readers, update familiar fans on her exploits, and connect the current narrative to the greater Marvel Universe. Captain America and Iron Man are passengers on the book’s journey in many ways. Since they aren’t the story’s focus, it is easier to accept their mistakes because they don’t know what is happening. Their years of experience are irrelevant, making it exciting to see what happens next.
Artist Angel Unzueta, who recently enjoyed a stint on the monthly Iron Man series, joins Landy for Captain America/Iron Man #1. Unzueta’s action sequences feel like a Hollywood blockbuster, with multiple storytelling beats unfolding at any given moment. Characters constantly react to the world around them, whether it be an explosion in the distance or a groan-worthy one-liner. This playful depth packs a wealth of information into any given image, making the story’s pace feel upbeat and brisk. Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg embellishes Unzueta’s art, uses a mix of lush hues to create immersive atmospheres that complement the book’s central characters. When Iron Man lifts a bus over his head, the skies turn to copper. When Captain America crashes onto a bridge with his bike, the horizon is a blinding blue. When Eden meets her Hydra cohorts, pale greens light the abandoned warehouse in which they meet. These landscapes enhance the tone of Captain America/Iron Man and hammer down key emotional beats.
Another element of Captain America/Iron Man that has added value for longtime readers is the inclusion of characters from the 50-State Initiative. In the aftermath of Marvel’s Civil War, the 50-State Initiative storyline and its characters helped shape and define the larger Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, these characters largely disappeared. Watching multiple characters of yesteryear reappear adds intrigue to the series, especially considering that their existence is a direct byproduct of Captain America and Iron Man’s past conflict. While it is unclear if they’ll be sticking around for the entire series, their inclusion was a great touch.
Overall, Captain America/Iron Man #1 is a solid, well-rounded read. Derek Landy adeptly juggles the voices of multiple characters while thrusting the narrative forward. Unzueta and Rosenberg deliver high-quality art that deepens the story. This issue has plenty here for fans of both characters. Positioning this plot as a team-up instead of another standard Avengers adventure gives it a personal edge that distinguishes it from other books on the stands.
from Ultimate Comic Blog