A magical World War II story with many fun twists.
If you told me Marvel was going to combine its heroes in an amalgam-like event I’d probably, upon snap judgment, say the idea is hogwash. But then, Marvel revealed the “Infinity Warps” that were on the way and they were inventive and inspired. The first of these “warps” comes out this week and it focuses on the Soldier Supreme. A universe where Stephen Rogers helps his nation with the magic bestowed upon him from the government — how cool does that sound?
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This is the first of five character combos which will be released from September through November. It’s a tie-in that can be enjoyed on its own since it focuses exclusively on the new combo character, but it’s also important as part of the Infinity Wars event. It has a dual purpose.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I was instantly smitten by this issue in part because I really like alternate dimension stories. I was a fan of What If growing up and this has that feel but is made more important because it’s in canon and part of an event. That makes the value of this read go beyond just enjoyment. And enjoyment you will have, as writer Gerry Duggan does a great job throwing in fun ways of combining Captain America and Doctor Strange’s world into one. I won’t spoil a single one of these, but rest assured they are anywhere from cute, to clever, to downright awesome.
This issue is very much an origin story of the character but it does start to get the wheels turning on its two-issue story arc (assuming this arc doesn’t bleed too much into the Infinity Wars event). Duggan and artist Adam Kubert do a fantastic job with the pacing of the issue, keeping things moving along, introducing new twists on elements we already know, and progressing the plot ever so slightly. There’s a darkness to this character that builds towards the very end that should be fun to explore in the second issue.
Speaking of Kubert, this issue looks fantastic. With the work of Matthew Wilson on colors and Clayton Cowles on letters, the visuals imbue a sense of grittiness while also embracing the color of Stephen Rogers’ magic. The iconic shield of Captain America is rendered magically and it’s quite a cool sight. The see-through nature of it and the design make it otherworldly and dare I say cooler than Cap’s usual shield.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue could have used a bit more development of Steve Rogers’ sidekick Bucky. Again, I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers, but the character seems to pop in out of nowhere and there’s some importance to their relationship, especially in the ending. I suppose you can assume things about the relationship since this is an alternate take on the characters, but it’s more of a glance at them then anything else here.
Is it good?
This is, simply put, fun comics. It’s the kind of idea that sounds just crazy enough to work, but could fail in its execution. The creative team here has not failed in the slightest and it will get you excited for the other “Infinity Warps” characters. Comics are meant to be fun, and in that regard, it doesn’t get much better than this.