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Thursday, June 19, 2014
A five-star collection of stories from the rich career of the star-spangled Avenger
Another Marvel movie, another Platinum release collecting a showcase of stories from the title character’s rich history, proving once again that Panini’s editors not only have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to a quality film tie-in, but also know exactly the right stories to include in these compendiums.
With the original Winter Soldier issues being released independently, the focus here is more assuredly on Steve Rogers and his decades-long role as Captain America.
As well as stories focused on his WWII adventures, we also have classic Cap from Mark Gruenwald, Steve Englehart and Mark Waid’s runs, Ed Brubaker asks the question of Who Will Wield The Shield? following Rogers’ resurrection after the events of Captain America: Reborn, and we pick up Cap’s definitive involvement at the tail-end of Kurt Busiek’s definitive Avengers arc, the Kang Dynasty, which really deserves to be collected in its full 16-part glory rather than this truncated version.
It’s perhaps true to say that until recent years Steve Rogers came across as something of a boy scout, with a whiter-than-white sense of morality and justice, which did very little to add further depth to a character superficially created as a WWII morale booster.
Fortunately the likes of Waid and Brubaker have gone a long way to reinvigorating the tired old warhorse, predominantly by highlighting how his experiences during the Second World War, and subsequent loss of decades of his life in suspended animation, have been instrumental in shaping the man he is today.
As always with Panini’s Marvel Platinum range, there’s so much good stuff in this collection you’d be a fool to overlook it. With well over a dozen volumes focusing on almost all of Marvel’s pantheon of heroes, the series is living up to is name by collecting definitive stories for the company’s movie stars which not only provide a perfect entry-point for newbies tempted to read more after seeing the films, but offer quality reprints of some of the finest comics from the Marvel staple.