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Monday December 22, 2008 12:24 pm

Best Comic Book of 2008: Captain America

Posted by David Torres Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics,


My choice for best monthly comic book series for 2008 is Captain America.  I am not a professional reviewer.  I don’t get paid to read every comic book from every company that comes out month-to-month.  I collect only a handful titles every month because that’s all I can afford - and all of those titles consist of DC and Marvel comics.  So before anyone starts complaining about this book was better, etc, etc, I am only giving you my opinion and I welcome any and all disagreements, but from what I read this year Captain America was by far the best and most consistent month-to-month title published this year.

The year began with Steve Rogers -the original Captain America- still dead at the hands of his girlfriend Sharon Carter via mind control due to the Red Skull and Doctor Faustus.  The Winter Soldier aka Bucky Barnes - Cap’s former partner- is blaming Tony Stark for Steve’s death.  Stark receives a letter written by Rogers prior to his death and in it he wishes that Tony look after Bucky and that the mantle of Captain America be passed on.  Tony Stark offers it to Bucky which he accepts as long he doesn’t have to be under his command.  The new Captain America then faces off against the Red Skull and stops his plot against America.

I hate when comics resurrect long time deceased characters.  We’ve seen it over the past ten years or so with the return of Norman Osborn, his son Harry, the second Robin Jason Todd,  and of course Bucky Barnes.  Of all these resurrections, Bucky’s has been handled the best.  I’ve been a fan of the “Captain America” comic since Mark Waid wrote the character in the 1990s.  I always liked Cap on the Avengers when I began reading comics in the 80s, but prior to Mark coming on to the title, Cap’s solo stories were not the greatest.  Does anyone remember Cap-Wolf?!  Ugh!

The current “Captain America” title has been amazing since issue one.  It’s writer Ed Brubaker has written quite possibly the definitive run for the character and Steve Rogers has only been in the first 25 issues!  If you told me a few years back when Marvel started this series that the plan was going to be to resurrect Bucky Barnes, kill Steve Rogers, and make Bucky the new Cap, I would have said that this was going to be worse thing to happen to Marvel since the Clone Saga.  However, what Brubaker and Marvel Comics have done with this book is astounding and should be studied by anyone looking to write comics for a living. 

From month-to-month, Brubaker does not miss a beat and it’s the one book I read this year that I after I finished reading it I was disappointed because I wanted to read more of the story.  What’s the old saying, “always leave them wanting more”?  That was me and “Captain America” in 2008. 

Wizard magazine gave the best book nod to “Action Comics” this year.  That’s fine.  “Action Comics” was certainly great this year, but there were some issues that didn’t do it for me.  Overall, it was a very, very good book.  Some of the best Superman stories in years.

So again, my pick is “Captain America”.  From January to December, “Captain America” had solid good comic book stories.  I hope Brubaker continues on the title for many years to come.  I can’t wait to see where this all ends up and how or when Steve Rogers returns - or if he does return at all.  In the meantime, a gun-toting Bucky as Captain America has been great.  If you’re not reading Captain America, you don’t know what you’re missing.



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