Comic Vine Review


Captain America #11 - Shock to the System, Pt. 1


Sometimes villains want to give up their old lives but there are some who strongly oppose that notion.

Captain America has defended many types of people in his career. Now he has to protect former villains.

The Good

Leave it to Ed Brubaker to bring back the notion of supervillains entering the Witness Protection Program. We saw this touched on before in the pages of INCOGNITO (a fabulous series you really need to read) and now it's popping up in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA. Captain America is finding himself protecting former villains and he's taking some injuries while he's at it. It's a great concept and really shows what type of person Cap is. Some other heroes might just leave the former villain to fend for themselves, regardless of what information they may have turned over but that's obviously not who Cap is.

Obviously there is more to this issue than just protecting former villains. There is a mystery going on as well as further developments with HYDRA. We also see another old familiar face from Cap's past that was great to see. I would totally read the heck out of a comic series featuring Dum Dum Dugan and this other 'operative' in gritty investigative stories. Let's hope we see more of them throughout the rest of this story arc.

Patrick Zircher takes over the art reigns in this issue. Even though I'm a huge Alan Davis fan (and sad that his arc is over), Zircher's art is a welcomed treat. He adds a slightly noir-feel that fits in perfectly with the darker nature of the story. People are getting killed. This isn't a candy-coated story of Captain America. And that's one of the things that makes this a great issue.

The Bad

I understand that this is the beginning of a new arc but it almost felt like I had missed an issue. It's a minor quibble but we're thrown right into the action not knowing what the situation is or why Cap was called in. It's all made clear but felt like a slight departure from the previous arc. We've seen a lot of Sharon Carter and Falcon in this series but now Cap is working with others. I do love who he's working with but it almost felt as if we had a different writer along with a new artist. Almost, but not quite.

It will be interesting to see how the 'villain' in this story plays out, as well as his connection to the other operative working with Dugan. I do have some concerns about the story going in a bad direction but since I've been digging Brubaker's writing on Cap for these past years, I should have complete faith in what he has planned.

The Verdict

Everyone may be raving about Captain America and the Avengers in theaters but this is a different type of Captain America story. Ed Brubaker takes the notion of supervillains entering the Witness Protection Program (as he did brilliantly in INCOGNITO) and adds a gritty element we don't often see in Cap stories. Patrick Zircher's art adds to that feel, further driving home the point that this isn't a pure 'superhero' type story. Guns are blaring and people are dying. It's great to see Brubaker continue to tell compelling Captain America stories where he's constantly mixing things up from story arc to story arc. Can we make it so that he's never allowed to stop writing Captain America?