This week Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s long-awaited Captain America: White hits, and Rick Remender teams up with Sean Murphy for Tokyo Ghosts!
Captain America: White #1 (of 5) (Marvel Comics)
Aside from All-Star Batman & Robin, there’s arguably been no longer delayed comic than Captain America: White. The latest installment in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s award winning “color” line of miniseries following famous Marvel characters, White had a special “zero issue” released in 2008, and then….nothing. Putting the focus on the Sentinel of Liberty right after he’s woken up in modern times, this first issue is an extremely poignant and great look into the mind of Steve Rogers, and more importantly, it reminds you that yes, Jeph Loeb CAN still write good comics.
The theme of this series is Steve Rogers reminiscing about going into the battlefield with Bucky, and this issue revolves around the pair’s first meeting with Nick Fury. Jeph Loeb’s characterization is spot on, and he really hits at the tragedy that’s behind Captain America, something that hasn’t really been touched on in recent years. We’re all used to seeing Cap being the moral center of the Marvel Universe, but here Loeb reminds us that for a good chunk of his life he was dealing with the fact that many of his friends and family have died and the world moved on without him. Loeb’s script is pretty heartbreaking, but it’s also full of some great action, which is drawn wonderfully by Tim Sale.
Tim Sale hasn’t been seen much in the years since Captain America: White was announced, and I’ll be honest, after overhearing him mention it at a convention, I was pretty sure this project was never going to be finished. However, I’m pleased to say that Sale’s art, while not as good as it once was, is still pretty damn awesome. There are stunning full page splash panels of Cap and Bucky in the heat of battle with Nazis. There’s incredible WW2 era scenery, and of course, the shadowy figures that only Sale can pull off. Really the only negative things I have to say about this issue are that Sale’s depiction of the 60’s Avengers team looks a little strange, and there are also some rushed panels. But for the most part, Sale’s still got it.
The wait for this series has been so long that Marvel has reprinted Captain America: White #0 with this issue as well. That brings this bad boy to a $4.99 price point, and while it’s definitely some bang for your buck, if you’re grabbing this for the action, you might be disappointed. As someone who’s only read the other Loeb and Sale “color” series in trade form, I was a little surprised by how abruptly this issue ends, but at the same time, I’m ecstatic that White is even out. Here’s hoping that Loeb and Sale can continue this good start.
Tokyo Ghost #1 (Image Comics)
As if being the writer of Black Science and Deadly Class wasn’t enough, Rick Remender sends another new Image series our way with Tokyo Ghost. What helps this series stand out from Remender’s other two series is one person: Sean Murphy. Yes, the incredible artist behind Chrononauts and The Wake has teamed up with Remender to bring us a world that’s part Blade Runner, part Twisted Metal, and even a little bit of samurai stuff as well.
Tokyo Ghost centers on Debbie Decay and Led Dent, two Constables who work for the gangsters in power in the remains of Los Angeles in the year 2089. Technology is the world’s biggest industry, and it’s taken over the entire world like a drug. And its hold is strongest on Led. Constantly plugged in and changed by nanites, Led is no longer the man Debbie fell in love with. Desperate to free him, Debbie and Led take on one final job to get them out of the gangster’s pockets so they can head to Tokyo, the last place on Earth with no technology.
Tokyo Ghost reads like a mash up of a lot of different themes and influences, and I’ll be honest, I was worried that I would have a hard time following the story. Thankfully, Rick Remender’s script is pretty straightforward and reveals things in a natural way. Instead of an info dump explaining how technology got this bad and overrun by gangsters, we’re instead thrown into the thick of things and are told how things came to be as Debbie Decay narrates the world around her. While some of the dialogue is a little eye-rolling (especially from this issue’s baddie, Davey Trauma), Remender does a very good job of showing how desperate Debbie, who’s “straight edge” when it comes to technology, is at getting Led back.
Of course, I can’t not mention Sean Murphy’s art. Hot damn, if you thought his stuff was good before; you have got to see this. There’s crazy futuristic car chases, insane gun battles, limbs getting blown off, and even more awesome action from Murphy. His panels really make the Isles of Los Angeles look like they’re teeming with people, and there were times where I kept forgetting to read the page because I was staring at the art so much.
Tokyo Ghost has started off extremely strong, and I can’t wait for the next issue. So far, it seems like Remender and Murphy make an excellent team, and the world they’re creating is pretty cool as well. Remender promises that things will get even crazier in the coming issues, and I can’t wait to see just how insane things can get.