Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review..FINALLY!`

This Sunday I finally saw Captain America: The First Avenger. So what did I think?

I really enjoyed the film. It reminded me a lot of The Rocketeer, as both films may have been set in the 1940s but felt modern. This comparison makes a lot of sense, as both films were directed by Joe Johnston. What carried this film was Chris Evans, who made Steve Rogers super likable in the way that Christopher Reeve and Robert Downey Jr. respectively made Superman and Iron Man compelling characters. You really wanted to see Rogers succeed.

This version of Cap really hit home how much he loved America, whether it be him getting denied entrance into the army, or him being upset that he was created to be a super soldier and all he wad doing to help the war effort was being a fundraising mascot. And in the final scene of the movie, as he put aside his own life to make sure that Red Skull’s doom machine wound up crashing into the ocean around Newfoundland then destroying Manhattan.

I really like how they made Captain America show that you can be patriotic and selfless, without having to be an overbearing, flag waiving caricature of the American spirit. I’m sure this will help the movie be a success overseas.

Getting to the casting and characters, I enjoyed everyone else in the film. Hugo Weaving was a very maniacal Red Skull, and I love how they toyed with the big reveal of his disfigured face through the first half of the movie. Sebastian Stan’s Bucky was a great supporting character. Johnston did a good job showing the dynamic change between Steve and Bucky, as at first Bucky was the protector to the weaker Steve, and how that changed thanks to the Super Solier Serum. With Bucky’s off camera death, I wonder if he may return as Winter Soldier in a later film. Hayley Atwell and Tommy Lee Jones were also fun characters.

There was even a nice nod to fans of Timely Comics era Marvel, you can spot an android Human Torch Jim Hammond in the Stark Expo.

Anyway, the movie was fun, and it was a great way to connect-the-dots on how we get to the Avengers film. That hidden clip at the end officially starts my countdown. Check out Andrew over at ComicBookMarks and Todd Lyden who had some interesting opinions on the film.

Secret Avengers: Mission To Mars

I’ve always been a sucker for odd super hero team ups, and Secret Avengers is exactly that. The book is promoted as being a “black ops” group, and it features the usual suspects: Steve Rogers, Black Widow and War Machine.

Then writer Ed Brubaker finishes the roster with a bunch of, well, weirdos. Moon Knight, who is arguably insane. Nova, who is more fitting in space books. And Valkyrie, who runs around in a metal bikini.

So how did this first installment of the Secret Avengers read?

It was a fun book. The book mixes elements of espionage (Rogers leading a covert action team, the slow revelation of the Shadow Council) with some good ole’ Marvel whackiness (the Serpent Crown being used in a serious manner, Nick Fury’s old Life Model Decoy resurfacing as a villain).

Oh, and they wind up fighting with evil corporation bent on world domination Roxxon at a mining outpost on Mars, all the while befriending a big alien. The book has a definite old-school Marvel sensibility to it, but still has the feel of a modern comic book. It reminded me of the Kirby Captain America comics, and Brubaker confirms that in this quote which I dug up over on Newsarama.

“[This is ] definitely going to have a lot of the espionage plots and the Steranko influence, and the crazy Kirby technology, but I don’t think there’s going to be much soap opera. I hope it feels different than any Avengers team, ever.”

On the art side of the book, Mike Deodato is just awesome. I love the way his style has evolved over the years. Everything is dark and moody, which really works with a story like this.

The second collected volume, Secret Avengers, Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon, comes out on July 6.