Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale
A mere seven years after it was announced in 2008, Captain America: White #1 has finally arrived on comic shelves. Captain America: White is the fourth Marvel series by Loeb and Sale that explores the early days of some of the company’s most iconic characters. As in the previous three series, this story takes the form of the titular character reflecting on a major loss that continues to affect them. Captain America: White is told through the perspective of a recently unthawed Steve Rogers as he reflects on the death of his sidekick Bucky Barnes.
Rogers recalls the events of World War II, as he and Bucky assisted Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos in a battle against the Germans. Although Cap and Bucky are instrumental in victory, Fury and his cohort Dum Dum Dugan remain unappreciative and skeptical of the heroic duo. In an attempt to improve his relationship with his fellow soldiers, Steve Rogers heads to a night club to find common ground with them. Steve tells Bucky he cannot go, which leads to an argument between mentor and sidekick.
Steve’s presence in the club draws the attention of multiple women, which draws the jealousy and ire of Dum Dum Dugan and the other Commandos. Eventually, Rogers and Dugan come to blows, and the bar descends into a brawl. Fury eventually breaks things up and informs Steve that the company is shipping out the next day. As the mission commences, the Commandos, Cap, and Bucky board a helicopter which soon comes under enemy fire, causing many of its passengers, including Bucky to begin hurdling toward the earth.
Anyone who has read any of Loeb and Sale’s previous installments in the “color” series will immediately recognize the tone that permeates all of them. The narrative centers on the reflection of someone who has experienced a tragic loss and the way that that loss has affected them both as superheroes and as human beings. These are the types of stories that are right in Loeb’s wheelhouse. All though there is some action in the book, this is not the type of story where the fight between good guys and bad guys takes center stage. Instead, this book offers a rare glimpse into the mind of Captain America and the emotional toll that loss of Bucky Barnes took on his psyche. Readers looking for something a bit more poignant and contemplative than your average superhero comic will really enjoy this book.