Let me summarize the following review for those who haven’t read the issue yet: 41 out of 42. Do yourself a favour; don’t read the review or the inevitable discussion until after you’ve read the issue. If you haven’t read it yet, know that Marvel prepared a massive overprint, and additional copies will ship on March 21. I’ll link the listing in that Weekly Comics Discussion back to this review so you’ll know when it’s out and will be able to join this discussion after you’ve read it.

General Information

Title: Captain America #25

Author: Ed Brubaker

Illustrator(s): Steve Epting did the pencils and inks, with Frank D’Armata on colours.

Original Publication Date: This issue cover dated April 2007.

Cover Price: $3.99 US, $4.75 Can

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Captain America is brought to a courthouse for a very public trial. Things do not go as planned.

High Point

The final reveal.

Low Point

Having the big surprise in the issue spoiled by no less than three major news outlets before I was able to read it myself.

The Scores

This has some very original twists, particularly the big one in the middle and the one at the very end. Let’s hope editorial sticks to both for a while, instead of just the second one. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is everything it needs to be. The nature of the story has a large amount of emotion driving the characters through some rapid action, and that’s not easy to depict. Epting does it without a problem. The mix of archival and live footage is also clear, overcoming another hurdle with the difficulty of this story structure. I can’t complain about a single thing. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is complex, as measured above, and loaded with various action and perspectives. This shifts the focal character no less than four times, and still maintains a continuous narrative spanning every important relationship Captain America has had since he was introduced in 1941. The major event is felt throughout, but it’s far from the only thing going on. Most impressively, the story easily held my attention and pulled me in, despite getting spoiled on the big twist and being able to predict the final twist. When something feels this compelling, even when you know what’s coming, you know it’s well done. I give it 6 out of 6.

The characterization is well done for all four major characters, with a nice moment for the Red Skull in his two panel cameo. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is incredible. It definitely packs a wallop. As I mentioned above, I knew what was coming, but it was so enthralling I got drawn in just the same. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow should be hard to maintain in a story with so many shifting perspectives and settings. I say “should be” because there are no problems visible here at all. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this may be the best crossover issue to come out of this event. I recommend it without reservation. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Captain America #25 receives 41 out of 42.

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