New Location and Events at the New Site
The transition down to the Des Moines Social Club is nearly complete. We’ll be open at the new location on Wednesday, April 23rd bright and early. Hours at the new shop will be 6:00am to 10:00pm weekdays and 7:00am to 10:00pm weekends. The phone number stays the same – (515) 979-4144. Emails are transitioning and for the mean time comic questions can still be sent to the same address.
If you like events, there will be several over the next month.
Free Comic Book Day will be held, as we have done in the past, at 12:01am on May 3rd, party on Friday the 3rd as well as bright and early the next morning too.
There are also plans for a Des Moines Social Club big giant Grand Opening too. That is planned for May 10th. There are a lot things planned for that night, including a keynote address by David Byrne (he formerly of the Talking Heads.) He’ll talk about his experiences in Des Moines and the importance of the Arts in a city. For more info: http://firehouse.desmoinessocialclub.org/grand-opening-party/
Yes, Capes Kafe is a new name, but it’s the same thing.
Many have asked about the name change. Yes, the name is changing, to Capes Kafe, but this is the same business and in many respects it is just a reverting back to the original idea the shop had twelve years ago – a coffee shop with comics. Over the years, we have tried a great deal of things; businesses need to do this to keep going. We never wanted to give up selling coffee, but the city had other ideas with grease interceptors and whathaveyou. This is a rebirth of the original idea, in a better location, it just has a different name.
Kyle B’s – Retro Review of Captain America the Winter Soldier
By now you may have seen the Blockbuster hit movie Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, which may have been the best of the Marvel Studios movie adoptions, in the sense it stayed true to its title character. I love Captain America, he is a close second to Superman as my favorite character of all time, and while the film Man of Steel completely missed the mark on capturing the essence of Superman, Captain America 2 nailed what the character of Captain America is. The movie may have a few other issues, but being true to the character is not one of them. However, this isn’t a movie review; I’m here to talk about comics, so let’s take a look at the story arc that inspired the blockbuster movie.
Ed Brubaker had a very lengthy and critically acclaimed run on Captain America that lasted about 8 years, and he kicked it off in style with his Winter Soldier arc which spanned the first 14 issues of his run. He starts his run in a dark era. Captain America was at a low point, struggling with how dark and twisted the world around him has become and must now track down the Red Skull who has escaped prison and may have gotten his hands on the Cosmic Cube.
His hunt for the Skull takes a total 180 degree turn as the Skull is found assassinated and the Cube missing. Cap must then turn his search to finding the man capable of pulling off such a feat and stop whatever plans he has for the sinister cosmic cube. Enter the Winter Soldier, a mysterious legendary assassin in the intelligence community. The strongest and most effective tool the Russians had during the Cold War. In case for some reason you don’t know the true identity of the man behind the mask, I’ll prevent spoiling it for you in this article, but just know that he is the most personal of Captain America’s villains and makes for one great character dynamic with loads of tension as the arc progresses.
When I originally read this arc back in 2005 and 2006, I was blown away. It was some ground breaking stuff, so I was interested to see what I’d think when I came back and revisited it years later. Obviously knowing the identity of the Winter Soldier took some of the mystery and tension out of those first few issues as the story builds around this assassin’s mysterious identity and past, but the story still holds up pretty well.
My one gripe would be the darkness of the story and the effect that has on Cap. Now there is a reason for this, which would pay off in the future, so I understand Brubaker’s motivations for painting the world and Cap this way since we know there is a payoff coming a year later in Brubaker’s run (I’ve read that he was plotting Cap 3 years in advance to what was hitting shelves). However, even knowing what’s coming, it still bothered me a little bit that Captain America seemed jaded at times, it works well within the story, and the Marvel Universe at the time, but reading it now, looking at the story from 2014 Comic’s Industry Goggles – where it seems nothing but dark jaded versions of Superheroes exist – I hate to see Captain America start to approach that same dark territory, even when it is handled much, much better by Brubaker in this case. Other than that minor complaint, which is more of a personal bias than an actual issue with the story quality, this run is near perfect.
The art on the story is pretty stellar too; it captures the tone of the story very well. Steve Epting has this beautiful pulpy feel to his art that is almost as flawless as the pulpy style of Francesco Francavilla. I’d love to see him draw a 12 issue Captain America book set during World War II. The pacing is great, issue one kicks off with a bang and it’s nothing but acceleration all the way to the finish. There are a few spots where the dialogue seems a bit forced, but Brubaker had cleaned up his scripting pretty well by the time his run hit the 20 issue mark.
This Winter Soldier story arc ran through issues #1-7 and #8-14 of Captain America Volume 5 (2005), and Marvel recently just put out the all of these issues is one handy Trade Paperback volume for a very affordable price. If you’ve never read this story, go out there and get your hands on it, I think you’re going to really enjoy it.
Editor’s Note – Kyle was only reviewing the first arc of the story. I would like to point out that when you are looking for Cap, you should get the whole run Brubaker had on the character. It is the best the character has ever been written and I believe the whole thing is now in print again.