Review: Captain America & The Korvac Saga #1


CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE KORVAC SAGA PREVIEW Writer: Ben McCool Art: Craig Rousseau Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino Cover Art: Rousseau & Sotomayor Editors: Nathan Crosby & Michael Horwitz Publisher: Marvel Release Date: December 8th, 2010   SYNOPSIS (WARNING: SPOILERS!): Story Title: “Strange Days” This new iteration of the Korvac Saga begins on a bright sunny day in Central Park, with a couple of kids debating how many times super-villains win each year. On cue, a skirmish between the Avengers and a group of super-villains (Quasimodo, Super-Adaptoid, Maelstrom, and the Living Laser) spills over into their section of the park. Captain America snatches the kids from the fray just in time to avoid them being vaporized, then rejoins the battle. The villains are easily handing the Avengers their butts, thanks to some upgraded weaponry that the Avengers were apparently not expecting. Vision is detecting a sensory disturbance emanating from the new weapons, and also detects a larger source of similar interference in the area. Cap puts Iron Man in charge of the fight, and then departs with Vision to track down the source of the interference. Cap and Vision arrive at an innocuous-looking house that is the source of the interference. Cap barrels into the house and confronts the lone inhabitant – a young man named Michael Korvac – surrounded by computers and advanced technology. Korvac immediately begins gloating about his improvements to the weaponry of his “friends” in Central Park, and then presses a button on his keyboard – which prompts Cap to punch him out. In Central Park, the villains’ new and improved weapons disappear, and the Avengers get some payback for being shown up in public. As Korvac is hauled away to jail, Cap ruminates over his past and whether he belongs in this time, and whether he is the same person he was sixty-five years ago. Flash-forward a few hours to Cap waking up from a dream, he reviews Korvac’s police file and decides to pay him a visit in the hoosegow. Passing some of the villains from the yesterday’s skirmish in the jail, Cap makes his way to Korvac’s cell and begins interrogating him about the fact that he has no social security number, never paid taxes, and basically doesn’t exist on paper. When asked about where he got his advanced technology from, Korvac responds, “Oh, you know. The Internet.” Korvac begins to pose some personally-interesting questions to Cap regarding time displacement, not being the same person he once was, and whether he belongs here in this time period. Speechless, Cap stammers on, calling Korvac crazy. Korvac then makes his point that everyone here is a dinosaur and extinction looms, claiming to have seen it himself. Just then, unknown assailants begin to attack outside the jail, prompting the police to take cover and go find Cap. Korvac continues his dialog, citing to Cap the same words Bucky said as he tried to disarm to bomb-laden drone plane over the Atlantic in World War II, ending his diatribe with the word, “Boom.” Just then, the door leading into the jail is blown off its hinges, sending it and a stunned policeman down the corridor towards Cap. Turning to face the doorway, he sees five angry people – Starhawk, Charlie-27, Nikki, Firelord, and Major Victory – standing in the hallway. Starhawk explains that Cap and the police have the 31stcentury’s most-wanted entity in their custody, and that it wants to destroy them all. Then he demands that Cap stand aside. NOTES: Obviously, this is not your father’s Korvac Saga. Or Avengers. Or Captain America. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen. There is some sparsely-placed action within the book, and given that this is a first issue, there is some degree of exposition and setup to be expected. If the cover to next issue is any indication, we should see a little more action. First thing, and this is basically a nit-pick: there is a spelling error on the second page of the story. It is spelled “W-H-O-A,” people, no matter how many people keep misspelling it “W-O-A-H.” Not a huge deal, but it seems that someone should have caught it. Even if this book is catering to a younger crowd, it should at least present properly-spelled dialog and it makes you wonder about the integrity of the editorial staff that they let this slide. And speaking of dialog, it seems that there was a ham-fisted effort to make Cap appear a little cooler, maybe more identifiable with the younger crowd by using slang and verbiage that they might use, but it isn’t consistent. In one panel, Cap says, “I want this threat removed with minimal fuss.” Another panel, he says, “Ain’t a thing in my life that doesn’t seem that way right now.” And further on in the story, Cap calls Michael Korvac a “dirtbag” and a “weasel.” It jumps back and forth a couple of times like this, and it just seems forced. Cap was born very early in the 20thcentury, and probably wouldn’t/shouldn’t talk like that. Younger kids might not notice or care about Cap’s choice of words, but it kind of jumps out at you to anyone over the age of 20. But then, this may be Marvel’s intent here: to dumb down their material for a new generation of readers/customers. Depending on the approach Marvel has planned with the rest of this mini-series, distilling such a large story arc (which originally ran for the better part of a year in the Avengers title of the late 1970’s) into a four-issue series may have been too much to ask for. I will likely pick up the remainder of this series simply because I am a hardcore fan of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, but it seems like this book is headed the way of Marvel’s Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet. Maybe I’ll be surprised with subsequent issues, but I’m not holding my breath. Older fans like me might be better served dusting off and re-reading their original Korvac Saga trade (or better yet, dig into the long box and pull out the original Avengers back issues) to get their Guardians fix. GRADE: They have Firelord on the Guardians’ roster, but no Martinex??? What gives? Two-and-a-half Guardian Stars of out Five.