In Captain America/Iron Man #1, the two Avengers must deal with the fall-out of an undercover Hydra agent’s daring escape. But there’s more to this Hydra spy than meets the eye. And it makes her a very dangerous foe.
Captain America/Iron Man #1
VC’s Joe Caramagna (Letters), Derek Landy (Writer), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colours), Angel Unzueta (Artist)
December 8, 2021
I decided to review Captain America/Iron Man #1 based on the title, which I read as Captain America slash Iron Man. For a second, I thought Marvel was giving readers a ‘Stony’ slash comic, which turned out to be a great reason to read and review the book (thanks for the nudge, Wendy!). As I expected, this comic is most definitely not a slash story. Sorry to disappoint, Stony fans. Captain America/Iron Man #1 isn’t told from either Steve Rogers or Tony Stark’s point of view. Instead, the story almost entirely unfolds from Hydra Agent Veronica Eden’s perspective.
Taking off from the events in the Falcon & Winter Soldier comic, this book sees Veronica face espionage charges. She eventually makes her escape while en route to prison. Because of Veronica’s connection to Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, Captain America gets involved in the case. As for Iron Man, well, he knew Veronica in the way only Tony Stark could. I have to say, Tony Stark’s playboy persona has got old. Even though it’s technically in the past in Captain America/Iron Man, and Steve pokes fun at Tony for his bachelor days getting him into trouble, it just feels like such a boring trope. Do you mean to say that Tony’s bedroom antics have endangered the world again? It would have been nice for Tony to know Veronica some other way. Maybe they met at a symposium? That would have been nice.
But Veronica isn’t reduced to a scorned woman, out to get revenge on Tony. There’s more to her than that. By the end of Captain America/Iron Man #1, Veronica has shared her ultimate goal as well as her plan for getting there. Will she succeed? Her goals are lofty, so I don’t think so. But Veronica will wreak havoc and cause both Steve and Tony a lot of pain on the way.
It was refreshing to get Veronica’s perspective in this book. I haven’t met her before in the comics, but she comes across as a full-fledged and relatable character. I’m not sure if the rest of the series will share Veronica’s point of view, but I hope it does. A scene in Captain America/Iron Man #1 moves away from Veronica’s perspective, and I found it quite jarring. Aside from the fact that I dislike sudden changes in POV, Veronica’s sarcasm was quite fun to read. As much as I enjoyed the banter between Steve and Tony, it felt like the book couldn’t pick a lane. I’m hoping the rest of the series doesn’t see-saw between characters too often.
Perspective aside, the story itself is engaging but nothing extraordinary. I like that we’re seeing the world from the villain’s viewpoint, but that’s the only thing that’s remarkable about Captain America/Iron Man #1. Apart from that, it’s just Captain America trying to do the right thing, which is very much like him, and Iron Man trying to right his wrongs, also very much like him.
This book feels like something you can read without knowing too much about either character as they exist in the Marvel Universe. I haven’t read many Avengers comics this year, but it was pretty easy to pick up on the dynamics between the main characters. It also didn’t feel like I needed context to understand who Veronica was and why she might threaten the Avengers. Kudos to writer Derek Landy for that.
I would have liked if Veronica didn’t look like a waif, though. We’ve got Captain America looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even Tony Stark looks like he can bench press another human. And then there’s Veronica, who looks more like a model than an athlete, going up against Cap and Iron Man.
Despite Veronica, I did enjoy Angel Unzueta’s detailed artwork in Captain America/Iron Man #1. Unzueta captures depth beautifully and makes the comic page look cinematic. The background details add so much richness to each panel and they help build a world that is striking and real. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colours are gorgeous and bright, making this comic a joy to read.
But the faces. I didn’t like the faces. Is nobody’s jaw hinged? Are everyone’s eyes popping out of their heads? Can nobody smile without grimacing? There’s too much happening with these faces, and it was uncomfortable looking at them. The rest of the art was gorgeous, as long as there were no human characters around.
I enjoyed reading Captain America/Iron Man #1 but this story will work better as a trade than as single issues. Not enough happens here for me to wait with bated breath for next month’s issue. I’m intrigued by Veronica Eden but the series isn’t promising to give me just her unique point of view. I would prefer a mix of Veronica’s voice and the banter between Steve and Tony, but this first issue didn’t quite get that balance right. The story is satisfactory, but this opening issue needed a cliffhanger to keep me interested. As it stands, this book is interesting, but I’m probably going to forget I read it tomorrow.