Graphic Novel Review: Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z
- Credit: Archant
Despite being trapped in an alien dimension, Captain America continues his lifelong fight for liberty and justice...
FOLLOWING in the footsteps of Ed Brubaker’s eight year run on the Sentinel of Liberty is no easy task, but instead of trying to duplicate the espionage-infused tone which characterised the series throughout this period, incoming writer Rick Remender has plunged Steve Rogers into a science-fiction epic which finds him cast adrift in the mysterious Dimension Z.
Inspired in part by Jack Kirby’s 1970s return to the character, Remender isn’t afraid to take risks, and after an initial sequence showing Cap foiling a terrorist plot in the skies above New York, thrusts him through a warp-hole into a strange new world.
Cut off from his fiancée, his country and his allies, Cap initially finds himself at the mercy of insane Nazi bio-engineer Arnim Zola, who has been abducting human subjects from New York for use in his warped experiments.
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Escaping with a baby boy who may be Zola’s artificially-produced son, Cap pilots a stolen plane into the wilderness of Dimension Z, a realm inhabited by nightmarish creatures and tribes of monsters, but loses any chance of returning home in the process.
And then it is first one year later, and then 11 years, and we are shocked to realise the extent of Rogers’ exile in this treacherous world, as he struggles to survive against the inhospitable terrain and alien races, all the while raising the boy, who he has named Ian after his late grandfather, as his son.
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Juxtaposed with the events transpiring in Dimension Z are flashbacks to Steve Rogers’ childhood in 1920s New York, a period of his life never explored before, as we encounter his abusive and despondent father and his inspirational mother, and see how his experiences of Depression-era America shaped the hero he was to become.
This volume is only the first part of the Dimension Z saga, and it is therefore impossible to predict how it will develop over subsequent instalments, but on the strength of the material presented here Remender and artist John Romita Jr have succeeded in crafting a first-rate Captain America adventure which propels the Star-Spangled Avenger in new directions while never losing sight of what makes him tick.