CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER with Kate (and Dan)

::Kate tosses the remote over her shoulder; glass breaks in the background a la DAVID LETTERMAN::

K: I keep seeing these kickass promos on the tube for the new Captain America movie. I really liked the first one; it was like Indiana Jones tossed into a blender with the Rocketeer. But I ask you: what in hell is a “Winter Soldier?” Sounds like an army dude that works one season out of the year!

D: Dude? Dude. DUUUDE!

K: Knock it off. You haven’t talked like that in 15 years.

D: Sorry. I watched ENCINO MAN yesterday. ::whispers:: BuuuDDDyyy…!

K: I heard that.

D: Sorry.

K: You’re an idiot.

D: I SAID I WAS SORRY.

K: So really, what’s the dealio on this guy?

D: Ok. This is good stuff. Remember when I talked about Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s creator-owned book VELVET? Well, back in 2005 they, along with Michael Lark, were the team that re-launched CAPTAIN AMERICA for Marvel Comics. Cap has had a long and storied publishing career, but CAPTAIN AMERICA 1-14 from 2005 is the run that rooted the character firmly in the world of shadowy covert ops. S.H.I.E.L.D., the KGB, assassinations and resurrections were the name of the game here.

::spills a filing cabinet of bagged-and-boarded books on to his foot::

D: SONOVA…! Less talking, Red. Get to reading! Er… then please file these back in numerical order. But finish before 8:30 will ya? I have an early bedtime tonight.

K: OK. Let’s see here…there’s issue number 12, number 8, number 10. Oh! Here’s number 1, almost lost it under the couch.

K: This story DOES have everything! Flashbacks, ex-girlfriends, Nick Fury that doesn’t look like Samuel L. Jackson, guys in yellow science-suits, a an honest to goodness Cosmic Cube! And that’s before we even get to that Winter Soldier guy! This is really an epic story. You told me a long time ago that Cap’s World War II kid-sidekick Bucky was the last “sacred cow” of comic book deaths.

D: When Bucky died back in the Golden Age of Comics, there was no way he was going to be brought back to life.

K: Yeah! Not like that redheaded weirdo Jean Grey in the X-Men! That’s a broad that can’t decide if she’s over the dirt or under it. How many times has she died and been brought back now?

D: ::takes off shoes and socks while counting, starts to unbutton pants::

K: Woah, dude. A rough estimate will suffice.

D: Sorry.

K: Anywho, so what’s the first thing Brubaker does when he takes over at the keyboard? Right. He kills that sacred cow in his first storyline. And you know what? It works like a charm.

D: Without spoiling too much for the folks in line for movie tickets and haven’t read the books (Welcome to the party folks! We’re glad to have you) the Winter Soldier is a shadowy covert Soviet super-agent. The baddest of the Bad Dudes. He’s…

K: … Shadowy and Bad?

D: YES. And you eventually learn that this super-agent working for the communists has ties to Captain America. Often times in comics, you hear the phrase, “This Is The Story That Changes Everything!” And with THE WINTER SOLDER, nothing is the same again.

K: As a relative new comer to comics, I really dig Brubaker’s storytelling. This is first and foremost a political thriller, and that appeals to me. It’s intense, Cold War storytelling with Cap, Nick Fury, and S.H.I.E.L.D. all thrown into the mix. You know international relations are tense from page one.

D: For me, Epting’s work with the pencil takes Brubaker’s intrigue and transforms it from a work of paper and staples and changes it into a movie in book form. The images are dark and shadowy, just like the story. And having Michael Lark drawing the flashbacks is brilliant. His style is the perfect compliment to Epting. His art adds another level to an already intense story.

K: Let’s recap: We’ve got international intrigue, covert ops, Helicarriers (because that’s where S.H.I.E.L.D. hangs out), super-agents, intense storytelling, and amazing art: the perfect ingredients to transform a definitive story arc into a blockbuster superhero movie. I’m in.

D: I thought you wanted to see the movie because of Chris Evans.

K: It doesn’t hurt. BuuuDDDyyy.