Avengers #4

"Captain America Joins…The Avengers!

Avengers #3
January 1964

Written by Stan Lee
Pencils by Jack Kirby
Inks by Jack Kirby

So back in November of last year, Stan and company decided to dip their toe in the Golden Age waters once again so to speak, and gave classic superhero Captain America something of a fake trial run in Strange Tales #114. Comic fans rejoiced, and pretty much the rest of what would become of The Avengers would be shaped as such. And I think they were right in doing so; not only was that particular issue of Strange Tales one of the very few that didn’t stink, but seeing the Cap back in action (even though it wasn’t really him) was a little riveting and exciting; he adapted to the modern age perfectly enough to feel relevant and just as striking.

So fast forward three months then to his debut here in Avengers #4, where he comes back from the dead to team up with The Avengers to put a stop to Namor's threats. As far connecting the dots go, the issue does a good job of explaining how and why this happens, and while it's all done in shiny comic book silliness, it's not exactly insulting, logically, in comparison to say, your average Journey into Mystery issue. Instead Lee and company fill in the blanks as much as they need to and leave it at that—and it works. What doesn’t quite work as well as it possibly should however, is the eventual payoff of all this coming into play.

Told very much as a plain-faced action comic much in the stylings of those Golden Age marvels that Captain America once donned, this latest story for The Avengers is fast and all about packing a punch, but never really reaches the heights that it should considering all the build up and anticipation. That’s not to say that it’s a dull read—it’s anything but, considering all that’s transpiring, but you can’t help but feel like they could have done more with things here. Like, I don’t know; having the Hulk come back in place of the now tepidly befitting Prince Namor who’s losing his spark with every issue he appears in. Nevertheless, it’s still a nice read and the spark that the series is needing at this stage; it’s just a shame then that much of these great character moments are suffocated in amongst otherwise middling, run-of-the-mill action sequences.

MY SCORE: 7.0 (out of 10)