Home > Marvel Comics > Captain America (2005 Series) #7

Captain America (2005 Series) #7

June 24, 2005

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: The Lonesome Death of Jack Monroe

How did Nomad spend his last days?

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: John Paul Leon
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Letters: Randy Gentile
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Steve Epting
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This issue Ed Brubaker steps back from the ongoing Captain America storyline to fill in the last year in the life of Nomad, who was shot dead a few issues ago. A year ago, he got some terrible news – the tainted version of the super-soldier serum that he was treated with is breaking down, and the other things that have happened to him over the years are taking their toll. He’s sick… dying, and his death is liable to be a painful one, liable to drive him mad in the process. He decides to spend his remaining days finding his adopted daughter, now a first grader with a new life of her own.

This is a really heartbreakingly sad issue, as we follow Nomad, a broken man, marching through his last days, the reader knowing all along how the issue is going to end. Brubaker also takes advantage of the interlude to fill in the reader on his origin and fill in some of the blanks of his first six issues. What’s intriguing here is that every instant of the last year isn’t accounted for – there are significant gaps, which give the reader reason to suspect (or, in my case, desperately hope) there are hints here that suggest that the big “revelation” of last issue isn’t all it seems.

Even if you aren’t really familiar with Jack, Brubaker gives you what you need to understand who he is (was?), where he’s coming from and what is happening to him. It’s a portrait of a man disintegrating before our eyes, and for people who’ve been fans of the character in the past, it hurts. Even for neophytes, you begin to empathize and feel for him.

John Paul Leon pinch-hits for the regular artists this issue, and I’m sorry to say he’s not really up to snuff. While the layouts and composition are okay, artwork looks uniformly flat. The pages are inked too heavily, and even the sharp colors of Frank D’Armata don’t help out. The cover, by regular artist Steve Epting, is a different story – it’s a great piece, one suitable for framing.

Is this the real end of Jack Monroe? Hey, it’s comic books – especially after last issue, never say never. But if it is, it’s really a shattering note to end on… and I mean that as a compliment. Very well done.

Rating: 9/10

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