Captain America Annual #1 Review

by Charles Martin on June 16, 2021

Captain America Annual #1 Review
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Marco Castiello
Inking Assistant: Vincenzo Acunzo
Colourist: Ruth Redmond

"Infinite Fury" B Story
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist/Colourist: Juan Ferreyra

Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The second installment of groundwork for the upcoming Infinity Stone event comes to us from Gerry Duggan, the ringmaster of Marvel's last Infinity Circus. That event was … not so hot, so I picked this issue up with some trepidation.

Captain America Annual #1 was an entirely pleasant surprise. It's the speedy, sharp story of Cap and the Black Widow trying and failing to capture Hector "Overtime" Bautista, the first of the new Infinity People.

Gerry Duggan is the originator of the character, so nobody's better-equipped to re-introduce him than Mr. Duggan. And the author does a commendable job, salting terse, to-the-point character factoids into the fast-paced chase story.

Overtime supplies a rational, character-driven motivation for the unfolding event. He wants to set right what he did wrong in his past, and the Time Stone alone isn't cutting it. So he wants to find the other Infinity People, hoping that they can give him the boost he needs.

In the B story, Jed MacKay and Juan Ferreyra ratchet Nick Fury Jr.'s share of the story forward, with Captain America revealing the cosmic scope of the problem to him.

Artist Marco Castiello shows off a deft hand for portraying tough characters in this annual. His fine shading lines chisel out rocky jaws and furrowed brows, capably creating hard men who wear the signs of hard lives on their faces. But his cleaner, sexier Black Widow proves that he doesn't rely on his shading as a crutch. He knows how to build a character.

However, Mr. Castiello struggles to pose those characters in a way that fully evokes the dynamic motion they're supposed to be in. This is a chase story, so movement is important. Mr. Castiello gives hints of motion in the way his characters interact with each other and their environments -- but only hints.

Ruth Redmond helps keep the visuals on the positive side by adroitly setting up a nighttime palette for the fast-moving chase. The settings are muted, pushing the characters into the foreground. But the costumes don't need excess saturation to stand out; Ms. Redmond plays the contrast game well. The characters are well suited to it -- red, blue and green combine nicely.

Juan Ferreyra delivers a more symbolic visual presentation for the B story, constraining his colours to red, white, and blue and playing some iconic games with his panelling. He also packs a lot of dynamism into the strip -- the conceit is that Cap and Fury are chatting while also sparring with each other in a boxing ring.

The backup story makes a great visual contrast to the main strip; this annual rings a lot of different artistic bells and does it well.

I'm impressed by the way Infinite Destinies is shaping up so far. Gerry Duggan and Jed MacKay are on the same stylistic wavelength, shaping a fast tale that tap-dances along the narrow line between spy story and heist story. 

Mr. Duggan tilts this installment toward the spy side. His words are carefully chosen for speed and power, like the motorcycles that feature so prominently in the action. And he makes wise use of the conflict to characterize Overtime, with a reasonable boost coming from letting Cap share some conclusions about his antagonist.

Captain America Annual #1 tells a satisfying chase story along the way to the next Infinity Stone event. It paints a compelling, well-rounded portrait of Overtime, who emerges as the leading "Infinity Person" thanks to his new desire to seek out the other stone-holders. The gritty, detailed art could use a touch more motion, but overall this is a lean, speedy spy caper as well as an interesting serving of event groundwork.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
As with the previous Iron Man Annual, this one features some slightly out-of-date continuity on its guest stars. Nothing truly troublesome, though!