A very solid four star book.
Disclaimer: I LOVE CAPTAIN AMERICA! The one from Marvel Cineverse more than any. Which is where most of my Cap knowledge comes from. I do not have a clue as to whether Dark Designs is from the graphic novels…I will say that I did google and amazon the title and only came up with copies of this specific novel, leading me to believe it’s an original story.
First, I must mention the cover under the book jacket. Gorgeous silver foiling create Cap’s shield and letters on the spine on a matte black finish had cover. Beautiful!
Second, while this book isn’t a graphic novel by any means, it does have some art…every two to four chapters. Not many pages, but very nice. The images are grey-scale (black & white), clearly drawn and colored. A great surprise, because I wasn’t expecting to find art at all in the pages of this book.
Third, if I had to date this story, it would be somewhere after The Avengers and slightly before Captain America: Winter Soldier, movie wise. Though it does mention the Infinity Wars have happened already and the Cineverse isn’t there yet. (They film next year.)
So for my review:
“Forty years. I’ll wake up in a completely different world. Everyone I know will either be gone or nearing the end of their time. Again.”
That’s always on my mind when I read/watch anything Cap. It’s heartbreaking.
This time, though, there is talk of sending him back into a deep freeze because Cap has picked up a viral pathogen. While it remains dormant in Steve Roger’s blood, this pathogen has extinction level possibilities. Meaning Cap is in quarantine. Just as The Red Skull in Cap’s clone (apparently that’s a thing in the Marvel Universe not in the Cineverse) is calling forth Nazi Sleeper Robots. Why? Well, because he has the same virus as Cap, though his form is active. Zola, or the robotic consciousness of him, gives Red Skull some options, and Skull chose the Sleepers.
“Hey, old man. Heard you got some kind of flu or something, so I figured I’d pitch in.”
That quote came from Tony Stark himself. While I have this “thing” about Iron Man hogging the spotlight from Cap’s movie, I did enjoy his addition to the book. He’s snarky, and quippy, and really plays off Steve’s “living in a whole new world” thing…They were true comrades in the best sense. Working together to defeat the evils and keep the virus at bay.
Nick Fury showed up, SHIELD still a force to be reckoned with (before Hydra took them down). He stuck fear in many a doctor and was as fun to have Samuel L Jackson’s voice in my head along with Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. The three made for a great trio–one serious, one snarky, and one bad ass commander.
There were no other Avengers/Captain America characters in the mix, but then the story didn’t need them. It was strong and intriguing all on its own.
WARNING: Some parts were intense and worrisome, which made for a great story. The beginning was horribly slow. A lot of mention of gun/tank specifics took the possibility of something awesome to begin the book. If the first chapter or two wasn’t wholly necessary for some information that carries throughout the story, I’d say skip it.
And because I love Falcon: Sam Wilson was only mentioned, never took part.
It had been difficult, to be sure–especially when his first love, Peggy Carter–now in her eighties–said through her tears, “At least this time, I’ll know where you are, that you’re alive.”
Okay, so I cried… Peggy and Steve always…
Anyway, this book was pleasantly entertaining. If it had less tedium upfront–I mean, I don’t need to know every single gun the soldiers are carrying–this could have been five stars easily.
*I NEED A HERO READ – MAY 2016 THEME* Going to definitely look into more of Marvel’s prose novels, hopefully will find some of my favorite characters in there. (Ant-Man, Falcon, Winter Soldier…)
all images are my own.