Sunday, June 7, 2015

Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z Book Two (comics)

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Collects: Captain America (Vol. 7) #6-10

So, I wasn't a big fan of the first volume. It had some good ideas, but most of the emotional beats hit with a resounding thud. It was a rare occasion where some extra decompression might have actually helped the story. Even an extra issue or two in the story might have made it easier to swallow.

I figured that I might as well finish out the story, so I'm back for round two.

The second book isn't so much improved as it suffers from fewer issues with selling its big moments. Things ramp up immediately as Cap sets out to recover his adopted son Ian and the volume doesn't really slow down until the end, so there's less to be concerned with. Still, there are some hiccups born of the structure choice - the big moment with Steves would-be rescuer don't work if someone decided to start with issue one of this Cap volume - and the rescue attempt hinges on whether the reader could buy the father-son dynamic the first volume tried to present. I've already gone over that particular problem the first time around, so I won't repeat myself, but it didn't work that well in my opinion, so the payoff we get here falls flat.

Again, this really felt like the kind of direction you apply to fifteen or more issues, not ten.

JR Jr.'s artwork hasn't changed much since the first volume. Same strengths, same weaknesses. The weaknesses are a bit less glaring though; we have no time skips as in the first part of the arc, so we are mercifully sparred jarring moments like Ians complete lack of growth. Still, it's not something I'm super into. Plenty of others disagree, so take it as you will.

The ending does leave us with some potentially interesting tidbits for the future, so the book could easily improve. If I decide to continue it will be because the library has it, which is fairly likely. I'd recommend you do the same. Castaway in Dimension Z is far from bad, but it's not something I'd recommend purchasing.

My Opinion: Try It


  1. My library has the first four volumes of this series, but while I did check them all out once, something has deterred me from actually reading them so far. I think it's probably my aversion to Rick Remender, since JR Jr. is one of my favorite artists (although I still prefer when he was inked by Scott Hanna during his early-2000s run on Amazing Spider-Man). I have yet to read anything by Remender that didn't feel extremely off, tonally speaking.

  2. I haven't read a lot of Remenders other Marvel writing. Just his Punisher, which I really enjoyed. I'm familiar with his creator owned work, though. I actually just read the first volume of Black Science recently. It's an engaging read with some excellent artwork.

    This, however, simply didn't work for me. You really have to tailor the length to what the story demands. Everyone has a habit of getting upset about decompression, but sometimes it's warranted. Ten issues was simply not enough time for this storyline.

  3. Yeah, I can see the length being an issue just based on this book's premise. I'm sure they had to get Cap back to the main universe in time for some crossover or other. Not sure why they couldn't have just pulled a Black Costume and said "Want to find out what resulted in this new status quo? Read Captain America..."

  4. Yeah, or a One Year Later type of thing. Say what you will about some of the OYL titles, but there was a lot of excitement surrounding the whole thing. A situation like that would have been stupid simple to pull here too. Cap was stuck in another dimension where time moves differently. He was barely away thirty minutes in the regular universe. Just show him with PTSD in other books and let Cap tell the story for however long it needs.