Friday, 7 March 2014

Captain America and Bucky: Old Wounds (#625-628)

Writers: James Asmus and Ed Brubaker
Artist: Francesco Francavilla

Cover artist: Francesso Francavilla

-        This arc is only loosely connected to the previous: the first looked at James Buchanan Barnes' role as Bucky from 1941-45; this arc then explores Fred Davis, the Bucky of 1945-48, within weeks of the demise of Steve and James briefly shown in #623.

Collected in:
  • Captain America and Bucky: Old Wounds (Marvel Comics, Jun 13th 2012)
  •  #625-628 are available on Comixology as part of Marvel Unlimited, although erroneously listed as Captain America and Hawkeye.


Continuity Notes

-        This arc reintroduces us to Fred Davis, the first man to succeed the role of Bucky in 1945. The post-war Captain Americas have a long and storied history; Naslund and Davis were first introduced as non-canon characters in What If? #4, but that story would later be integrated into 616 continuity. The flashbacks we see of Truman appointing Naslund and Davis into their respective roles, and their introduction to the Invaders, were first seen in that What If? issue.

-        Truman gained the presidency very close to Steve and Bucky's 'deaths': he was in office from April 12th onwards. Steve and Bucky learnt of their mission against Zemo on the same date as Roosevelt's death (Sentinel of Liberty #7); the mission was carried out on the 18th (Man Out of Time #1). It's clear this meeting is taking a couple of days or weeks after that, allowing for emergency plans to be drafted and for rumours to leak to the press, as Truman states. What If? #4 establishes this was April 30th, the same date as Hitler's death.

-        Davis recalls the death of William Naslund at the hands of Adam II to Steve, events first seen in What If? #4, and later repeated in Captain America: Patriot #4. In those issues, it is established as being July 4th (campaign season.)

-        Adam III appears in this story, taking the form of Naslund's 'grandson'; Naslund and his girlfriend Lilith were supposedly separated by his "overseas missions," giving birth to their child shortly after Naslund's death, although this is all a fictional history.

-        Davis' speech at the Veteran's Center is for the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, which places this story at some point around December 8th 2011.

-        Jim Hammond reappears in this issue. Obviously this is before his Secret Avengers role - Steve says to the Torch: "I know you've been enjoying peace and quiet lately." (A window of time which comprises only a few months - his last appearance was in 2010's limited series Invaders Now!)


Continuity Notes

-        This issue continues directly from last issue, with the emergence of a new killer android 'Bucky.'

-        Pages 1-2 shows an unseen moment with the replacement Cap and Bucky and the Invaders operating in World War II. Davis says "My months as the second Bucky in World War II were few-- --but they were filled with moments like this."


Continuity Notes

-        This issue continues directly from last issue, with a group of android nurses attempting to inject Davis.

-        Pages 1-3 shows a conversation between Davis and Jim Hammond the evening of Naslund's death. In the narration, Davis describes Naslund's death as being October 4th 1946. Previously this was presented as July 4th; but given JFK's involvement in that story, the previously established date makes a lot more sense. It's possible that Davis is confusing two separate events in his memory and combining them into one, hence the date error.


-        The back of this issue contains a 7 page preview for Avengers vs. X-Men #1.

Continuity Notes

-        The opening two pages flashback to 1949, with Davis out of service from the Bucky title after being shot. The snow in Washington DC makes it clear that this flashback occurrs in the winter, indicating that him and Nasland carried the roles for most of 1949.

-        The final page occurs days later per the caption, with Captain America presenting Davis with a statue of him and Bucky outside a veterans affairs hospital, inspired by recent events.

-        Sadly, Davis' reappearance in the present day was not for long. This story is somewhat of a prelude for Winter Soldier: in #6, he is found dead in his home, murdered by Leo Novokov, another member of the Winter Soldier program. With the dates established in that issue and here, Davis lives only a few more weeks before the murder.

-        Jim Hammond next appears in Secret Avengers #23, becoming a member of Captain America's clandestine super team of Avengers.

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