With Captain America: The First Avenger opening in theaters 4th August 2011 (almost 2 weeks after the US! T_T), Marvel has been increasing the hype with quite a few Captain America one shots done by various creative groups highlighting various other characters from the Captain’s past and present – The Falcon, The First Thirteen, Crossbones and our very good French friend, Batroc, whose comic was released this week.
I’ve not had the honour of reading the other stories, as Pete is really the Captain America fan here, but I had to get my hands on this because I’m a huge fan of Kieron Gillen, and Batroc just amuses me to no end. The good news is, Gillen takes le leaper and really has a go at it.
Definitely a Batroc story with the Captain America name tagged on the top of it, we have here a tale of Batroc, age old nemesis of Captain America (not quite Red Skull level) finding himself having the chance of going toe to toe with Cap again. Hired by some smugglers to protect a shipment from being interrupted by Cap, we get a look into Batroc’s mind and motivations and we learn what really drives this mercernary with nary a superhuman bone in his body, and how he relishes the chance to finally best Cap. Add on the bit about Batroc extending his leaping skill to pakour – that just makes perfect sense to me, after all, what else would a leaper do in Paris? The story itself IS titled Traceur. The fact that he’s only discovering it now IS a little weird tho.
The artwork by Renato Arlem is pretty solid when it comes to the action, with great kineticism, but does get a little shaky during the slower scenes. More pakour action, perhaps? The cover by Greg Tocchini? Amazing. All in all, this is a very fun read, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Gillen – the real pity is when it ends and you know there could have been more… a few more pages… more Batroc. Grab it if you’re a Batroc fan, or if you really just want to read a neat story about what drives non-powered villians… you might just come around to seeing it their way.
Provided at ze end of ze comick is le reprint of la battle classique between Batroc and Cap, oui? Oui. La Batroc’s motivation in ze comick is given more depth by ze main story by monsieur Gillen (ze British! Sacre Bleu!), but nonzeless this is le fun read. Oui!
I’m… not very good at French.
And if you haven’t had enough Captain America fun, here’s the movie trailer – but you’d have watched it by now, non? It is, in a word, amazing.