28th Sep2020

‘Marvel Vault of Heroes: Captain America’ Graphic Novel Review

by Phil Wheat

Written by Scott Gray, Roger Langridge, Paul Tobin, Todd Dezago, J.M. DeMatteis | Art by Craig Rousseau, Ronan Clinquet, Chris Cross, Lou Kang, Wellington Alves | Published by IDW Comics | Format: Paperback, 160pp

Official Synopsis:

The legend of Captain America begins here when Steve Rogers survives a WWII experiment to become a Super-Soldier and the Sentinel of Liberty! He’ll face off against Hydra, P.R.O.D.O.K., the Rhino, A.I.M., and even an army of genetically recreated cavemen. Shield-slinging adventures lead to Avengers team-ups with Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Iron Man and more!

My Thoughts:

Released as part of IDW and Marvel’s collaboration, Marvel Vault of Heroes: Captain America collects Marvel Adventures Super Heroes Vol. 1 #8 and #12, and Marvel Adventures Super Heroes Vol. 2 #3, #5, #15, #16, and #21 – all essentially kid-friendly tales that tell key stories in Captain America’s evolution, from his origins to his team-up with other Marvel heroes; many of whom have appeared in the MCU alongside the film iteration of the character. So you can consider this book something of an education for young readers into the history of a character, Captain America, they may have only experienced in the movies or in cartoons on TV.

Originally debuting in comic form Marvel Vault of Heroes: Captain America is a “best of” collection from the young readers books previously put out by IDW as part of their publishing deal with Marvel. A deal that sees them aiming books squarely at pre-teen readers, the kids who have grown up with the MCU but not necessarily comic books. As such the stories within this graphic novel aren’t as complex as you’d find in Captain America’s current comic run – but they’re still not watered down tales you might expect from a “kids comic”, feeling much more like the innocent stories of the 60s; and the book itself looks as vibrant and colourful as those comics did too!

Of the stories included in this book, the highlights are certainly more those where Captain America teams with various other Marvel heroes – including the final tale in this book that sees Cap team with Docotr Strange and, despite some clunky art from Lou Kang (reportedly stylised after old-school Gil Kane work), a meeting and team-up between Captain American and Spider-man; the later of whom is written as more star struck meeting Cap than he ever was with Iron Man in the MCU. But, of course, the origin story – retold in the first story here – is still the best Captain America tale and one that captures everything that is great about this particular man out of time. The odd-one-out of the bunch here is not a Captain America story at all, it’s a Vision and Black Widow team-up tale that sees the pair hunt down a duo of blackmailers, including Nova villain Diamondhead (and yes, Nova DOES make an appearance in this story too).

Marvel Vault of Heroes: Captain America is ultimately a brilliant starting point for young readers interested in discovering more about the comic book adventures of Captain America and a superhero world outside the MCU; and with nine stories included for just over £10, this is a perfect launch-pad for new Marvel fans!

Marvel Vault of Heroes: Captain America is available to buy now on Amazon.


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