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Captain America: Hail Hydra - Sergio Cariello Jonathan Maberry

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Genre: Graphic Novels / Comics / Author: Sergio Cariello Jonathan Maberry / Paperback / 136 Pages / Book is published 2011-07-04 by PANINI UK LTD / MARVEL

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      13.07.2012 16:04
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      Brilliant for younger readers.

      My seven year old son has turned into an avid collector of comics and graphic novels, and he really does love to have as many characters as possible, so this book was a real hit as it has appearances from so many of the Marvel line up. Captain America is of course the main character here, but we also get Iron Man, Giant Man, Wasp, Thor, The Black Panther, The Falcon, Wolverine, Spiderman, Spider Woman, The Black Widow, Moon Knight and in a way - Bucky as well. The roles of most of these characters is limited, but it is pulled off well. The danger with putting to many characters in a comic is that it may have the feeling of being overcrowded. The legion of superheroes coming together seems entirely appropriate for this book.

      We bought this book after my son was terribly disappointed by Captain America Civil War. He wasn't sure about trying another book with the Cap, but he did find the hero interesting, and I felt he had just started out with the wrong book. We were looking something with more action and adventure, and suitable for a child rather than complex political scenarios. I still feel that we missed something with Civil War - but I didn't want a comic we had to try to hard to understand. The whole idea of comics is just to have fun light reading.

      This book begins with a flash back to WW2 and a battle between the Captain and Hydra. It does give some idea of the Captains Background, but it does seem to assume the reader already has some knowledge of Captain America, which my son and I really did not have at the time we bought this book. It then jumps forward to modern times, with no explanation as to how the Captain got there, and we get a horribly shocking visit from an undead Bucky. It's easy enough to figure out the Captain and Bucky had been mates. The Captain has a quick remembrance of Bucky, and it is obvious he feels responsible for his death, but now he needs to put him back into the grave - along with hordes of undead soldiers raised by Hydra.

      There are a couple places where I feel some prior knowledge of the Captain America storyline would be beneficial, but overall, this wasn't a bad book to start out with. There may be a couple of gaps, but it can be enjoyed by someone who has never read any previous Captain America books, or even any Marvel stories. It gives us clear idea who and what Hydra is, and a good background into the conflict between this group and Captain America. It also has scenes through history, showing Hydra through the ages. The undead theme actually worked very well, and this book is packed with almost non stop action and epic battles. The art work is good. I wouldn't describe it as being worthy of an art gallery, but it is well drawn and both my son and I enjoyed this quite a bit.

      This book does contain death and violence, and some gory scenes with walking corpses. I can imagine that some small children might be frightened by this, but I do feel that it suitable for most young readers, and even my 3 year old liked the parts with the Zombies. I enjoyed reading this with my son, but I wouldn't class this as one of my favourite graphic novels. I did find the plot better suited to a younger audience, but that is what I bought this for. If I were rating this as a book for adults, I would only give this 4 stars. It is still a good book, but lacks some of the depth of the very best graphic novels. But as I bought this for a child, and my son did love this, I am giving this the full 5 stars. My son did need some help to understand a few of the historical references, such as a scene with Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth, but I see this as an advantage rather than a disadvantage as the book does encourage children to learn about a wide of array of historical time periods.

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