For anyone reading “Captain America,” this “Siege” tie-in doesn’t shed any new light on the relationship between Steve Rogers and James Barnes regarding the Captain America mantle. But, for anyone who hasn’t been reading that book, this issue acts as a good primer. Following up on the destruction of Asgard in “Siege” #3, the two Captains America have to rescue a family from Razor-Fist, a villain that has, well, blades for hands if the name wasn’t a big tip-off.
The issue begins with a mother and father trying to earn some money by taking pictures of the fight at Asgard, but that goes wrong when their daughters follow them and Asgard falls. In the wreckage, the Captains America take down one villain before being drawn into saving the family, first from the rubble and, then, from Razor-Fist. It’s a pretty innocuous story that allows Christos Gage to show the differences between Barnes and Rogers, while also giving them a chance to work together.
Cage uses narration by both Rogers and Barnes to tell the story, showing how each responds internally to the same situation. Rogers is more measured and patient, while Barnes has more of a temper. He chastises the father for bringing his family so close to the fight, making Steve pull him back in. However, for all their differences, they work well together. Razor-Fist comes off as a credible threat against the two of them, possibly a little too credible. He is, after all, a D-lister and shouldn’t pose such problems for one Captain America, let alone two.
Federico Dallocchio’s photorealist style is hit or miss. When drawing the civilians, they don’t always look like they belong in the same panel with one another; there’s one case where the two Captains America are standing next to each other and the lighting and shading is completely different. In one case, he blows a visual cue from Gage where Barnes is playing possum, signaling to Rogers that this is the case by crossing his fingers, but we don’t see that. But, Dallocchio’s line work is strong in places. When he focuses more on drawing the heroes in action, his thin lines and soft shadows look very good.
“Siege: Captain America” is a solid, but forgettable, issue. It’s a textbook example of a tie-in issue that adds little to the main crossover, but tells an entertaining story. For “Siege” readers curious about Steve Rogers and James Barnes that aren’t reading “Captain America,” this could be worth a look, but, for anyone else, it’s easily missed.