Please note the “A Very Special Issue” at the top. This is the case because artist Gene Colan did the artwork for this issue. Who is Gene Colan? He was born in 1926 and is famous for having worked on Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and 70 issues of The Tomb of Dracula. So here in #601 we have an 80+ year old artist working on a major Marvel title.
At ign.com Dan Phillips wrote a pretty good review article about the issue. ign.com ends up rating it 8.8, but Phillips’ article does bring up several of the points that a general comic book reader will not enjoy about the issue. Basically, there is no continuity here – not with the current events in the Marvel Universe (i.e. Dark Reign). Instead, this story fits in somewhere around the Civil War events. Not that its really connected at all. Its basically a one-shot. Since Marvel is so obsessed with putting out one-shots, why not make this one a one-shot?
Secondly, its about vampires. Personally, I hate vampires. I am so turned off, uninterested, bored, annoyed, and sickened by anything and everything vampire. While Colan might be known for some of his horror-genre work, I don’t think it goes with the Captain. Not in 2009. Not even in a flashback story. Bleh… vampires…
CBR writer Chad Nevett gave the story high-praise, calling it a must buy in his review. Here we learn that the issue was originally supposed to be an Annual and had been up for publishing in 2007. Nevett gets into some detail about the artistic qualities of the issue. And he is probably correct. I don’t dispute anything, really.
However, again, and further, and hence, it should have been a one-shot. Not issue #601 for a major Marvel title. On its own, I can conceive of it being a good issue – if you are into a vampire WWII story with Captain America and Bucky. As issue #601, its a train-wreck in a series that seems to have lost its direction. (Well, duh! They Killed Steve!)