Well, Captain America #42 was not the most brilliant comic ever, like I'm sure many predicted it to be, since it culminated a storyline that dates back years of issues. What it did do, however, is keep me sure this series will be worth reading now that this lengthy masterpiece of a story is over.
In truth, this finale felt just a bit rushed, and mostly it simply wrapped up several loose ends into a candy-coated package. The highlight is probably what Sharon does (though how she shorted that enormous machine I've no idea). She's been a victim for so long, it was nice to see her take on Sin a few issues ago and even nicer to watch her break free here... but I won't spoil exactly what happens.
What I will do is ask the question you will be asking yourself after reading — what exactly was that machine supposed to do? I mean, I have a vague idea, but it was never just laid out on the table. And while I would say this must mean Brubaker means to use it in the future, this finale felt rushed enough that I'm worried he just skimmed over that detail. It will be interesting to see what he says about it in the inevitable post-story interviews he gives with the bigger comic sites.
As I said, this finale was not perfect, but it did leave enough lingering for the future that we all can be sure Brubaker still has plenty of his master plan to unfurl. Enough major players make it out alive that you know they will have something more to say to Bucky soon enough. It seems SHIELD will keep playing a big role in the book too.
And, one of the nicest scenes (and most relaxed scenes) I've read in this book in a while concerns Bucky and Natalia, seemingly just relaxing in their P.J.s watching some night time TV before heading to bed. Call me corny and romantic or whatever sissy name you want, but I was happy to see these two got together so quickly, and most importantly, Bucky, who's been such a conflicted character since his resurrection, be able to just relax with the girl he wants. One of the main parts of his personality has been pushing what he wants most away, from running from Steve to running from the Captain America mantle — it shows a big step for Buck that he accepts both the responsibility of being Cap and the company of Natalia in this issue.
Any way, one thumb up on this issue, but two thumbs up on its promise for the future.