That said, Remender is obviously no slouch. He again uses flashbacks to excellent effect, showing us Sam's personal stake in preventing HYDRA from sterilizing the world: he holds onto the hope that he'll have children some day. In fact, Remender uses this hope to hint at a larger challenge that Sam faces, the fact that he seems to long for the day when he can put down the wings and resume something approaching a normal life. In the meantime, it's still on him to save the world.
Although it's in the neighborhood of a deus ex machina, I actually liked Armadillo throwing in his lot with Sam. It reminds me of "Amazing Spider-Man" #563, where Ox simply surrenders to Spider-Man because he knows that he's going to lose. Here, it's a reminder that not every super-villain is evil incarnate. You have a spectrum from "knocking over a bank" to "sterilizing almost all of humanity," and Remender shows us that Armadillo is more on the "bank" end of the spectrum. That said, I did roll my eyes at the idea that Baron Zemo was dumb enough to give the locations of all the bombs to a henchman. Really? I sort of doubt that Zemo would trust a C-lister like Armadillo with his plans.
But, this problem aside, it's a solid issue and we continue to progress through the arc nicely. Sam still thinks that Ian is dead, and he's enraged when Zemo gloats at the impact that the video that he took of killing Ian would have on Steve. Again, he's furious not only on his friend's behalf, but Zemo is also still his own children from him. We end the issue with Zero holding a sword to Sam's throat as the kid with the sterilization powers releases the virus (via flies infused with his blood) over America. Even if Ian magically appears to save Sam, it's unclear how they're going to stop the plague of deadly flies. (At some point, we should also probably get some insight into why this kid is so eager to destroy the world.) But, these multiple conundrums explain why I'm excited every month when the newest issue of this series arrives.
*** (three of five stars)