Nick Spencer (W), Jesus Saiz (A)
Cover By: Jesus Saiz
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So this one has caused quite the stir hasn’t it? I knew the synopsis to this book days before I was able to get it. Heck, it made rounds on the national news circuit.
There’s not much to be said about the controversy that hasn’t already been said, but I’ll still give my piece. This is a comics cliffhanger. They happen a lot. They’re the little shock moments the comics go for at the end of every issue. Very soon, there will be an issue explaining how all of it was a part of a covert operation put together by Cap and Shield. Steve Rogers is not actually going to be made into a villain. You can stop buying and burning the freaking comic.
I had been looking forward to this comic for some time now. I really do like Sam Wilson as Captain America, but I have been itching to see Steve Rogers back in action in the comics. I like the suit (except for the ears poking out), and I like the new shield. Nick Spencer is one of my favorite writers currently working at Marvel.
The book itself is…conflicted. Jesus Saiz’s artwork is rock solid. The storytelling is good for the most part with the some exceptions.
The story is primarily about Steve stopping a train full of explosives from reaching Penn Station. Afterwards, he has to stop Baron Zemo and rescue Doctor Selvig from him. He teams up with his old partners, Jack Flagg and Free Spirit for this mission. Sharon Carter is at odds with Maria Hill. Meanwhile, the Red Skull is still gathering power in his new version of Hydra. All of this runs alongside a flashback involving young Steve Rogers, his mother, and a mysterious stranger back in the mid-1920s.
There is nothing wrong with the story itself for the most part. The retconning with Steve’s mother isn’t really my thing, and it only seems to be done to give a bit more credence to the obviously fake plot twist that everyone is so upset about.
Baron Zemo is kind of stupid in this comic. Zemo is one of my all-time favorite rogues, and this comic doesn’t do him much justice. He’s played off as a little dopey and pathetic. Also, I just can’t see Zemo saying “toodles.”
The speech from the Red Skull has caught some flak for being too “political,” but I found it fine. Yes, Spencer has never shied away from getting pretty political in his comics. The speech is topical, yes, but it’s Hydra’s point of view on the subjects. Just because certain political candidates’ ideologies line up with the Red Skull’s beliefs isn’t Nick Spencer or Johann Schmidt’s fault.
The “death” is really ambiguous and will probably be explained away in the next issue.
The ending didn’t bother me because I know it’s a fake-out. I just hope the series isn’t going to be pretending that Steve Rogers has turned evil for more than an issue. I truly doubt it will with the unfounded backlash this comic has received.
For real people, these kinds of things are always ploys put together to shock. They almost never turn out to be true or lasting.
All this being said, the comic has its nice moments. There is a scene where Steve tries to talk down a Hydra suicide bomber that is up there with all the good, old Cap moments. There is a really sweet scene between Steve and Sharon on a swing on top of a helicarrier. The action sequences are solid thanks to Saiz’s artwork. It was cool seeing the return of Jack Flagg. He’s one of those more obscure characters that I like so much. Also, I thought Red Skull’s speech was a good villain moment.
Most people have already formed an opinion on this comic whether they have read it or not. It has its issues, and I can’t say it’s a definite pull. If my description sounds good, give it a try. If it doesn’t, then don’t.
But make the decision for yourself. Don’t let this controversy decide it for you.
Until next time.
Final Score: 6/10