We all knew Cap would get his powers back with the new movie and the comic book industry always changing — but usually returning to status quo (if the sales dictate it). Rumor has it there’s a huge reveal in this issue, but is it good?
Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The official Marvel summary of this issue reads:
He’s back! The original Sentinel of Liberty returns, with a new shield, a new team, and a new mission! And he’s not the only one who’s back! Like the saying goes– cut off one LIMB, two more will take its place! HAIL HYDRA!
Why does this book matter?
Cap has a new shield (a must see), a new team (characters from his past no less) and even gets to punch Baron Zemo in the face. On top of all that writer Nick Spencer gets a Red Skull scene into the mix. Sounds like a Cap comic we can get behind!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Spencer instills a good sense of team spirit with interesting character dynamics between Sharon Carter, Cap, Jack Flag and Free Spirit. The team brings the old school vibes but is self reflective too which makes for an interesting commentary. In one scene for instance, Jack Flag and Free Spirit remember the good old days and it’s fun to see Spencer poke fun at the silly nature of their characters and previous costumes. Meanwhile Sharon and Cap are in a romantic relationship while Cap is still feeling a bit odd now that he’s not a 90-year-old withered man. At the same time, Spencer establishes the fact that Hydra is recruiting faster than ever via Red Skull and Baron Zemo is none to happy about that. There are complications on both sides and it’ll be fun to see how they play out.
This is a rather dialogue heavy issue, but you wouldn’t notice since it’s well written and keeps the pace up. There are some odd bits of dialogue that make the issue feel a tad kooky – like Zemo using the word “toodles” – but for the most part it’s fun and easy to read. When Zemo’s henchmen reflect on not getting paid though you’ll be grinning and chuckling. It makes sense two-bit criminals are punchy like this.
Test your might!
Everyone is going to talk about the big reveal at the end of this issue though – and many folks will be furious – but I think we need to pump the brakes a bit here. No spoilers here, but there’s some good use of flashbacks and a sense that not everything is at is seems. It’s always risky when writers essentially add new backstory to a character, especially one as loved and understood as Captain America, but it’s too early to tell if we’re getting a retcon or just a new slice of storytelling.
I’m a fan of artist Jesus Saiz’s work in this issue as he uses color in interesting ways to make Cap’s muscles pop and the shield look radical too. Cap is all kinds of heroic and the coloring reminds me of the good old days of 90’s comics. The flashbacks have a different color palette that remind me of Goon creator Eric Powell’s work too. It’s moody, somewhat creepy and brooding which gives the reader a sense that something is not as it seems.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Aside from the odd bit of dialogue here and there that gives the read a bit of a campy feel I can’t say there’s much to be unhappy with. The big reveal at the end is going to annoy folks, but it’s too early to tell if it’s dumb storytelling to get the internet chatter up or a clever twist.
Tell me this doesn’t remind you of the Goon comics.
Is It Good?
Spencer nails his first issue with great dialogue, a fantastic flashback sequence, and solid character dynamics. Captain America feels fresh again!
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