Ta-Nehisi Coates has taken over Captain America at a time where Americans don’t feel like they can trust their government. The characters in the story don’t know if they can trust Cap either, after he essentially took over the country as the head of Hydra only a year ago. In this second chapter, Cap continues to wrestle with the distrust others have of him and, maybe even himself.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Something is brewing just under the surface as Cap is being forced into a direction he’s potentially not ready to go to. The government doesn’t want him, but he wants to continue to help others — yet the world is very different now. How can he continue when nobody trusts him and nobody wants him as their hero?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is made up of nearly all captions inside Cap’s head as he reflects on the days he was a soldier, became a super soldier, and then carried on as a superhero. Ta-Nehisi Coates writes strong captions that convey the frustration with the changing world around him. Adding to that frustration is Cap being fully aware a man with his face running Hydra was only recently stopped. New attacks occur in this issue and Cap is there once again playing this issue out similar to the first one. This issue is all about rejection and what that means for a man who is not willing to back down.
Leinil Francis Yu draws in his customary inked style to give the book a darker tone (assisted by Gerry Alanguilan). There’s a cool full page spread of the Nuke soldiers wreaking havoc on America that does a lot to show the state of America. This further adds to Cap’s anguish, especially since the government wants him to go away for awhile. There are a lot of iconic Cap panels in this issue like Cap sitting on a classic motorcycle, diving head first into bullets, and using the shield like a precision weapon. Yu captures these elements well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The slow drone of Cap’s frustration can grow tiresome. Not a lot happens in this issue and it appears it’s going to be a slow boil, decompressed sort of story. Thankfully the last page offers a new direction (and there’s a hint a page earlier at something going on with his powers), but it’s too little too late. As it stands the comic as a whole is average, though there’s hope for a better third issue.
Is it good?
An okay issue that treads water more than rushes headlong into a story that needs to be told. As it stands this is a slow march of a story that doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere, although I think the last page is hinting that it will very soon.
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