Christopher Cantwell and Dale Eaglesham have embarked on a different kind of Captain America story, and the first issue didn’t disappoint. Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson are attempting to track down Cap’s shield sending them on a road trip across the country that has revealed there are local Captain America’s across the country. The second issue kicks off today and it reveals Nichelle Wright, the Captain America of Harrisburg.
It becomes much clearer with this issue that the heroes taking the Captain America name may not have powers, but they are the living embodiment of what Cap’s all about. It’s an intriguing take on the character as he and now others live up to the mantra, “I’m loyal to nothing except the dream.” For that reason, this issue continues to be one of the more patriotic and realistic looks at America via a superhero story. Cantwell isn’t holding back by showing overt racism in front of Cap’s face — that Sam Wilson can see clearly, mind you — or in how vigilante justice is a required element in a land that’s supposed to be free and fair.
The story kicks off with Captain America remembering a field trip he took when he was in the Cub Scouts. It’s a reminder of a time when he almost dishonored a hallowed ground in American history. Even Cap can make mistakes. This leads to Cap and Sam getting back on the road to find his shield, which leads them to a small town with a water problem and the ruckus caused by another local Captain America.
The main story quickly zips into superhero territory with some cool fight sequences and some unfamiliar villains. There’s something much bigger going on, and this issue lays the groundwork for who it might be. Meanwhile, Cap and Sam are fearless under fire. Eaglesham draws a great fight sequence, and later a confrontation with an overweight sheriff to perfection.
The introduction of Nichelle Wright is a good one and a reminder heroes like Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson don’t impress her. She’s a bit different from last issue’s hero and you can immediately see it. She only gets three pages of dialogue, but you understand her vibe due to Eagelsham’s art and what she has to say.
Mohale Mashigo writes and Natacha Bustos draws the backup that features Wright’s actions after the events of the issue. That gives the backup a natural start as well as the notion that she won’t stop, ever. Not only do we get to see what types of folks she must deal with, but we get to see the positive side too. We also get to see some impressive gymnastics from the character which Bustos pulls off in some expert posing and an impressive flip over a very tall fence.
The United States of Captain America #2 further progresses a larger plot and mystery afoot. The dream, not just the American dream, is under attack. Cantwell and Eagelsham continue to write a pitch-perfect Captain America while delivering a realistic look at America. It hits on a different set of realities in America intertwined with super-heroics and a fight for the dream.
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