The United States of Captain America comes to a close this week with issue #5 and Steve Rogers is a little bit closer to getting his shield back. The series has introduced new Captain America to characters who don’t have powers, but are inspired by the dream and want to stand for an America they believe in. If there was ever a series that made Captain America a symbol it would be this, but can Christopher Cantwell and Dale Eaglesham close it out?
For the most part, it certainly does. Sure, there may be plot contrivances of a kind, but this issue barrels forward towards the conflict we’ve been hoping for and the uplifting nature that comes with these characters new and old. You can forgive a villain easily escaping for instance, since the overall package is good.
For more on this series, check out our exclusive interview with Cantwell on the AIPT Comics podcast.
As an advance review, don’t expect any spoilers here save for what is in the preview, but it’s no spoiler to say Cantwell does a great job capturing the different personalities through dialogue. At this point, there are a lot of heroes vying for time and nobody feels all that neglected. It’s fun to see how U.S. Agent is a little less interested in being kind or humane, while Falcon is all business and Bucky is still chewing on the fact that he deserves to be Captain America and yet isn’t sure. There’s a lot of personality around the room and Cantwell captures that.
Those personalities might be the most intriguing element of the issue save for the big conflict at hand involving Captain America’s shield. A clever idea is introduced regarding the end game by the villains and it helps lead everything down to an endpoint. Ultimately, the story concludes in a way that suits the message and that’s a hard thing to pull off.
Art by Eaglesham and colors by Matt Milla is great, with the shine on a superhero suit coming through loud and clear. There’s an incredible montaged page of horrors that is a sight to see, but the book shines when it comes to the characters talking which takes up much of the book. You can understand U.S. Agent is a bit of a creep thanks to Eaglesham’s expressions, or that Speed Demon has a bit of an ego. More importantly, you get the vibe that Steve Rogers cares, maybe too much, and that’s part of his charm.
The United States of Captain America has accomplished a lot, like introducing new heroes while reiterating the fact that Captain America isn’t a hero for the government, but for and by the people. It’s a reminder our diversity as a people is a strength while supplying a crackerjack, action-packed ending.
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