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The United States Of Captain America #1
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‘The United States of Captain America’ TPB review

Through the lens of superhero fights and a bigger mission, there’s a message of positivity and hope to help your fellow man.

Christopher Cantwell and Dale Eaglesham have embarked on a different kind of Captain America story, and now The United States of Captain America is available in trade paperback. Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson are attempting to track down Cap’s shield, sending them on a road trip that has revealed there are local Captain Americas across the country. Collecting its entire five-issue run and running 168 pages long, can they retrieve the shield and stop whoever it is that’s plotting against America?

It becomes much clearer with the first 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 collection has a realistic portrayal of what it means to be patriotic, shining a light on what America is 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.

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This story also has Captain America road-tripping across the country with various heroes who once had the mantle of Captain America. Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson are just two which adds an additional layer to what it means to be Captain America. The road trip element–which Cantwell discussed on the AIPT Comics podcast–is utilized well to focus the lens on different aspects of Cap’s life or the various locals in America.

In the third issue of the series, Joe Gomez is introduced who serves as a reminder that Steve Rogers doesn’t represent all of America, or what people did in its name against indigenous people, but that Rogers fights for everyone. Quieter scenes help remind us of the impact Steve Rogers has had and will always have no matter what uniform he wears. Cantwell does a good job establishing this as well as the courage Joe Gomez possesses when the fight gets particularly chaotic.

'The United States of Captain America' #5 review

U.S. Agent kind of steals the show here.
Credit: Marvel

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 montage 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. Joining the team is Ron Lim, who draws the main story in the fourth issue which is cool to see given his legendary status as an artist. Lim’s style matches up with Eaglesham’s as they’re both detailed, making for a less jarring transition between chapters.

By the end of the story, 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. The conclusion ends up featuring a heck of a lot of Captain Americas, most of which were inspired by the dream and did what they thought was right to help others.

Speaking of, the first four issues of this series feature a backup story by different creators, introducing new twists on people taking up the mantle of Captain America in their hometowns. Josh Trujillo and Jan Bazaldua fill us in on Aaron Fischer, Mohale Mashigo and Natacha Bustos give us an adventure with Natasha Wright, Darice Little Badger, and David Cutler set up Joe Gomez, and Alyssa Wong and Jodi Nishijima shine a light on Arielle Agbayani. These stories are used to highlight different types of people taking up the mantle, but also how non-superpowered people can make a difference too.

The United States of Captain America is a unique look at Captain America through the lens of America via a road trip story. It’s not even about who stole Captain America’s shield or who he fights along the way, but about affirmation about what Cap represents and how that’s contagious. Through the lens of superhero fights and a bigger mission, there’s a message of positivity and hope to help your fellow man.

The United States Of Captain America #1
‘The United States of Captain America’ TPB review
The United States of Captain America TPB
The United States of Captain America is a unique look at Captain America through the lens of America via a road trip story. It’s not even about who stole Captain America’s shield or who he fights along the way, but about affirmation about what Cap represents and how that’s contagious. Through the lens of superhero fights and a bigger mission, there's a message of positivity and hope to help your fellow man.
Reader Rating1 Vote
9.2
Steve Rogers is perfectly written with a calm Boy Scout demeanor
Joe Gomez and a few other Cap's are an extremely positive addition to these local Cap characters
Some of your usual tropes, like villains escaping or heroes popping up right on time permeate the story
9
Great

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