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Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland’ review

I’m a sucker for the romantic treatment of the struggle for progress, and that’s the core of what this story is about.

The United States of America is broken. And I don’t mean in a way that’s fixable, in a way that if we all came together we could really fix it and make it better for everyone. I think the US is pretty foundationally terrible and has only proven to grow worse and worse at every opportunity. This won’t be a piece that argues we can roll our sleeves up and fix the problems with American ingenuity. 

What I will say is: isn’t it romantic to think that maybe we can? 

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Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland
Marvel Comics

Sam Wilson’s altruism is at the fore in this volume, and that struggle makes for a wonderful Marvel comic. Captain America goes from Harlem to Latveria to Wakanda, all while defending his American ideals from friends and enemies both. By some pens, this story could come off as nationalistic, but instead, the creative team balances different threads to keep the conflict grounded and complicated for Sam to wrestle with. Who should he compare America to? Who can he turn to for help? Can these problems be fixed? Is the little he can do enough

Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland
Marvel Comics

The comic pushes Sam primarily by means of Wakanda and how its turn toward democracy has affected Black Americans; a clever way to reframe the political changes Wakanda has gone through during recent runs. Where Coates wrote a run that connected Wakanda to imperialism, slavery, colonialism, and capitalism, Onyebuchi writes one that, once changed, acts as a shining beacon to Black Americans being failed by America. Where Coates presented a failed state, Onyebuchi posits that it’s still preferable to what we have at home. 

And that’s what eats at Sam Wilson.

Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland
Marvel Comics

Late in the volume, Sam and T’Challa fight (as they are required to by genre conventions) – we get to see this conflict literalized, and everything clicks into place. Of course Sam has been running around trying to be The Hero, the Man Who Fixed America, Captain America. He’s out, not just to prove himself, but to prove that independence—good ol’ fashioned American ingenuity—is the solution in the end. He has to win, because winning means he’s right, and that he can fix everything. 

Sam is allowed to be angry with T’Challa; he struggled for all that he has, he fought for every inch he’s gained. How can Wakanda take all of the glory? How can Wakanda be that much better when the fight‘s been happening in the States for so long? The argument—and story—is nuanced, and leaves room for both characters to be wrong. The quest for a better country isn’t simple, neither can this be. 

Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland
Marvel Comics

In those ways the comic is very entertaining, and one I am excited to continue following. Captain America clashing with Doctor Doom and T’Challa is too good conceptually to ignore, and the creative team is doing a great job of leveraging marvel history in interesting ways. The book kind of falls flat when there’s not enough of the Marvel part in the mix, particularly in the Joaquin sections which feel listless if not somewhat empty. I think it knows what it’s trying to say, and says it competently, but the statement “internment camps are bad” is a little too simple to hinge a story on. I hope the All-New Falcon gets some more to do, and hopefully something more interesting to match Sam. 

Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland
‘Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland’ review
Captain America: Symbol of Truth Vol. 1: Homeland
I’m a sucker for the romantic treatment of the struggle for progress, and that’s the core of what this story is about. Sam Wilson trying to live up to “American ideals” is a fun Marvel comic!
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Sam clashing with Doom and T’Challa was wonderful
Onyebuchi just gets Wakanda in a wonderful way
Missing Marte Gracia hours
Joaquin could have more to do
8
Good
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