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'Captain America: Cold War' #1 is action-packed, cinematic expansion on Cap lore
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Captain America: Cold War’ #1 is action-packed, cinematic expansion on Cap lore

Between the two books and this event itself, this is shaping up to be one of the great Cap eras. 

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty and Captain America: Symbol of Truth have been standout books in the Marvel line, and this week the two books converge in Cold War, the tipping point of months of buildup.  Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Tochi Onyebuchi once again bring their A-game to give this event a killer kickstart.

Bucky’s double agent arc heats up and now, we see him pushed to lengths that really make him grapple with his own conscience. Since Ed Brubaker reinvented him, Bucky has had to ask himself what he is willing to put on his conscience in service of doing the right thing many times. Bucky is is the character that operates in that zone of knowing that sometimes, the greater good needs someone who is willing to get their hands dirty and he’s always taken that as his cross to bear despite how it weighs on him. Seeing the places he’s pushed to and watching him struggle to push himself through it is interesting stuff, but the setup for his inevitable conclusion to this arc is incredibly promising.

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Ian finally gets to reunite with his father, and having those father/son moments after so long apart is definitely a highlight of the book. Each of these writers knows how important Captain America is and are really good at crafting a narrative that showcases both why the world needs Captain America and what makes these men so good at the job. 

The full team dynamic of Steve, Sharon, Sam, and Misty is an absolute joy to read and it’s so easy to fly through these pages with how fun they are. The team banter has never been sharper and the chemistry this cast has may be the best thing about the book. Their scenes together feel absolutely cinematic and you can just imagine the scene unfolding in your head and getting excited as it does.

Dimension Z being brought back to the forefront of a Cap story is actually exciting and it once again feels like each of these writers isn’t just telling a story but adding onto Captain America’s lore in a meaningful way, expanding what certain concepts mean and can do while making it entirely their own. 

'Captain America: Cold War' #1 is action-packed, cinematic expansion on Cap lore

Credit: Marvel

Peggy being brought in as a villain just may be the best thing she’s ever done in Captain America comics since her return. Peggy Carter isn’t a beloved character in Cap lore and it’s obvious her inclusion (and appearance suddenly looking so strikingly similar to Hayley Atwell as opposed to before) was the result of some editorial mandate or push for MCU synergy. MCU Peggy is a hodgepodge of characters that are much more interesting than she is, and Coates’s approach to her in his run being so far removed from it was a good move. Since then, the MCU decided to make Sharon a villain in their lore as a direct result of how they wasted her character and attempted to uplift Peggy by doing so. It’s a move that perplexed and angered many Cap comic readers since she’s such a mainstay of that lore even outside of her relationship with Steve and to be disrespected at such a high regard felt mean-spirited –especially when instances like the What If..? showmakers laughing bout how she should die in their zombie AU because she “stole Peggy’s man” are just what we’re stuck with now.

But even beyond the karmic justice of having the comics make Peggy the villain here instead of following that dumb decision, they actually make the character feel important to the lore, and as she returned for any other reason than MCU synergy no one asked for. Let’s be honest, no one who reads Captain America comics were clamoring for more Peggy Carter after she died in Ed Brubaker’s book. Her story had ended and reached the only conclusion that the character could have had. If she’s back, the story needs to tell us why this character of all characters just had to return and her being part of the outer circle’s plot and scheming long-term for it is a really great way to make that character relevant in the modern era of comics.

It’s not just that Peggy is evil, but it’s how that reveal and her actions affect the people around her that makes that move so compelling, particularly for Sharon and Steve. There is so much inter-dynamic drama between the main Cap cast in this story that it’s almost Shakespearean. And that is a pleasure to read. 

White Wolf is a tad underwhelming as a villain, and the art fluctuates between really good in the action sequences where the movements look so fluid and the scene is set so beautifully to being a little tough to look at when the characters’ faces are the focal point of the panel.

All in all, Cold War is off to a great start, and I can’t wait to see what these writers have in store next. Between the two books and this event itself, this is shaping up to be one of the great Cap eras. 

'Captain America: Cold War' #1 is action-packed, cinematic expansion on Cap lore
‘Captain America: Cold War’ #1 is action-packed, cinematic expansion on Cap lore
Captain America: Cold War #1
Cold War is off to a great start, and I can’t wait to see what these writers have in store next. Between the two books and this event itself, this is shaping up to be one of the great Cap eras. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
9.1
Making Peggy a villain is actually narratively an inspired choice
The team chemistry is fantastic
These writers bring their A game every time
The plots set up are fascinating
The action sequences in particular have such a cinematic quality to them both in the dialogue and in the art
White Wolf isn’t a terribly exciting villain
The art stumbles a bit when the focal point is a character's face
8
Good
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