Captain America #1
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
It is hard to believe but it has been well over a year since the somewhat controversial Nick Spencer run on Steve Rogers: Captain America. Of course, the run ended with the end of the Secret Empire event: an event that saw the American people and the world lose their trust in Captain America. The cosmic cube-controlled Captain betrayed everyone. Mark Waid took the reigns next and had a short run that did little to address the fall out of the event. So finally, a year later, here we are with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Francis Yu taking over the writing duties with the consequences of Secret Empire still hanging over Captain America’s head.
Ironically enough, Captain America #1 starts in Russia with a group of Hydra agents. They are on their way to deliver a captured Russian official to their supreme leader. Unfortunately for the agents, the confidence that the captured leader is exuding is not unwarranted, as a surprising ally comes to her aid. Meanwhile in America, Captain America and Winter Soldier are taking on an army of Nuke look alikes. The group is not happy with Captain America turning his back on the country and leading Hydra.
Let’s start with some of the positives about Captain America #1. First of all, the dialogue and Steve’s internal monologues work very well in moving forward the story and also showing the doubts that he has within himself. It is done in a way that shows self-awareness in the character. He knows that many of the concerns and much of the distrust are brought on by his imposter’s actions. The introduction to a long-time villain in a new role is an interesting choice and will provide a chance for some original storytelling.
My concern with Captain America #1 is that the story feels very slow. While some of that is directly attributed to the fact that there are several new components being introduced here, with some unknown moving parts, this is not an issue that will draw new readers in easily.
The art works well in Captain America #1.Sharp lines, bright colors, and a natural flow all make this a very easy read. Also, the character designs make it easy to recognize characters. The panels are never overfilled with unnecessary components and instead allow the reader to focus on crucial details. One such example comes as Steve and Sharon enjoy a dinner together. The tension in the conversation is only enhanced by the actions of the characters within the panels.
Verdict: Wait and See.
I really believe that once part of the bigger story is revealed, Captain America #1 will end up looking much better. However, as a stand-alone story it feels very much like a set up issue that does little to hook the reader. The first arc will really go a long way in establishing this creative team and how people will look back on Captain America #1.