People are outraged. They want change. They are sickened by the events going on and it has nothing to do with Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. No, they are disgusted with what Marvel has done to Captain America. The thing they fail to recognize though is that writer Nick Spencer is writing a story of the Red Skull using a cosmic cube to change Cap’s reality. He hasn’t changed Cap…and this issue confirms that. Is it good?
Steve Rogers: Captain America #4 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The Marvel summary reads:
With war on the horizon, Steve attempts to broker a truce between Iron Man and Captain Marvel.
Oddly though, this comic has nothing to do with Iron Man but instead weaves Captain America’s mission in with Civil War II, Thunderbolts and some rather exciting cosmic characters. The preview pages we posted last Friday however are accurate.
Why does this book matter?
Captain America is changed, S.H.I.E.L.D. is screwed, and it’s all happening due to all the Marvel heroes fighting each other instead of keeping their eyes open. Sadly, the greatest hero of them all is on his own mission, but can Spencer keep this now semi-evil character likeable? He is the protagonist after all!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Sometimes there’s a lot of dialogue, but believe me it’s worth it if you dig character work!
This is an extra-sized 30 page issue and once you pick this up you’ll see why. Spencer weaves quite a lot into the main narrative. He’s not only connecting dots, but fleshing Cap out at the same time. Through a key flashback that cuts back and forth to the now, Spencer revitalizes the Captain America character and, if you’re reading closely, should shut down any naysayers. There’s absolutely no padding and every page is vital and important to the story. Spencer also cuts back and forth between different characters and locations at the perfect times to allow the sometimes heavy dialogue to breathe.
This is a master stroke for the series as it not only fleshes out Cap, but drops in a new element that is sure to have importance in the eventual conclusion. It also connects to Civil War II quite well. Thunderbolts fans should also check this out as that series’ characters connect here as well. There are a lot of balls in the air in this issue and not once did I get confused or bored. Spencer has written a nearly perfect script.
That’s in part due to the great character work with Cap. He looks and sounds like Cap, but when he commits vicious violence you start to question who he really is now. Later however, Cap gives a speech that’s so damn good, with so much going on between the lines, you’ll cheer if you’re at all interested in psychological dramas.
The art by Javier Pina and Miguel Sepulveda continues to be great. The color by Rachelle Rosenberg, particularly in the flashbacks, is very good at capturing the atmosphere of the moment. The art team makes Cap’s violence all the more disturbing too. Somehow they’ve pulled it off in a way that makes you sad for Cap even though he’s committing the crime. It might have something to do with the violence not including the character, or maybe it’s his facial expressions which seem to have a bit of regret on them. There’s a lot of talking in this issue but for the most part you won’t even notice as the art is never shabby or boring, holding up scenes that by another artist might fall apart.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are however portions that do slow down to a crawl and while they are important in progressing the plot of S.H.I.E.L.D. they lay the political intrigue down a bit too thickly. Seeing a committee hearing of any sort is boring as is and aside from well written fear mongering the scene runs too long without enough visual stimuli.
Time to wrestle!
Is It Good?
Steve Rogers: Captain America #4 is a master stroke for the series. You’ll get inside Captain America’s head and feel a mix of emotions. This is psychological drama at its finest.