People are upset, understandably so, as Cap has been revealed to be a Hydra secret agent. If you look past that statement however, there’s a clever bit of writing going on that deals in the strange and inconceivable power of the Cosmic Cube. Let’s check out issue #6 and ask the question: is it good?
Captain America: Steve Rogers #6 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? After checking out the full preview, the Marvel summary reads:
CIVIL WAR II TIE-IN! With the Marvel Universe at war, Steve fights for peace. Guest-starring Captain Marvel!
Why does this book matter?
Sure, this entire story could all be swept under the rug as quickly as Kobik changed it, but Nick Spencer has managed to make it incredibly interesting as, even with Cap’s past rewritten, the goodness in the character seems to be shining through. He’s created a unique situation that’s incredibly original and managed to use it to reveal new wrinkles of Captain America’s character.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The flashbacks in this issue are rattling. We get to see some key moments in Cap’s growing up and it’s clear he lived a horrific childhood. The captions during this sequence, a letter from Doctor Sebastian Fenhoff, are truly disturbing, especially since they are about Steve when he was a child. Spencer shows us how Cap grew up not in the hard streets of New York, but the much harder school of Hydra operatives. Much like many time travel movies Spencer shows us things seem to right themselves and it’s interesting to see Cap’s youth has a similar but twisted past.
The dialogue in this issue, and by extension the ideas, are quite fascinating in this issue. They’ll make you think and even make you want to reread them to capture their meaning. There’s clever writing going on here as Spencer shows us how characters can manipulate each other even with good intentions. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but Cap speaks to good guys and bad guys with interesting results. It’s not all serious either, with a fun bit from Rick Jones and how–seriously guys–this is all very similar to Minority Report! He’s just vocalizing what we’ve all been thinking.
This is very much a comic of ideas with no action to speak of, but that’s okay. We do get the now-old flas- forwards of Miles killing Cap, but that doesn’t really count. Spencer does weave in a very clever and astute observation Cap has in regards to Miles’ actions, which will leave you a bit breathless.
The art by Javier Pina continues to be great, especially in the flashbacks. Steve is wide-eyed and innocent, which makes his torment all the more disturbing. Cap’s ability to manipulate others is on point with very subtle and effective expressions. The creme de la creme from Pina this issue is a shocked look from Cap as he witnesses the vision of Miles killing him. It’s meaningful in part due to a reveal later that will make you realize that look has a different meaning entirely.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s hard to find fault in this issue, unless you’re looking for action of course as there isn’t any to speak of. There is one page that transitions scenes that has meaningful captions, but lacks the visual oomph to carry the moment. It’s a scene where characters reflect on the news that Cap will eventually die, but hell, it’s one page and that’s pretty minor!
Is It Good?
Spencer continues to prove he has a great handle on dialogue conveying very captivating ideas. Captain America: Steve Rogers continues to be thought provoking in a way that will leave you breathless.