Even though Captain America is Hydra, he’s still a hero; at least we hope there is one deep down. Recently he’s been having some conflicted feelings about Red Skull running the show, but will that lead him to redemption? More importantly, is it good?
Captain America: Steve Rogers #7 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the preview to find out!
Why does this book matter?
Nick Spencer has been writing some riveting stuff that’ll make you think. The character work is compelling and the balance of dialogue and action has been good. At the end of the day, this series has felt unique and worthy of being added to any top Cap list for best story.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Hey look, Sokovia history! You wanted that in your comic right?
This is the start of a new arc that delves deeper into Steve Rogers’ Hydra schooling in 1935 and how it connects to events today. As Cap continues to plot his way of stopping Red Skull (so that he can take over himself) the plot thickens even further for Hydra. Spencer spends a lot of time in this issue showing us Red Skull speak to his denizens, but also reveals a bigger plot involving an Eastern European country called Sokovia (yes, the very same in the movies!).
Spencer is clearly starting to build out the Hydra plan so that it’s global which is an intriguing idea. It’s also compelling as to how Red Skull apparently sees it playing out, which is not only fresh in some respects, but extra frightening. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but if he pulls it off America as we know it could be destroyed people!
At the same time, some well placed and written captions from Cap express the pros of having friends. Coming from a guy who works for an evil entity that’d just as soon cut his throat if he defies them that’s saying a lot. Spencer appears to be setting up a conflict of sorts and it’ll be interesting to see this element of the story untangle.
The art by Saiz continues to look great and once again the flashbacks are gorgeously rendered. The look is different from the main book–as they should be–but they do well to capture the travesty that is Steve Rogers’ past being rewritten before our eyes. There’s a coldness to skin, for instance, with a blue tone that almost gives the impression these characters are dead. Outside of this, Red Skull is truly awful to look at (in all the right ways) and he has a closed door scene that’ll remind you he’s cunning and disturbed. Boy are those white eyes freaky too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a lot to sift through in this issue and with enough patience anybody can do it. That said, there’s a scene between Black Widow and Agent Hill that pushed my patience too far. We were already through the history of Sokovia, heard an entire evil plan, and all the thoughts of Cap in regards to friends. Then we’re asked to hear how S.H.I.E.L.D.’s point of view plays out. It’s a lot of explaining of political plans and entities and it’s at this point I lost interest completely. It’s a comic book, a visual format, show not tell right? Clearly there are a lot of pieces that need to be in place for the political intrigue to be effective, but it’s asking a lot from readers to care about the political leanings of S.H.I.E.L.D. or anyone for that matter.
Not every comic needs to be a fight book, but how about throwing us a bone here? Cap is a superhero after all. By my count, this issue had two pages of action and they weren’t even that interesting. Cap’s fighting sure, but the what and why doesn’t matter all that much. When it comes down to it, there’s a lot of talking and a lot of postulating.
You should have seen him in debate club!
Is It Good?
If you’ve dug the flashbacks in this series prepare yourself for some of the most interesting and enlightening scenes yet. Spencer is expanding the story in interesting and global ways, making Captain America the go to for political intrigue in comics. That said, there’s so much dialogue it gets to the point where it becomes a chore to read through this. There are interesting elements being set up sure, but the balance and pace is slowed to a crawl.