A very different Captain America, who hails to Hydra, continues to lie in secret as America’s biggest enemy. Writer Nick Spencer meanwhile, continues to reveal his very different backstory…
Captain America: Steve Rogers #9 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read our preview!
Why does this book matter?
Captain America is probably the most important hero in Marvel right now. Iron Man is down for the count, and teasers show Cap is going to be a key player in a major upcoming event. Add in the flashbacks which reveal how history has been rewritten, and there’s an intriguing book on the stands with this one!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Courtroom drama time.
Spencer continues to effectively mix flashbacks with current events to break up the heavier dialogue style he typically uses. The flashbacks (which look great due to the colors and cel-shading) do well to reveal key moments that lead to a turning point for Steve as he trains in The Keep. As these scenes progress things, the “now” focuses on Maria Hill and her trial. Spencer uses a prosecution to cut away and fill the reader and raise the stakes as they attempt to send Maria to jail.
Hill effectively comes out of this issue stronger and if you’re fan of hers you’ll probably be hooting and hollering. That’s due to some character witnesses she calls, which leads to a fun bit of politicking to show the other side’s view of some of the major past Marvel events. Spencer doesn’t have her come out of this issue squeaky clean by any means, but rather almost villainous, but for the right reasons. It’s an interesting bit of character work and helps show Maria is capable of pulling off Nick Fury-caliber surprises.
Much of the rest of the issue helps flesh out enemy supporting characters (helpful for later), fun internal monologuing from Thor, and setting up one hell of a cliffhanger. This cliffhanger is rendered so well by artist Russell Dauterman it’s easy to see why even the mightest hero would be left in awe.
Rachelle Rosenberg and Javier Pina draw this issue with colorist VC’s Joe Caramagna. This is a mostly talking affair, there’s a bit of action but it’s quick, which Rosenberg does well to flesh out facial expressions and keep the blocking clear and understandable. Pina’s flashbacks are simply gorgeous, I could read a whole book of these, and it has a symbolic and dynamic feel no matter the panel.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Ultimately not a heck of a lot happens in the issue, including a major decision! The flashbacks are intriguing, though they continue to move along at a snail’s pace. The Maria Hill trial is interesting, but aside from a rehash of past events (and the intro of a new technology which admittedly will be important later) there isn’t much to the proceedings. The character work is good, but if you’re looking for more than that you may be gravely disappointed.
Captain America in the now however, is gravely absent. He fights a meaningless fight, makes a terrible choice that’s quite evil, but this is mostly all about Maria or flashback Steve.
Is It Good?
I’m a sucker for character work and find comics like this entertaining. I did feel underwhelmed with the way the story progresses (including holding out on us for a major decision), but there’s groundwork made here future Marvel fans shouldn’t miss.