Each issue shows us the flashbacks getting a little bit closer to the present as writer Nick Spencer reveals how Captain America’s origin changed with him as a Hydra agent. The present meanwhile moves ever closer to the “Secret Empire” event, but is it good?
Captain America: Steve Rogers #11 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the full preview here.
Why does this book matter?
With “Secret Empire” on the way, if you at all want to read that series you’d best read this too. We’re beginning to learn who the main players will be in that fight, but also continue to get inside Cap’s head due to well written characters. If you like character writing you gotta read this series!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Who is he talking to?!
This issue cuts between three different moments, which helps break up the book and allow for dramatic cutaways. The first is Captain America speaking to someone off page (don’t worry, we learn who they are by the end), the second Captain America in the now, and finally Steve Rogers in 1940 before given the super soldier serum. Each story progresses well and culminates into a reveal that should mean big things in the coming event series. There’s also a surprising twist as more folks learn of Captain America’s secret, as well as check-ins with the new Quasar and Red Skull. As serial stories go there’s a lot to chew on with this issue including some key flashbacks that rejigger how we perceive a certain Cap villain.
As far as the flashback, the deeper meaning in these scenes becomes apparent near the end of the issue. Instead of seeing key events, we’re seeing key moments that will deeply affect Captain America’s psychology moving forward. Once again, Spencer shows us Cap isn’t completely evil. There’s still a good man in there, and that’s a compelling trait as his plan to take over for Hydra pushes ever closer to the brink.
The art by Jesus Saiz continues to be strong, especially in the panels where Cap speaks to someone off screen. Cap is practically glistening in these shots in his blue costume and he couldn’t look more heroic. Given the words he says, that’s a good juxtaposition. The flashbacks look as gorgeous as ever and the stark use of colors helps separate it from the rest of the book. There’s some important emotional moments in this issue which key into a brotherhood and a bond Cap shares with a certain character that may have fallen flat with a different artist.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The perfect symmetry of the three stories isn’t perfect all the way through unfortunately. A key scene that reveals Cap’s secret may not be safe is somewhat jammed in near the end of the book. It’s always better to show and not tell, though it sticks out from the rest of the narrative because it has no relation to the majority of the events (which connect very well).
There’s a short scene where Cap shares a moment with another hero and it feels a bit jammed in too. It runs on for about two pages, is clearly laying some groundwork for this hero to factor in later on, but due to how much time it gets slows things down a bit too much. There’s a lot of plotting and angling for position going on and this stuck out as too much time for something seemingly unimportant.
He doesn’t look evil.
Is It Good?
Captain America: Steve Rogers continues to be the psychological drama America deserves. It delves into how quiet, seemingly unimportant moments shape who we are, and how down the road it may mean the difference between doing good and bad.