Be careful what you ask for, Rage, because you might just get it. What will all the sacrifice in Captain America: Sam Wilson #20 accomplish? Is it good?

Captain America: Sam Wilson #20 (Marvel Comics)

Elvin Haliday has been unjustly convicted, just as he expected, and the reaction is equally predictable. But what exactly is Sam Wilson’s preacher brother, Gideon, advocating?

Captain America, as all who wield the shield eventually must, undergoes a crisis of conscience, reevaluating what he stands for and what his actions have wrought. Did he do enough? Has he done what’s right? The answers may alter his very identity.

Is It Good?

There’s a lot of rhetoric from all sides in Captain America: Sam Wilson #20, and writer Nick Spencer finally succeeds in communicating the nuance of each position. Rage’s comments to Sam before being shipped off to the supervillain prison wing are especially poignant and emotionally loaded. The whole issue flows impressively well, as the reader’s tension rises in concert with the coming clash between protestors and the Americops. This installment in particular really needed to stick the landing, so if more care was taken than in others, it was worth it.

Artist Paul Renaud comes through in the clutch, too. Spencer writes to his strengths, breaking up the action between contemporaneous narratives. The colors and inks are what really give this issue the needed tone, though. Between the street spotlights, the sunbeams shining down into Gideon’s church, and an amazing panel of a scene reflected in an Americop’s visor, Renaud has put together something strikingly evocative.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #20 recaptures some of the series’ early magic while setting up major changes to come. Spencer and Renaud turn in an emotional, well-paced narrative that leaves the main characters in very different places by issue’s end, reminiscent of the “less is more” styles of Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis. It’s just the boost this book needed heading into Secret Empire.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #20
Is it good?
While Sam Wilson may have hit the emotional skids, his book is back on track.
Tremendously well-paced
Art perfectly communicates the desired tone
Renaud still has trouble with action, but this issue works around it
8.5
Great