America has punched Hitler, but has she changed the future? And is it good?
America #2 (Marvel Comics)
Is It Good?
This might be my favorite comic book cover of all time. Unfortunately, the rest of the book can’t quite live up to the promise made by that cover. This book shares similar issues that plague The Mighty Captain Marvel, a big part of which comes from writers who aren’t used to writing comic books. While Rivera packs the book with story, none of the story lines connect to each other and there is barely a transition from one story to the next.
We go from seeing two superfans stalking America in the opening, to America meeting a major feminist hero of the Marvel universe, Peggy Carter, to a lecture from Lunella Lafayette. None of what happens in each section seems to affect her, or influence what happens in the next section. The only carry over we get is from the marauding cyborgs, and even they don’t seem to make much sense in terms of the entire overarching story. Though they do lead to one of the strongest scenes in the book, the dance/fight between the cyborgs and the sorority. I especially liked the twerking fighter:
Cameos can feel like a bit of a cheat, but in this case, they actually are some of the strongest scenes in the book. Peggy Carter is her usual sharp, insightful badass, and gives America something to think about (sadly we don’t really get to see her reflect on that). Lunella gives what could be the guiding motto of the newer characters of the Marvel universe:
The art is also a mixed bag, and it’s difficult to tell which artist did which pages. The weakest section were the WWII bits; the line work is very muddled, and it’s not helped by the coloring. I understand trying to incorporate the muted palette of khakis and greens for war scenes, but keeping America’s colors so saturated makes it look like she was cut and pasted into the scenes. That may have been a choice, but it felt distracting to my eye.
I loved the way the scenes with Lunella were drawn and colored. The line work is bold and clear, and the coloring makes every panel pop.
I’m so torn, because I love this character, but this book is such a mixed bag. The pieces are all there, the team just needs to bring it all together.