Last issue, Nick Spencer revealed what Sam Wilson has been up to and it was frankly a tad surprising–the guy has been chilling out in the desert while Hydra took over. Now, he didn’t actually know it was happening, but still, the once Captain America we deserved didn’t do a thing. Now he’s trying to make amends by running an underground railroad (we find out in this issue, literally) to help those who need escaping from a tyrannical Hydra America.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Joe Bennett (Colors: Matt Yackey; Inks: Joe Pimentel)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Drawn back into the fight, Sam Wilson battles to restore sense to a world in chaos! But for Hydra, there isn’t a need for two Captain Americas!
Why does this book matter?
This ties into the hot Marvel summer event of the year and adds a little context to Secret Empire #4. Read this issue before that, because it flows much better that way. It also is telling a unique hero’s journey for Sam Wilson.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
How we got here.
Opening with a quick recap of how we got here, Spencer makes this new reader friendly. It then cuts to where we left off, this time Sam Wilson helping some ex-Avengers find their way to a Cosmic Cube shard. Spencer humanizes the characters quickly, revealing the types of folks Sam has been helping escape Hydra. It adds a bit of weight to the situation, because if caught, all these innocent folks will be left with no help at all.
Much of this issue involves a secret train–that comes with a full explanation that’s quite interesting in a science fiction kind of way–and the trip the heroes must take to get to the next part of their journey. It might seem like a total aside, but it ends up being a very enjoyable action packed sequence. That’s because Spencer gives a certain underground villain some hilarious choices in desired loot and because the monster fighting action is big and exciting.
Penciler Joe Bennett and colorist Matt Yackey (with spectacular inks by Joe Pimentel) will blow you away with this action sequence. There’s some great inking going on that defines the monsters and makes their monstrousness stand out. There’s also a fantastic full page spread that’s a great segue into a surprising conversation. Add in a cool double page spread that’s straight out of the classic Avengers and you’ll fall over with how cool this scene is.
“Aw hell” is right!
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s too bad this issue comes out the same day as Secret Empire #4, because the final cliffhanger page loses its luster reading that first. It also makes this little adventure more of a fun done in one issue because it comes down to being heroes fighting monsters and not adding much to the main event. Sure, we get to understand what Sam has been doing, but it’s more of a fun wrinkle than anything to add to the bigger picture.
Is It Good?
This is a good dose of fun in an event that has so far been a total downer. Revel in the fun, I implore you, and enjoy some surprising bits of action with heroes fighting monsters!