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Captain America: Steve Rogers #18 Review

From the very start, Captain America took over the Earth–not just America, because he controls the shield that encircles the planet. He’s also got a huge army always growing, so it’s made some wonder what has been going on with international relations. Wonder no longer, as this issue delves into Captain America’s first visit United Nations.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #18
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Javier Pina and Andres Guinaldo
Publisher: Marvel Comics

So what’s it about?

Read the preview to find out more!

Why does this book matter?

Nick Spencer has written quite a moral dilemma into the Marvel universe now that Hydra rules America. The fact that we’re getting a look at how it treats other countries should define how evil–or good–they really are.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

This issue opens and closes with Namor, who over in the main series just handed Captain America a sliver of the Cosmic Cube. This issue takes place before and after Secret Empire #4 but does well to give a general idea of how Hydra treats the world. Spencer introduces the reader to the United Nations before Cap shows up and makes it quite clear most of the outside world is against Hydra’s actions. As the issue progresses we get cutaways to areas like China that help show Hydra is actively subjugating everywhere. Overall the issue does a good job showing how Hydra is attempting to get its tendrils into every country’s affair.

Time to show these guys who is boss.

The meat of this issue is all about Cap giving a rousing speech to the world. There is no diplomacy in it and in fact, he acts as if the world should just bend to Hydra’s will because he says so. It builds towards a climax that’s surprising and uplifting and should get Black Panther fans excited. Overall Spencer shows how far Cap is willing to go to get what Hydra needs–and how easy he’s angered by uprises–which helps define his state of mind right now.

Javier Pina and Andres Guinaldo draw a solid issue with varying uses of layouts to keep the dialogue-heavy moments interesting. In a standout page, the art team does a good job showcasing the varying reactions to Cap’s inflammatory speech and you’ll never lose sight of the emotions Cap is exhibiting throughout the issue. There’s also a fun battle around the Eiffel Tower that showcases some Hydra heroes calling themselves EuroForce (is this a thing or are they new?) which adds a spark of action to the issue.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The use of Namor is a tad perplexing as he opens the issue as if he has a plan for Cap. It sets up your expectations for something cool which just never comes. That makes the cover all the more misleading. It’s also somewhat confusing where Namor’s state of mind is until the very end when Spencer reminds us what he has done over in Secret Empire #4. His arc in this issue also serves a heaping dose of sad plotting, which has become so common in the event it’s incredibly uplifting to see any hero win. Not so here and you’ll feel bad for the ankle-winged mutant.

Is It Good?

A good issue in that it opens up Secret Empire on a global scale. After reading this it becomes obvious Hydra is at work around the globe to make the good guys heel. There’s also a great speech from Cap that will make certain there isn’t anything good about him anymore.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #18
Is it good?
A good issue, but a great one if you've been curious about international relations in a Hydra world.
Good cutaways to around the world to show what Hydra has done to international areas
Cap's speech is well written and kinda scary
Art mixes up layouts keeping the heavier dialogue interesting
Namor kind of serves no purpose, confuses at first, and ends up adding little to the narrative
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