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Captain America: Sam Wilson #14 Review

America is currently in a firestorm of politics with news seemingly focused on the election every other minute.

Enter Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon, whose series has been very political (just look at the Fox News hubbub a few months ago) and when you add Captain America’s new allegiance to Hydra that makes a lot of sense. Both characters (original Captain America, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson) join forces in this issue, ramping up the drama, but is it good?

Captain America: Sam Wilson #14 (Marvel Comics)

So what’s it about? The Marvel summary reads:

The world has received an ULTIMATUM: Peace in our time…or face the fury of The Flag-Smasher! Amid cries of “#TakeBacktheShield”, Sam Wilson stands against a rising tide. But he is not alone! Guest-starring in this issue – Steve Rogers: Captain America! Only, Steve has a secret…

Why does this book matter?

This issue ties deeply into the Captain America storyline — which makes it practically a must read of fans of that series. It also deals with the Captain America shield (literally and figuratively), hence the cover, and this issue delves into what could spin Sam’s life as Cap into a tailspin.

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

Although there’s a lot of dialogue in this issue, writer Nick Spencer nonetheless manages an exciting issue, as he balances the bad guys’ speech, Rick Jones’ computer hacking, and the drama of Cap and Sam as they beat on the bad guys quite well. Spencer is certainly laying down some big ideas about global politics, immigration, and a lot more, but it is easy to digest as there’s some respite in how the comic cuts away. This issue is also compelling due to the complexity of Captain America’s secret agenda. Spencer is detailing a lot of political elements some folks might not agree with, but hell, that’s nothing new at this point, right?

Leading up to the bad guy confrontation, Spencer has a sweet elevator scene between Cap and Sam as they patiently wait to reach the right floor. This section deals with the media outcry for Sam to give the shield back to Cap, which is fueled by racism (or at least hate).

Recap time!

The art by Paul Renaud with colors by John Rauch have a realistic real world feel. The lighting, while a senator speaks in the opening pages, is practically lifelike and enhances the richness of the penciled details. There’s a sequence later in the issue that is expertly choreographed to enhance a mistake that will carry over next issue. You get the sense of the speed of the shield, the mistake, an immediate reaction and finally the results in quick succession.

It can’t be perfect can it?

In the closing pages of the issue, Cap gives a very long speech which explains his entire plan when it comes to Sam. The sequence runs a bit long; although it contains an important message about how the media can destroy someone, it could have been spread out or used more visual stimulus.

Though much of the villain’s speech is broken up well, it remains to be seen why the heroes would simply stand there and let him talk. Cap may not be acting for a specific reason (avoiding spoilers here), but still, it’s your cliched bad guy postulating forever scene and its length will make you roll your eyes.

Oh sure, he gets the fancy font.

Is It Good?

Captain America: Sam Wilson remains an interesting story that deftly weaves in political issues and this issue is a solid start to a new story arc that sets up the media – and public appearance – as potential future enemies for Sam.


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