Happy Fourth of July everyone!!! It’s the time of year where Americans celebrate our independence from Great Britain in the 18th Century and the birth of our nation. It’s a time where we remind ourselves of what truly makes us American; our ideals, our spirit, our very way of life. And what a better way to celebrate this day then to … what’s that? It’s not July 4th? Am I too late? I’m too late, aren’t I? Well crap.
You know what? Shock it! I’m still gonna do this review. It’s never too late to be Patriotic. And what better way to show your patriotism than by reading the new Captain America series by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Speaking of patriotism, we find ourselves in the wintery mountains passes of Russia, (political satire or stupid joke? you decide) with a Hydra convoy carrying a detainee, possibly the girl seen in the free comic book day issue who released the Nuke cyborgs. The convoy gets attacked as history repeats itself when foreign combatants invade Russia in the winter and the Hydra dudes get wiped against the floor, or should I say sucked dry as the one attacking the convoy and breaking out the girl is X-Men villain Selene.
Meanwhile, back in the good old U. S. of A. the Nuke Cyborgs are shooting up some civilians taking part in an anti-Hydra protest in D.C. … How depressingly relevant, but at least the team of Captain America, the Winter Soldier, and Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13 are there to take them down with the least amount of casualties possible. Even then that won’t stop them as Cap gets a Medevac for an injured father and a brave son. The rest of the cyborgs are taken out by EMP bullets from a helicopter as our All-American team helps clear debris and rescue survivors from the aftermath, while General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross watches from the side. Looks like General Ross, esteemed U.S. Military mind, Hulk villain and one time Red Hulk, seems to be out on parole for leading anti-Hydra resistance during Secret Empire. In fact so is Bucky and a lot of others. So, what’s Ross doing there? Well, the President appointed the General to find out more on what occurred there and who’s responsible. Cap offers his assistance but Ross is actually in search of Sharon’s help for a more proper way of doing things. Nothing against Captain Rogers, it’s not even about the Hydra Cap stuff that happened a while ago, it’s more about Nuke having an American Flag tattooed on his face. It’s all about subtlety in this business.
To try to relax after an emotionally draining day, Sharon and Steve take a date night and go out for dinner. Their conversation leads back to work though, with Steve thinking the attack was by Hydra and wanting Sharon to help him uncover that truth and Sharon trying to console Steve but also being stern on the subject.
The issue ends with the Russian woman and Selene going to the Russian city of Samara bringing a Hydra lackey to publicly execute and declare that it is their time to rise contrasted against Captain America punching out some Hydra muggers whose victim seems to not want to associate with him as our Captain’s dower narration finishes with a bit about the story people remember vs. the story people are told.
Captain America #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Francis Yu is a great start for this new era of the Star-Spangled Avenger with a plan. I’m happy to see that Coates is willing to talk about the aftermath and consequences of Secret Empire and the Hydra Cap storyline. Most creators at Marvel decided not to discuss it, save for a few, but it is an issue that hasn’t had the attention it needs, especially and ironically in the pages of Captain America. Coates does a great job here. I wasn’t as skeptical as I was with past Captain America runs when thinking about how Coates would do here but having not read any of his previous works. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not but after this issue I’m glad he’s on the book and can’t wait to see what else he has coming down the pipeline. I’m intrigued to find out why Selene is the villain here as she’s mostly an X-Men villain without a whole lot of crossover into regular Marvel villainy, save for a couple of events. It’s a nice change of pace for Cap villains but I just wasn’t expecting it. The art done by Leinil Francis Yu is great. I loved when he worked on books like Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers and Secret Invasion and I’m sure I’ll continue to love it into the future.
Verdict: 10/10 stars and stripes
P.S. While some of the variant covers are neat, I’d say stick with the regular wrap around cover it already has. Alex Ross can do no wrong and his cover here is a prime example why.