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Captain America #1: Review

Jul 2018
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu

Story Name:

Winter in America: Part I

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Captain America #1 Review by (July 4, 2018)

Review: Appropriately published on the Fourth of July, this new title begins with a great feeling of unease that suffuses the rest of the issue and likely many to follow. The big problem: Hydra, a fascist group, conquered America and used (a still-unexplained) Captain America as their leader and symbol. Hydra was overthrown but the real Cap is still here, struggling with the mistrust engendered by Hydra's betrayal. The big question: where does he go from here? He stands for his country's ideals but his country wasn't just conquered by Hydra but broken, the nation badly divided, with the population breaking into pro- and anti-Hydra factions and terrorists running in the streets. And the real USA is likewise divided, though not for the same reasons. Nick Spencer, who wrote both the Sam Cap and Steve Cap titles culminating in SECRET EMPIRE, also presented some powerful stories playing off the country's divisions but he also seemed to be clearly taking sides, furthering those divisions, especially in Sam's issue, to a white-hot intensity. So far as he lets on here, new writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is working in the aftermath of that heat, taking a lower-key path, exploring the uncertainty of what this country is about and where it is going, calling on all of us to see how Captain America will navigate these dangerous currents, possibly as a guide for us to follow.

Verdict: Coates' tale has a lot more substance and gravitas than Mark Waid's fill-in series of the last several months and Yu/Alanguilan's art is sharp and intense, overthrowing the memory of Chris Samnee's more cartoonish renderings. but here's hoping they will be delivering similarly enjoyable adventures of our favorite hero.

Comments: Selene Gallio is primarily an X-Men villain, part of the Hellfire Club; she was introduced in NEW MUTANTS #9 in 1983. The terrorists are patterned after Nuke, the rogue super-soldier introduced in DAREDEVIL #232 in 1986.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A Hydra convoy is transporting a prisoner named Alexa through snowy Russian mountains. The mutant sorceress Selene halts the convoy, destroys the vehicles, feeds on the Hydra agents' life forces, and leaves with Alexa....

A demonstration on the National Mall in Washington DC turns violent when right-wing terrorists, cyborgs with American flags tattooed on their faces, open fire. Captain America is on the scene, hoping for a peaceful resolution but the terrorists consider him a traitor. He fights them non-lethally but the Winter Soldier, perched on a nearby roof, has to shoot down at least one. Sharon Carter arrives with military craft to evacuate the wounded and a Stark ship fires off an EMP that shorts out the cyborg killers—Cap having warned Bucky to get out of their range. Cap then encourages a boy whose father was shot to be brave as they go to the hospital. But he has nothing to say to a woman whose two daughters were killed by men wearing the same flag as Cap....

General Thunderbolt Ross, one of a number of bad guys paroled for fighting in the anti-Hydra resistance, arrives, looking for Sharon. He announces that he has been appointed by the President to look into that day's incident...but it's Sharon and Bucky he wants to see, not Cap; he arranges a meeting with Sharon for the next day....

That night at dinner, Steve tells Sharon he intends to find out who was behind that day's attack and he wants Sharon to turn over any intel she has on the group; Sharon declines but assures Steve that she wants to get to the bottom of it too, detailing how much she has suffered in recent years. But Steve still worries, America having been broken—as he sees Baron von Strucker on television, lauded for aiding the government against Hydra. Later Cap rescues a woman from a pair of pro-Hydra muggers though the victim seems just as wary of Cap—while in Russia, Selene liberates a Russian town from Hydra forces and executes the last agent publicly by draining his life energy, ready to take over herself....

Leinil Francis Yu
Gerry Alanguilan
Sunny Gho
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)
Winter Soldier
Winter Soldier

(Bucky Barnes)

Plus: Selene.

> Captain America: Book info and issue index

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