Returning To The Heartland: ‘Captain America #20’ Review

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Something strange is happening in Adamsville, Ohio. A new church has formed, led by Selene the Black Queen, that is taking the town by storm. It endorses “the good old days” and the manly qualities of hard work and toil. Captain America, the Winter Soldier, and the Falcon are investigating the situation, as Selene’s necklace, the Blood Marine, has a piece of Sharon Carter’s soul inside. Steve will do anything to get it back. Meanwhile, Misty Knight and Peggy Carter are meeting a contact in Madripoor, but the rendezvous is interrupted by none other than Crossbones.

Captain America #20 cover by Alex Ross
Captain America #20 cover by Alex Ross

Captain America #20 kicks off the next story arc, with Cap, Bucky, and the Falcon going to a rural American town to take down Selene and retrieve Sharon Carter’s soul.

The comic spends a fair amount of time on masculinity, what it means, and what makes it. Selene’s church enforces the idea that hard work, sweat, and struggle are what truly makes the man, and there are many in the heartland who listen to her. While they don’t explicitly say it, Steve, Buck, and Sam’s actions push back on that idea.

The other half of the story with Peggy and Misty in Madripoor leads to another guest star in the issue. It also builds up to a big twist ending that–at the risk of sounding smug–I have personally been predicting for 10 or so issues.

Captain America #20 art by Bob Quinn, Matt Milla, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
Captain America #20 art by Bob Quinn, Matt Milla, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Bob Quinn brings a charmingly slick and stylish aesthetic that has a cartoonish quality to it. It doesn’t quite gel with the heavy political themes of the comic, but it does look good. It also makes for some solid action scenes, particularly in the back half of the book. Matt Milla’s color work is well-balanced and looks pretty darn good too.

Captain America #20 gives this next arc an intriguing start. Cap and company have to go back to the American heartland to save its denizens from the cruel predation of Selene the Black Queen. It’s a solid premise and I look forward to seeing where it goes. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Captain America #20 comes to us from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, artist Bob Quinn, color artist Matt Milla, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Alex Ross, and variant cover artist Ben Caldwell.

Final Score: 8/10

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