Captain America is about to enter an era unprecedented for the character, and Marvel is kicking it off with Captain America #0. Many characters have carried the shield and the mantle, but never have they done so simultaneously. To cover this big issue, the Comicon team is going to cover the issue twice, with me taking a look at the Steve Rogers perspective, and Scott Redmond digging deep into Sam Wilson’s.
This issue comes from Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Tochi Onyebuchi, Mattia de Iulis, and Joe Caramagna.
Arnim Zola is making perhaps the biggest, most public attack he’s ever made on American soil. Luckily there’s not just one but TWO Captain Americas (Captains America?) to stop him. Can Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson stop Zola before he turns the people of New York into Zolasauruses?!
I’m of two minds on this issue.
Sometimes a good old fashioned superhero brawl is necessary, and this is a lot of fun. The writing team clearly had a blast creating this plot, and I had a lot of fun reading it. It evoked the classic era of Captain America under the pens of writers like Mark Gruenwald, Roger Stern and JM DeMatteis. On the surface level of the plot, this was just a blast, and I’m glad to have checked it out.
As a set-up for the new era of Cap though? I think it fell short in a lot of ways. For Sam, I think this was great. He saved the day, and proved himself still worthy of the mantle. For Steve, we didn’t get too deep into what’s motivating him right now. We do get a restatement of his general morals and dialogue and actions that show that he’s still the noble, good man that he’s always been. But otherwise, we don’t get much else for Steve Rogers. It would have been stronger for Steve’s upcoming series (and Sam’s really) if we had seen more hints and threads from the upcoming series woven into the action.
Another thing that the writing team does well is prevent a slide into nationalism (which Scott and I both talked about before writing our reviews). A lot of Captain America stories don’t strike that balance very well, and treats America as an infallible entity. The team is willing to acknowledge the faults in the United States while still pushing towards the fact that the people and the ideals of the nation are worth fighting for.
De Iulis creates a photoreal landscape for the fight. Though there are a few moments of uncanny valley in the character close-ups, the layouts and the figure work are really great, especially in the action scenes. Everything from the explosions to the fist fights pop off the page. His designs for all of Zola’s weird drones are a very fun element of the book too, giving a new surprise for each page turn.
This issue was geared towards getting readers excited for this upcoming era of Captain America. In that, it succeeded, and I’m looking forward to what Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty brings in June.
Captain America #0 is available now from Marvel Comics.
Two Captain Americas for a new era! This fun launch issue propels Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson into their next battle with a very fun throwback to the Bronze Age.