All Roads Lead To Wakanda – Reviewing ‘Captain America: Symbol Of Truth’ #3
by Scott Redmond
The clues and roadblocks continue to pile up for Captain America and Falcon as they try to discover the secret behind smuggled Vibranium and what ties it all has to Wakanda and a human trafficking ring as well. A truly gorgeous fun and powerful book that speaks to why Sam Wilson should be Captain America and really puts the hero to work dealing with a complicated world.
Life isn’t getting any easier for Sam Wilson now that he’s carrying around the shield and mantle of Captain America once more. Vibranium smuggling, the secret machinations of White Wolf and Crossbones, dealing with Doctor Doom, Wakanda shutting him down, and the government breathing down his back.
After an action-packed duo of issues, Tochi Onyebuchi uses this issue to really do a lot of plot and character building. All the political intrigue and the struggles the characters are going through make it so that the issue flows smoothly and isn’t just an information overload. Sam is just such an interesting character right now as we see how different he approaches things as Captain America, while also quickly learning that his instincts to do things above the board are not always going to be reciprocated in the way he hopes.
While I like Sam and Joaquin together, I also appreciate that this arc is allowing both characters to handle different aspects of this same overall ‘case’ because it allows a showcase of what they both are about and doing. Clearly, they will circle back and cross paths again, but right now it makes sure that Joaquin doesn’t just fall into sidekick there to back up the hero status but is a hero in his own right.
With each issue, we’re getting more and more of what White Wolf and Crossbones are up to, without it being just fully revealed to us yet. Slow burns like this work best when the writer is filling the spaces between with really interesting moments or character stuff, which is what Onyebuchi does so well.
Artistically we still have R.B. Silva and Jesus Aburtov on board for art and colors, but this issue also has Zé Carlos on board to handle some of the art. Silva and Carlos are very different in how they handle their art, but their styles are the type that flows together without taking one out of the moment/story. These are the types of artist pairings that work best because their work can still compliment each other rather than being jarringly different in some way.
As noted, there is less action going on but both artists are able to make the more character moment-focused pages appear so smooth and energetic and gorgeous. They nail the emotional moments that are happening as the emotion/feeling is clear on the page even when characters are wearing masks of any kind.
Aburtov does such a great job filling these pages with a variety of colors, that are bright but also feel accurate to reality in scale. There is a bit more brightness in the colors in this issue light-wise than the last, which at times felt colder and darker because of where most of it was set (internal facilities that Cap and Falcon were in at separate places). Here there are warmer and very light pages that are fitting for the issue’s needs. All the fantastical elements such as the super-beings and their costumes are bright and shiny and stand apart from the more ‘normal’ aspects in a perfect not jarring contrast.
There are so many reasons that Joe Caramagna is a letterer that gets so much work and appears in so many comic books. A deft skill at making dialogue flow through the pages, even when there is a lot to deliver, but in a way that doesn’t crowd or overwhelm in any way. Adding all the right little flairs or elements to allow a character’s personality and energy really to be felt and heard when reading their words. Also giving us all the really delicious colorful popping SFX that are one of the best things in comic books because they are so fun and allow us to ‘hear’ things from this world.
Captain America: Symbol of Truth #3 is now available from Marvel.