‘Captain America: Symbol of Truth’ #5 wraps up the series’ first story arc with heated political debates, international consequences, and sets up all the pieces for the next part of the White Wolf’s background manipulations. Sam Wilson’s return to carrying the shield and mantle in his own series has been very successful, making sure to stay true to the character while displaying why he’s very much needed as a different type of Captain America.
Any book that has Captain America in the starring role is bound to get political, and the same can be said for anything starring Black Panther with the whole history of a monarchy and all the stuff surrounding Wakanda. Put them in the same space together, especially when Sam Wilson is Captain America, and all bets are off.
Before I even get into the fight/debate between these two men, I have to point at something Tochi Onyebuchi did here that I like quite a lot. That would be the mentions throughout that these two men are not friends in any sort of capacity, even though they have both been Avengers and have a lot of colleagues and friends in common. I like this mention because it’s a very real thing. Just because these two Black men happen to work in the same field and at times overlap in their working for the same group, they are not close and aren’t going to pretend that they are somehow friends just because they have someone like Steve Rogers in common as a friend.
I like the reminders that despite this being a decades-old shared universe where heroes are shuffled in and out of teams and the world of living left and right, some are closer than others. These two men have every reason to not be friends or on the same page as each other, even if they respect one another.
Here’s where we get into that aforementioned fight and debate. Onyebuchi ensures that neither man gets the upper hand or is in the right regarding both the physical and verbal altercation. They both get blows in and jabs, even if Sam ends up being taken down and rescued in the end, and neither man is fully correct about the debate topic that is how Wakanda wasn’t there to help the Black people of the world that were brutalized as Wakanda hid. The Wakandans have their sins, including their punishing Captain America by throwing out all the immigrating people, but they are more than correct at calling out Sam’s hypocrisy as he barreled into their country as a “bid bad American” type.
This issue closes out the first story arc and while the threat of the White Wolf will continue on, a lot of regarding Crossbones and those that Joaquin was rescuing all was wrapped up pretty rapidly in the previous issue. Here we’re presented with some cleanup surrounding that wrap-up and a bit of things being laid out for going forward. Some of the plot stuff felt like it was very quickly introduced and ended in this arc, but it doesn’t take away from what the series is aiming for and the great character work being done.
Just like the previous issue we have a dual artist situation with R.B. Silva being joined by Julian Shaw this time rather than Zé Carlos. As with Silva and Carlos, there are clear differences between Silva and Shaw’s work where the change stands out but it’s a pretty smooth transition. There is a sort of sharpness to Silva’s work that brings in a lot of detail and makes for some iconic shots and smooth action pieces. Shaw on the other hand has a bit of a smoother style that has much of the same detail work going on but is much softer in many respects. There are quieter moments by the time Shaw taps in so there aren’t any action sequences to really compare between the two, but Shaw hits all the great emotional beats in the pages he worked on.
Jesus Aburtov is still on colors and brings the same bright sharp colors that have been there through the previous issues. Just like the change in the overall artwork, there are slight changes to Aburtov’s colors as one moves deeper into the issue. While there is a sort of heavy feeling and a bright nature to the colors found over Silva’s work, as Shaw takes over the colors take on a somewhat lighter but also softer look to match the artwork style.
Handling a lot of lettering and being a veteran, Joe Caramagna knows how to hit all the right buttons to give us that comic book goodness. There are plenty of great things done to make sure the dialogue flows around and we can feel the energy or volume/tone in every word, and there are a lot of great SFX that just pop off the page and get one invested. Honestly, the stuff that gets me giddy is the simple thing of having characters shout names, either their own or someone else’s, and those codenames being rendered in big logos in the middle of a dialogue bubble.
That’s the kind of comic book stuff that I love to see, it’s just so damn fun and I want all of that sort of stuff. Comic books have heavy things going on, like political discussions here or other elements, but at the end of the day, they are also just fun.
Captain America: Symbol of Truth #5 is now available from Marvel Comics.