2016 is the 75th Anniversary of Captain America’s first appearance. I wonder if this means anything for the depowered, aged Steve Rogers?
If you’re bettin’ against it, don’t bet the rent. Your Major Spoilers review of Captain America Sam Wilson #7 awaits!
CAPTAIN AMERICA SAM WILSON #7
Writer: Nick Spencer/Joss Whedon/Tim Sale/Greg Rucka
Artist: Daniel Acuña/Angel Unzueta & Matt Yackey/John Cassaday/Tim Sale/Mike Perkins
Colorist: Laura Martin/Dave Stewart/Andy Troy with Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna/Comicraft’s Richard Starkings
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
Previously in Captain America Sam Wilson: SHIELD Director Maria Hill has made a terrible mistake: Capturing the super-villains of the Marvel Universe, she has rounded them all up in one place, a small town called Pleasant Hill. Using a fragment of the all-powerful Cosmic Cube, she has erased their memories and given the baddies new lives of quiet desperation. Unfortunately for her, some of the worst of the worst (including one Baron Heinrich Zemo) have come to their senses, and taken over the town. Worse still, aged superhero coordinator and former Captain America Steve Rogers is stuck in the middle of it all…
CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY, TOGETHER AGAIN!
So, on the one hand, the whole ‘Avengers: Standoff’ is important, as the characters in the Marvel Universe have been through nearly a year of unseen adventures, and their interactions with one another are pretty much unknown quantities. As this issue opens, Captain America (for the purposes of this review, assume that means Sam Wilson) arrives in Pleasant Hill to find the city devastated by a superhuman battle, only to discover that The Winter Soldier is already on sight. Since W.S. is also a former Captain America, this makes for a nice parallel, and the characters even discuss who has done a better job of carrying Steve Rogers’ legacy. Speaking of Steve, while his friends fight their way into town, he is at the mercy of Baron Zemo, trying desperately to communicate with the sentient shard of Cosmic Cube known as Kobik in the hopes that she can save the day. Instead, he interacts with some of the worst Marvel villains, ending up in a hand-to-hand battle with Crossbones and a beating that turns out to be fatal…
I HATE THIS CROSSOVER’S CONCEPT
The downside of this story is that way I actually find myself sympathizing with the villains, whose very identities have been stolen from them by the agency that purports to protect people, a story point called out by Baron Zemo, who remarks that Rogers doesn’t seem to realize who the real victims of Pleasant Hill are. The art is very well-handled, but the work of Daniel Acuña is very different in structure and tone from that of Angel Unzueta & Matt Yackey, which makes the transitions between Steve and Sam’s portions of the story somewhat rough. The issue also features backup tales from Joss Whedon (a nice assessment of Captain America’s Shield), Tim Sale (a humanizing moment for Steve), and Greg Rucka (some sweet character moments involving the Black Widow), but all in all, it is a bit strange to have a big anniversary issue celebration as the middle chapter of an ongoing Avengers crossover. The events that end the issue are a perfunctory way of setting the pieces back in place for the upcoming ‘Captain America Steve Rogers’ series, which I believe is going to run concurrently with Sam-as-Cap, at least for a while, a development that I’m quite happy with…
THE BOTTOM LINE: STILL A NICE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
All in all though, the issue is okay, even with its focus on Crossbones (the single worst character in the history of comic books) and the somewhat random series of tribute stories that finish the issue, though I have to say I balked a little bit at the $5.99 cover price. Captain America Sam Wilson #7 is an agglomeration of several different vignettes about Captain Americas (three of ’em!), featuring some interesting looks at the man behind the mask, diminished somewhat by the overshadowing massive crossover event, earning a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. I’m at least happy to report that Marvel resisted the urge to once again renumber Captain America’s book because of an arbitrary milestone, so that’s good…