The Power Elite have successfully destroyed Captain America’s image, but will that be enough to bring the hero down for good?  Your Major Spoilers review of Captain America #30 from Marvel Comics awaits!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #30

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Leonard Kirk
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 7, 2021

Previously in Captain America: It’s an all-out fight to the finish with the Red Skull and the Power Elite, and Captain America will never be the same when it’s done.

FACE TO (NO) FACE WITH THE RED SKULL

Framed for murder, Captain America has found his public image under assault by people who believe him out of touch with the modern age.  Though the frame has fallen apart, The Red Skull has used his daughter Sin to psionically place seeds of doubt in the minds of his followers, using his personal channel (*coughpodcastcough*) to sow disinformation about the Sentinel of Liberty.  Captain America and the Daughters of Liberty have stopped the Skull’s Hatebombs, and as Captain America #30 beings, he is fighting his way through the Skull’s foot soldiers to find the man himself.  He is even faced with Crossbones (UGH), and handily defeats him, kicking in the door of the Skull’s inner sanctum where he faces…  Johann Schmidt, having a quiet dinner.  Captain America and The Red Skull have a conversation about their methods, one in which the Skull insists that he’s just trying to make the world a better place.  Captain America gently goads his old foe into a screaming rant, during which snarls that he is Death itself, and he doesn’t care HOW many of his followers get sacrificed in the pursuit of his goal.

And that’s when Captain America quietly responds, “Imagine if those Americans could see you now.”

MY DINNER WITH JOHANN

It’s an incredibly powerful ending, as Cap teleports away to verify that the Red skull’s tirade has been broadcast coast-to-coast, but when the smoke clears, he is horrified to find that some people still believe that the blood-colored butcher had a point.  Indeed, one “news” outlet has declared that it’s refreshing to see The Skull admitting his criminal nature, since everyone is guilty and he doesn’t hide it.  It’s a clear reference to real-world events over the past five years, and it hits really hard.  Even so, Steve and his team take the win that they can, and move on, even as the former Sin is transformed back into Sister Superior once more.

Leonard Kirk’s art makes the discussion sequences as tense and exciting as the fight scenes, and the look on Cap’s face as Peggy reminds him that “we were never going to simply hack our way out of this,” is truly disheartening.  Still, Captain America #30 has an ending that has enough finality to serve as an excellent capstone to Coates’ take on the Star-Spangled Avenger, setting up the next creative team to go wherever they need to while strengthening the underlying premise of what Captain America is meant to be.

BOTTOM LINE: VERY MODERN, VERY WELL-DONE

The usual suspects may be mad about it (and what comes next), but Captain America #30 is an excellent issue, one that gives us something to think about as well as excellent art, reminding readers that all art is political and that can be incredibly entertaining, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I’ve enjoyed Coates’ work with Cap, and I hope that the new creative team(s) are able to bring the same level of depth to the adventures of the red-white-and-blue Avenger.  it’s a great comic, even if it has Crossbones (UGH) in it.


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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