A new chapter begins for the Star-Spangled Avenger in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1! From the new creative team of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leinil Francis Yu, Steve Rogers is back in action! But, in an America stained by the tyranny of Hydra, is Captain America really welcome anymore?

Though writer Mark Waid had a clever, thought-provoking run on Captain America, Ta-Nehisi Coates is seemingly making it a point to deal with the aftermath of SECRET EMPIRE. The point keeps coming up in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1: Hydra didn’t just conquer America, they broke it. And, they did it all with the help of Steve Rogers. Not the real one, of course, but still.

With a new threat on the horizon that, to everyone’s surprise, isn’t Hydra, Cap has to find a way to move forward in a nation that doesn’t entirely believe in him anymore. This new creative team is already firing on all cylinders, delivering some great storytelling elements of intrigue early on, and an incentive to keep reading for issues to come.

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A New Threat Emerges in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1

We got our first glimpse of Captain America’s new enemy in his Free Comic Book Day story. The Power Elite is a mysterious new force. They seem to operate out of Russia, have an army of Nukes (the character), despise Hydra (and most authority structures, I think), and are backed by the powerful mutant Selene Gallio. Whatever it is these guys are planning, it can’t be good for America.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Captain America fights off a small army of cyborg Nukes. This little assault team was sent to interrupt protesting between pro and anti-Hydra groups. Luckily, Steve and Bucky aren’t far from the action and help keep the people safe. The day isn’t without casualties, though, and Steve is left with a fair amount of guilt on his conscience.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 page 10. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 reintroduces Thaddeus Ross into the Marvel scene. He takes over the investigation of the Nuke attack and denies Cap any say in the matter. It’s all about appearances, and currently, the Captain America’s has been tarnished.

The issue concludes with an overall view of Steve’s current mindset. He’s internally conflicted; he sees Americans still cheering for Hydra and men killing people while wearing the American flag on their faces. At the same time, he still wants to believe in all the good he and his country are supposed to represent. But, after he saves a woman and all she does is run away, it’s easy to see why Cap is having such a hard time coming to grips with the current state of things.

Steve Rogers’ world has gotten a lot more hazardous since he returned. With the Power Elite on the rise, things will surely get a lot worse for the Star-Spangled Avenger very quickly.

Questioning Your Identity

Captain America has always been a character who’s stood for what’s right. He fights for freedom, justice, and truth. You know, those cliché things the greatest of heroes all try to stand for. Cliché as they may be, though, these things have always defined Cap in the best of ways. They molded him into a symbol of peace, someone everyone can look up to.

So, what happens when you make Captain America question all of that? What happens when you break down everything that defines the character?

It’s Great to Have Captain America Back

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 already sets the bar high for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run with the character. I’m deeply intrigued by the story; it’s compelling, feels original, and holds a great deal of relevance in today’s world. Captain America has found himself down many times before, but never quite like this.

Hydra used Steve Rogers’ face to stoke the fires of fascism in America. Now that Cap’s back, he has to reconcile these dark events. He needs to realize he had nothing to do with it and make peace with that fact. But, knowing Steve Rogers, that’s easier said than done. Steve can’t help but blame himself for the hell that America turned into (and may still be, in some way).

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 page 13. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The thematic stance Coates is taking with this run is already ringing out loud and clear, and I’m a big fan. It’s potent and sends a strong message without being too loud or obnoxious. That could change, of course. We are, after all, only one issue in. But, CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 is a good sign that Coates will keep up the great work with this new series.

Gotta Love Leinil Francis Yu

I often find myself yearning for more artwork from Leinil Francis Yu. I find myself waiting months at a time to see him take part in another Marvel series. I’m now realizing that that’s a good thing. It’s better to enjoy such delicacies in short bursts.

Leinil Francis Yu has got to be one of the best comic book artists of our time. It’s an undisputable fact. His style is bombastic and full of energy. At times, the line work is purposefully messy, but other times, you’ve got the cleanest characters you’ll ever see. That contrast helps Yu’s style jump out at you and grab your attention. I know when I see his name on a book that I’ll be in for a visual treat.

All of this stands true for Yu’s work in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1. It’s never been better to see his style. He brings with him all the explosive energy you should expect from him. His work, combined with inks from Gerry Alanguilan and colors from Sunny Gho, makes this issue an absolute thrill to look at.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 page 30. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The artistic team rarely misses a beat. The pacing of their panels is perfect, and the bright presence never fades. The action sequences are pitch-perfect, and Captain America has never looked better. After Mark Waid’s final arc on CAPTAIN AMERICA, it’s nice to actually see Captain America in his own book again.

My only minor gripe would be that Cap doesn’t really have any other facial expressions besides heavily brooding in this issue. I should hope that that’ll change moving forward. Other than that, I have nothing but praise for the artistic team for CAPTAIN AMERICA #1. Here’s hoping they stick around with Ta-Nehisi Coates for a long, long time.

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What a Great 4th of July Treat

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 delivers tons of thrills, a strong thematic standpoint, and fantastic artwork all around. Ta-Nehisi Coates and the artistic team are making it clear that they mean business with this new Cap series. They’re already coming out of the gate with guns blazing, and I’m eager to see what else they’ve got in store.

The Power Elite is still very much shrouded in mystery. There’s not much we know about them, other than that they’re not a big fan of America or Hydra. It might be safe to say they’re not a fan of anyone that isn’t them. We’ll just have to wait and see what else this new enemy has to offer and what kind of threat they really pose to the world.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 is a completely successful restart for the Sentinel of Liberty. Cap has never felt or looked so good, and I’m insanely excited to see where the team takes this story.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, and Sunny Gho
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Summary
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 is a great start to this new chapter for the Sentinel of Liberty. It sets up numerous compelling plot points that should be fun to see play out in the future.
93 %
A Fantastic Start

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