Travelling Man's Blog

Review: Sam Wilson, Captain America Issues 1 and 2 by Travelling Man

captain america sam wilson 1Written by Nick Spencer

Art by Daniel Acuna

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover by Daniel Acuna

Published by Marvel



Two issues in this is the most interesting thing that’s been done with Cap in years. That isn’t to slam any of the writers who came before Spencer either. Cap’s book has quietly been home to some serious narrative experimentation since the epic-scale novel that Brubaker’s run formed.

This though, is different. In every way. All of them brilliant.

Sam Wilson is Captain America now. Sam Wilson is also penniless. And on the outs with SHIELD. And has a support team consisting of D-Man (The fact Spencer has successfully rehabilitated D-Man is MEDAL WORTHY) and Misty Knight. Oh and he’s flying coach.

Across these two episodes we find out why and it’s fascinating and realistic and actually very funny. Sam isn’t Steve so where the previous incumbent was politically neutral Sam…isn’t. He speaks out, he gets slammed for it and suddenly Captain America is being attacked for being partisan. It’s a subtle, clever character beat that speaks to the difference between the two men and also folds the inevitable criticism of the turn into the book itself. It’s clever without being snippy, referential without getting lost.

It’s also really nicely paced. The reason for Sam’s loss of SHIELD contacts, and, more importantly, his feud with Steve makes perfect sense. These are two men who know each other very well and have huge mutual respect. But this is a divide they don’t want to cross and may not be able to. It’s a much better take on Old Man Steve than we’ve seen in other books and gives this one a far more even political keel than the right wing have claimed it has.

sam wilson 2Oh and it’s gorgeous. Acuna’s work is tense and furrowed like Sam himself but open and spacious when needed. It reminded me of Ron Garney’s definitive run with the character and there’s definitely the same sense here. A slightly more than human soldier doing the best he can and failing a lot. But that’s the point and also why Sam has his glorious supporting cast, both of whom have never looked better.

Subtle, character driven, funny and heartfelt this is a book that embodies its lead character. Heart on its sleeve, heading for a fight and staring it down. I know who my money’s on.

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