It’s time again to review the latest issue of Captain America! But wait, didn’t we just get a new issue 2 weeks ago? Why yes, dear reader, we did! Both issues number one and two of CAPTAIN AMERICA:SAM WILSON came out in October before it goes monthly. Why? I don’t know, all I care about is that it meant I didn’t have to wait too long in between issues! Huzzah!
If you read issue #1 of Nick Spencer’s Cap book, you know things weren’t looking that great for our “new” Star-Spangled Avenger. He has no money, very few friends, and half the country views him as a bad guy. Even his life-long buddy, Steve Rogers, the former Captain America, seems to be at odds with him. But before we really get to understand what’s going on we are dropped off in the deserts of Arizona to fight some costumed villains and save some people. Oh, and to start a political debate in the real world about the virtues of kidnapping immigrants. Not gonna touch that last one.
With so many unanswered questions this latest issue is sure to have a lot to juggle, and thus seems to be the sort of thing Spencer is really good at.
We start with a bit of backstory answering the question “Why does S.H.I.E.L.D. hate Sam?” Which eventually leads us up to what is going on with Sam and Steve. Here’s the deal- an unknown informant calling himself the Whisperer has leaked some pretty damning info about S.H.I.E.L.D. and Sam is up in arms about what they are doing. Thing is, so is Steve. Where everything goes wrong for Marvel’s greatest heroes isn’t what S.H.I.E.L.D is doing, but rather how they each feel the informant should be handeled.
Steve is playing the idealist again, believing that The Whisperer will need to stand trial for leaking government information. In his mind he should be held accountable for his actions, even if he had the best intentions.
Sam, being the more cynical of the two, feels that the Whisperer would never get a fair trial due to the nature of his “crimes” and therefor it is Captain America’s job to ensure he can escape capture, since all he did was, as Sam puts it “saved us from ourselves”.
After a brief exchange between the two heroes, Sam does the exact opposite of what Steve would have done and beats up some S.H.I.E.L.D agents, rescuing the Whisperer to live and rat another day. This is the action that causes the rift between these two former partners.
One of the things I love about this being the hot issue is that I, myself, am torn. I agree with Steve and stand behind him 100%, but at the same time I totally get where Sam is coming from and understand why he does what he does. There is no good guy/bad guy situation here. Nick Spencer gives us a realistic situation with no clear right answer, and again I feel like he has complete understanding of the characters he is writing. Both of these characters have views that seem natural and in-character for them, and I thank Spencer for keeping that in mind while writing. I do wonder, however, where Sharon stands on the subject – we haven’t heard from her yet.
So with the elephant in the room properly addressed we can move forward on to the white
-power super villains who, as it turns out, are working for a bigger badder…uh…badguy. While I’m not usually a fan of retreading old stories, I’m curious to see what the Power Broker has to do with this plot, and how it relates to Falcapwolf. Oh, issue #3 is going to be “The Return of Cap-Wolf” in case you didn’t know.
Issue #2 is pretty solid and sheds plenty of light on the situation developing with “Everyone vs. Sam Wilson” while still leaving us plenty of time to develop the story behind the Sons of the Serpent. Nick Spencer moves the story forward again in an interesting direction and keeps us wanting more, which is more than I can say for several previous Cap stories. Look for it in comic stores now.
Oh, I can’t believe Sam just left Misty on that plane after her whole “You wouldn’t like me when I’m bored” speech. I’m sure that won’t come back to bite him.