A year ago, while talking with a friend, I said, “I should never be allowed to write a Captain America comic. The first thing I would do is bring back the Serpent Society, and I’m pretty sure that’s a really stupid idea.”
Turns out I was wrong- so far it’s an absolutely fantastic idea. Though I’m certain my story still would have been bad.
OK, so I realize I’m a bit behind on my Cap reviews. The holidays came ’round and beat me face up pretty bad, so I’ve been waiting for things to die down. Now that they have, and with issue #6 right around the corner, I have some catching up to do. No time like the present.
Captain America: Sam Wilson #4 comes out swinging as a ballsy “hot topic” type of story. Yes, it’s one that is coated to look like a super hero comic, but like many Cap stories that came before it, we are clearly going to get some controversial points thrown across while reading it. This is, of course, something that writer Nick Spencer has shown us he knows how to handle.
We have super villains in the form of the newly revived Serpent Society (or Serpent Solutions, as they are calling themselves now) who are pretty much pimping themselves out to high-paying corporations, doing the “dirty work” so the companies can reap the rewards without getting involved. In a world where heroes and villains wander the streets on the regular, kind of seems like this would be a logical step. I mean, getting a costumed criminal to do illegal things for legal reasons…I’m actually surprised it took this long to get here.
The snakes are lead in their new venture by the original ringleader of this circus- Viper. No, not Madam Hydra. The guy she killed. Yep, somehow, some way the original Viper, Jordan Stryke, is back and he’s as sleazy as he’s ever been. The former ad man is pulling the strings behind the Society, and man he is good at being evil. In the previous issue I had a problem with Spencer making his villains too jokey, but I can safely say Viper doesn’t follow that same pattern. Yeah, he’s funny, but in a creepy serial killer kind of way. Like if you don’t laugh, well, you’re pretty much dead. Viper is definitely presented as a viable threat, even he though he doesn’t do any of the dirty work himself. Huh, seems to be something to that.
Now I know what you’re all thinking- don’t I normally whine about “retreading old characters”? Well yeah, usually, but I’ve really missed the Serpents and they are so freaking awesome that i want more of them. I’m allowed to be a hypocrite. Shut up.
Besides, we haven’t seen them in years, especially Viper who’s been dead since forever ago. And I’m glad to see characters like Rachael, aka Diamondback doing something again, even if it’s not really what you’d have thought. If her story doesn’t break your heart then you’re a monster and I hate you.
To be honest my only major gripe with this issue was that Sam Wilson, our titular hero, doesn’t get that much attention. He’s still a giant wolf, and obviously he’s the main character, but this is very much the Serpent Society’s issue. Which, again, isn’t a bad thing, but I’d like to see some more of Sam interacting with his posse. I mean, has D-Man even do e anything since the first issue?
Acuna’s art was oddly absent this time out, with Paul Renaud taking the helm. He does a great job of stepping in to the point where my wife didn’t even notice there was a different artist until I pointed it out. As such it pretty much goes without saying that Renaud ‘s illustrations did a great job pairing up with Spencer’s wacky style of writing. A good thing since he’ll be doing the art for the next issue as well.