Captain America: Sam Wilson #8
Writer: Nick Spencer
Pencils: Paul Renaud
This month’s issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson, brings us one step closer to concluding the Avengers: Standoff storyline and returning Steve Rogers to his former mantle. It doesn’t really do much more than that, but it still is a good read. In case you didn’t already know, spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
We start with sort of a double recap. The first page is the standard Captain America recap page, which is fine, but the second page is just more of the same, narrated by Kobik, herself. It’s short enough, but I don’t really know if it was necessary.
From there the story moves along at a fairly brisk pace, taking us from some enjoyable Bam chatting (see my previous review for an explanation) while Steve comes to grips with his re-youthening- something he seems to accept quickly. To be fair, this poor guy has been aged and de-aged before, so I’m not faulting anyone. It’s good, too, since it helps the audience move on while simultaneously showing us just how resilient Steve Rogers is. He simply assesses the situation and prepares for whatever comes next, as we’d expect from our evergreen Cap. We do get a good scene a bit later, however, showing us that Steve hasn’t entirely readjusted to his new/old body when he clocks Whiplash in the face with some serious force.
Before we get to that scene, though, we finally get a full picture reveal as to what Zemo’s insidious plan is- and to be frank, it’s insanely simple. Zemo plans to capture Kobik, turning her back into a simple cube, and when the Avengers arrive to stop him, he can swat them down with very little effort, having Klaw broadcast his triumph for all to see.
But apparently he kickstarted his revolt too soon- The Fixer hasn’t quite figured out how to turn Kobik back to a geometric shape yet. Sure, he’s built a containment unit to house her in, but it’s that “cubify her” part that he just hasn’t been able to piece together. What’s more, Zemo’s hunting party remains unable to find the little girl who Zemo describes as “Often blue. Able to change reality. Even in a place like this, that should be easy to find.” Zemo may have to rethink his master plan, that is until Kraven the Hunter jumps in offering his help to find the girl. And Kraven’s hunting technique is brilliant. I spoil everything for you guys, but you’ll just have to read this one for yourselves.
As for our Captain America Triumvirate, they meet up with Mach VII (former Thunderbolts member) on the streets of Pleasant Hill and help him take out the gang of villains he’s been throwing down with. Mach VII reveals that he was acting on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. as security and there is a brief but enjoyable fight scene which makes me sad to think that this is Paul Renaud’s last run on a Cap title (for the moment, at least).
We do get one more solid Renaud-helmed action scene, though, in the form of Agent Avril Kincaid going toe-to-toe with a group of speed-themed villains called The Fast Five, who are lead by old Cap villain, Blue Streak (or a version of. I think the original one died). It’s fun and colorful (as you would likely expect it to be) as well as serving as an introduction for the Curator of the Pleasant Hill Museum who appears at the last minute to help Agent Kincaid defeat the villains. He quickly leads her away to get some form of weapon that S.H.I.E.L.D. was hiding in case things got too out of control (ie: current situation). Looks like we’re going to have to wait until the resolution next week before we get to see what that is, though.
The issue ends with the Cap Trio exchanging apologies and reconciling their differences just in time for the Avengers to assemble for a final showdown. It’s a solid scene in which Steve officially declares that he has no intention of taking the Captain America role back from Sam as he hands the current Cap his shield back (though the solicitations for next month’s Captain America: Steve Rogers book show us Marvel won’t let Steve stick to his convictions).
Like I said earlier, this entire issue was just a stepping stone on the path to next week’s Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega #1 (Jeez, these freakin’ titles), and I guess there’s really nothing wrong with that. It was still a solid book, and while we didn’t get any huge revelations or major plot shake-ups this time out, we get some great action scenes and more entertaining Nick Spencer writing.
Next month is the start of a new story for Sam and new books for both Steve (Captain America: Steve Rogers) and Bucky (Thunderbolts), so I have a nagging feeling I’m going to be a busy blogger, but with Spencer helming 2 of the 3 books, I’m anticipating greatness.