Ta-Nehisi Coates kicks off CAPTAIN AMERICA #2 with a down an out Steve Rodgers; one that’s ashamed, untrustworthy, and unauthorized to operate for the country he admires and loves. So, who will help Cap stop the Power Elite before it’s too late? Let’s find out!
STORY BY: Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Francis Yu
INKS: Gerry Alanguilan and Leinil Francis Yu
COLORS: Sunny Gho
LETTERS: Joe Caramagna
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
CAPTAIN AMERICA SPOILERS TOO!
Coates opens the issue by giving readers a quick trip down memory lane of our fearless patriot Captain America, as well as what makes our real American Hero tick. Next, readers jump to Chicago where the World Mayoral Conference is being held and a group of rogue, cyborg, American soldiers decide to make a statement by shooting up the conference and killing anyone in their path.
Well, Cap won’t stand for this, especially thugs dressed like American heroes. So, he lays the smackdown on these cybernetic creeps only to be scolded by Thunderbolt Ross for poking his head in the government’s business. Coates ends the issue showing readers that Steve Rogers is heading to Wakanda! We’ll have to read the next issue to find out why.
Issue 2 Was Needed
This is precisely where Cap needs to be in the story. After the events that led to SECRET EMPIRE, how could anyone trust him? After everything his face and his identical double did, who can blame the country’s uneasy belief in their once faithful hero?
Coates spends the entire issue hammering this idea home to the readers to get them up to speed before he moves on to tell HIS story. I enjoyed Nick Spencer’s run tremendously, but Coates has an uphill battle to move forward and away from past events.
Mark Waid didn’t have this problem because his stories between Spencer and now Coates’ involved time travel. So, readers didn’t have to see the direct aftermath of the events involving “Evil Hydra Dictator” Captain America.
Coates is taking Steve Rogers back to his roots, and this issue sets up how the world views our Captain right now. I’m more curious as to where he’s taking our hero from here. I’m excited to find out more about the “bargain” Steve made. Was it with the Cosmic Cube to come back? And, I’m excited about this new deal with Wakanda. The end of the issue seems more like the story Coates wants to tell.
But, Was It Too Much?
My problem with the issue is we are two issues into Coates’ run, and the story has yet to progress. Yes, I just said above that it was needed and that Coates had an uphill battle to get the character back to where he once was. However, the only “real” direction we received in this issue, as well as the last issue, was in the last two pages. I’m still not entirely sure who he made the first bargain with. Is it the Cosmic Cube? Is it the one Russian woman from issue 1? Are they the same person? And, why is Cap going to Wakanda?
Also, on the summary page, it mentions the name “Power Elite.” I don’t remember anywhere in this issue or last issue anyone using the name or phrase. Were the cyborg guys the Power Elite? Or, is the Russian group from the previous issue the Power Elite? I’m assuming the cyborg guys were the Power Elite, but I’m not entirely sure. Coates’ focus was so strong on placing the mood and tone around Cap that he left readers confused on the direction of the story, where it’s going, and why. My point is: issue 3 better move this story along fast and furious, or I feel people will start to drop off the series.
Leinil Francis Yu draws people so well, his realistic detail and line design for characters faces are impressive. Plus, his Cap is practically perfect. I love the classic leather look with the oversized boots that Yu makes look like their flapping around as Cap fights. And, I love the overextended gloves and the scaly leather look of his suit. Yu puts so much detail into his Captain America making him genuinely stunning to look at.
Also, take notice of the fight scenes with Captain America. Every time he moves fast and quick, the background goes away to focus solely on his movements while placing his shield at the center of the reader’s viewpoint. Yu makes Captain America the focus of each fight by blacking out the villains and supporting characters to draw the reader’s attention exactly where it needs to be.
Should you buy this issue?
The issue wasn’t bad, but it did nothing new for the story. I feel like you could skip right over this issue and the last by saying “people don’t trust Cap and he’s looking for his redemption quest.” Done!
Should you add this to your pull list?
Every new writer/ creative team needs at least an entire arc to see where they are going and what they plan on doing. That said; I’m in for the first arc. I feel like we should be farther along in Coates’ story by now. Who knows, maybe this creative team will grab us all in issue 3? I sure hope so!