Just in time for the fourth of July, Captain America’s shield has been stolen, so Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson set out on a road trip across America to chase down the thief. But instead, they find “the Captains.” Regular people from various walks of life who have taken up the mantle of Captain America to defend their communities.
If Marvel Comics really wanted to celebrate Captain America’s 80th Anniversary, maybe a different writer would have been a wiser choice. Christopher Cantwell tried his best to hide his feelings of disdain towards the United States, but he utterly failed. His loathing of America is pretty clear throughout the story from page one, encouraging readers to hate the past, and believe that the American dream was a lie, prompting anyone who thinks otherwise to feel shame and guilt for every mistake this country has ever made.
Steve Rogers opens the first section with a prologue about the meaning, or rather falsehood, of the American dream and how it has changed over time. According to the writer, the American Dream has been turned into a “white picket fence fallacy” to keep others out. Another element of the ‘dream’, however, sees ordinary Americans with no special skills or abilities that battle, toil, and suffer to realize their ambitions. And because he’s such an easy target, Steve’s ideas about his country change. And as writer after writer have repeatedly attempted to deconstruct the character, Cap is frequently stripped of what he used to stand for, much like his belief in America’s ideals.
Soon after this sad soliloquy, Cap s then assaulted by an impostor clothed in the same colors as him during his reflection, and his iconic shield is stolen and a road trip to find the thief begins.
As a long time fan of Captain America and the ideals he stands for, I cannot get down with this sort of defeatist mentality. I really don’t want to read progressive propaganda in my escapist hobby. The irony here is that while Cantwell complains about the Star Spangled Avenger being used for others’ political agenda, he does precisely the same thing in the comic.
Thankfully, even the access media are struggling to say something nice about this shallow comic
— Perch (@ComicPerch) July 1, 2021
Overall, the dialogue was dry and the humor throughout was pretty cringe. As for the story arc itself, I predict it isn’t going to get any better with the next issue (or the next). And since this is obviously an ideologically-driven book, I’ll further predict that the bad guys will turn out to be white people who want to kill minorities because of “white supremacy”. On the plus side, Dale Eaglesham turned in some exceptional artwork.
As for the “first gay Captain America” Ray Fisher (or is it Ray Fischer?) from Josh Trujillo and Jan Bazaldua, it’s forgettable. Somehow readers are expected to believe that an untrained, scrappy, homeless kid could whip a bunch of hired soldiers, and that the first boy he meets would instantly become his lover. As expected, this turned out to be nothing more than thinly veiled Pride Month pandering and overall it looked pretty silly, but rather inconsequential. I don’t expect we’ll be seeing the Captain America of the Railways anytime soon. And of course Marvel’s editors did their usual bang-up job.
When it comes to Captain America, Marvel has lost the plot. They really have a perception issue, because the current bullpen hates America and editorial is struggling to figure out how they can represent the entire country and lecture their readers, patriotic or otherwise, who don’t feel the same way that they do. Interesting strategy; let’s see how it works out for them.
Happy Independence Day!