Review: Captain America #1

For over 70 years, he has stood in stalwart defense of our country and its people. But in the aftermath of Hydra’s takeover of the nation, Captain America is a figure of controversy, carrying a tarnished shield…and a new enemy is rising!

Who are the Power Elite? And how do they intend to co-opt and corrupt the symbol that is Captain America?

Since it was announced, I’ve been looking forward to Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ take on Captain America. Coates is a brilliant thinker, one that is a must to listen to and he’s brought his socio-political background to Black Panther with success. Where he was clearly learning how to craft a comic, Coates is out the gate at full speed with this comic which shows none of the issues his first comic series showed at the same point. Instead, he gives us an interesting comic that is actually pretty gutsy in a way.

Secret Empire was one of Marvel’s worst events in history and one they recognize as such since they’ve moved past it so quickly in their various series. Coates sees the lingering issues and potential from it though grasping the concepts of a power vacuum and a lead character who was the face of a fascist government that committed unspeakable acts. There’s no fear here as he also presents how the current US government is willing to get in bed with horrible people and delivers a lot of gray area in his concept. That idea? What does Captain America stand for in a world where fascism was embraced so easily and what happens when there’s a power vacuum? Someone, or something, will fill that space and how can he stand for the ideals he does when people see the person he was?

Leinil Francis Yu provides the fantastic art. Yu is a talented artist and I know when I see his name on a project I’m going to enjoy at least the artistic aspect of it all. It all looks great and there’s some solid action sequences mixed with quieter moments as well. There’s a balance that works and works really well.

Captain America is an embodiment of politics and Coates recognizes that. This is an exploration of who the character is, what he stands for, and how that fits in his fictitious, as well as our, world. This first issue is one that entertains and makes you think, something Coates excels at. An amazing debut that’s an absolute must buy.

Story: Ta-Nehisi Coates Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review