While Captain America: Steve Rogers #4 is billed as a Civil War II tie-in and Steve attempting to broker a truce between Iron Man and Captain Marvel, the interior is nothing of the sorts and between the teaser text and the interior, I was so confused I actually checked the text in the small print at the beginning to make sure this was issue four.
The comic is really a recap of things, so if you haven’t read the first three issues of this series, then you can catch up here. Even with a recap page, the issue is really devoted to laying where things are out. It’s a bit odd actually.
Now, there is some things that are new. Things involving Steve’s mother as well as Elisa are explored a bit. There’s a moment of Steve where he goes super villian and clearly lays out what his plan and goals are. And there’s lots of foreshadowing of the fact that Steve’s deep cover as a Hydra agent is tenuous and there’s lots of open ended things that can get him caught. Kobik, Jack Flagg, the crashed jet that Zemo died in. All of these things poke holes into Rogers’ plans and actions. The trial of Maria Hill also moves forward.
Basically, this issue feels a lot like a recap issue looking back at events and also setting things in motion with a lot of foreshadowing. It’s a bit frustrating due to that and feels like a wasted issue by writer Nick Spencer. What this has been solicited as is also completely baffling as it’s nothing of the sorts. There’s some mentions of what will be happening/is happening in Civil War II, but that takes up a few panels.
There is some good.
Captain America lays out his philosophy and plan and mixed with what S.H.I.E.L.D. is asking for, it all seems rather original Civil War. Spencer touches upon real world issues like surveillance by the state and increased powers to police, but that also is a bit shallow, an issue that also plagues the writing of the main Civil War II series. There is also an emphasis on Steve’s more brutal take on things, something that’s emphasized by his actions which aren’t very Captain America like. This is a new Captain America who would be ok with Black Sites and torture, not the one who stood up to the Super Human Registration Act. The emphasis is clear with this issue as this fact is stated and shown in various ways throughout the issue. Getting the philosophy and outlook of this new Captain America is a good thing and gives us some more insight than picturing him as a puppet of the Red Skull, but it also doesn’t feel new, just a retread of speeches we’ve heard from the classic character Nuke (in his various forms).
The highlight of the issue really is seeing the new Quasar. Where this character goes and what the plan is, I couldn’t tell you. But, to see something put a smile on my face.
Javier Pina and Miguel Sepulveda handle the art duties and it still holds up. The scenes in the past are what really stand out with their use of limited color, the art looks fantastic. I think the flashback sequences have been the strongest thing of these four issues, and would love to see an entire comic series done this way. The “modern” art is still good, but something is lost. Some of the scenes are brutal really showing off the new Steve, but some of the character art is a bit miss. Still, it’s a good comic to look at during the read and the use of the two distinct styles is a great choice.
The issue continues a rather middling series. Captain America: Steve Rogers #4 isn’t bad, but it’s also not really worth your dollars either. As an issue it feels like its job is to recap everything that has happened in just three issues and do some foreshadowing, it’s just not enough, nor is anything vital that it’s a comic you have to have to understand what’s going on or what’s to come.
Story: Nick Spencer Art: Javier Pina, Miguel Sepulveda
Story: 5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 5.25 Recommendation: Pass
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review