Review: Captain America #20 (2018)

Back to basics.

Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Art by Bob Quinn. 

Continuing my streak of revisiting recent issues of comic series I haven't read for a while I decided to take a look at Marvel's 'first Avenger' Captain America. Unlike with Batgirl and Spider-Man though, I never really read Captain America proper. I became a fan of Cap through the MCU and I read other books featuring him, mainly The Avengers, but when it comes to his solo series I can't say I've really read much. When I started reading Marvel, he was still 'Old man Steve' with Sam Wilson as Captain America. When he got de-aged and given his own book again with Steve Rogers: Captain America I was very much put off by the whole 'hail Hydra thing' at the end. So this isn't as much as me checking back in with a book, but more so given it a shot.

The issue starts in Adamsville Ohio, where a vigour asks one of the churches brothers if he would like to step into her office, pretty please. After informing him that his performance of getting her souls has been rather lacklustre, she ignores his pleading and promptly kills him. We then cut to Cap and his team, aware of the rather odd situation in Adamsville, with Steve, Buck and Sam going undercover. While the boys are in Ohio, Peggy Carter and Misty Knight are waiting on a contact in a bar somewhere but are confronted by Crossbones and his mercenaries instead.

So, I'm going, to be honest here. I'm very mixed on the issue and that has everything to do with the books political overtone. It's not that I'm against comic books touching on politics and such, but I read books, play videogames etc. mostly for enjoyment and a bit of escapism. The section of the issue with Steve is about a town who want to go back to America's 'glory days' and basically denounce modern society. This clear political tone that isn't even really applicable to me as I'm not from America. It's meant to hit home for the reader, but it doesn't. I understand why this choice was made, the book is called Captain America after all, but these sections fall flat for me personally and I must assume for many others who feel the same way.

This point also leads me to the one other flaw I see with the issue. Steve feels very much side-lined in his own book. He is present for the meeting with his crew then goes to Adamsville where he has a conversation with Bucky and Sam and that's it. Most of the story progression and action is done in the B-plot with Peggy and Misty. Steve himself doesn't move the plot forward at all. This could be a result of the issue being a part 1 to a larger story, with this issue all setup but just like with that Amazing Spider-Man issue I did not long ago, insert shameless self-plug here, but an issue should still give a satisfying story on its own. The issue could have done better on this front.

So Peggy, can I borrow your skin-cream? You look rather good for someone whose almost a hundred years old!

Conclusion

So, with me being mixed on the issue, what is it that it does that I like? Well, most everything else really. The B-plot with Peggy and Misty is very interesting and well done. It has some great action scenes with some fun surprises and banter, some unexpected reinforcements showing up and a very nice twist at the end. The writing is competent and the artwork is right up my alley. It's the blend realistic art with bright colours that I so adore and is just pleasant and easy to follow for everyone.

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