Captain America #1
Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art by Leinil Francis Yu
Inks by Gerry Alanguilan
Colors by Sunny Cho
Letters by Joe Caramagna
The aftermath of Secret Empire was not the end of the story for Steve Rogers as splinter remnants of Hydra continue to operate around the world and a cell in the Russian mountains finds out that Rogers is the least of their problems. As they transport a prisoner to their leader, they are ambushed and killed and their quarry escapes.
Back in the states, a group of Nuke soldiers is slaughtering civilians on the National Mall after crashing a helicarrier and it’s up to Captain America to stop them. Fortunately for Cap, he’s got some back up from Winter Soldier and Sharon Carter as they fight to contain the damage and rescue the civilians. It’s a great sequence punctuated by great art from Yu. You see the power of Cap in these panels and the dialogue is a great contrast. The thought bubbles emphasize Cap’s inner conflict at what is going on and how everything is changing around him.
There’s a great moment when Cap gives Bucky the word to use more lethal methods on the rampaging Nuke cyborgs. Cap takes the time to contemplate not only the act that must take place, but that people are watching, especially children. As they finish the fight, the new dynamic Steve finds himself in begins to take shape as a familiar face is brought in to clean up the mess on orders of the President and Steve learns that there are several people who have been paroled for their roles in Secret Empire and are now working for the government.
It’s the beginning of another interesting dynamic in how those people will react to Cap, especially when they thank him for his service, but seem to not require it. Coates puts Steve in an interesting predicament. While Cap wants to help however he can, he doesn’t have the resources he once commanded including SHIELD. How does he investigate HYDRA or the Nuke soldiers when he’s been put on the outside and how does he regain the trust of the people he cares for and the country he defends?
There is a lot to unpack in this first issue and the creative team does a really good job of setting up the mysteries that Steve will need to uncover as well as the conflicts he’s going to face both personally and professionally. The art is amazing and there are some great action beats. I’m interested to see where this story goes.