Captain America: Steve Rogers #4
Written By: Nicke Spencer
Artwork By: Javier Pina & Miguel Sepulveda
Colors By: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover By: Aaron Kuder & Tamara Bonvillain
Plot: In the oversized CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #4, Steve discusses with Eric Selvig about his plans for this new Hydra. Cap’s plans show how deeply invested he is in CIVIL WAR II, while showing his more ruthless nature after being made young by Kobik. This all adds up to what Captain America thinks will save Hydra: killing the Red Skull.
Story: Nick Spencer has done a great job of separating his run from the previous runs of Rick Remender and Ed Brubaker. The focus on what makes a man, his true nature or how he’s raised, is at the forefront of #4. It’s very interesting, and makes this Captain America feel like something we haven’t seen in recent memory. This mixture of old new and old character traits really excites me as a longtime reader of CAPTAIN AMERICA. I find myself wanting to agree with Cap, such as how Hydra can be made a good organization again, but at what cost. It’s this moral grey area, while ultimately doing the right thing, that is really hooking itself in and making me excited to read this series each month.
The downside of #4 is that there is a lot of talking. It’s enjoyable to see all the different players in the series, such as Bucky and Maria Hill, but the amount of dialogue in each scene doesn’t feel necessary. Panels or pages could have been removed and the issue still would have worked to entertain us. The Thunderbolts section could have easily been chopped down by two pages. What makes this even worse is that the book is $4.99. This book should have been $3.99, and have the extra pages feel like a bonus.
The CIVIL WAR II banner seems to be thrown around willy nilly with Marvel. This book barely ties into the event, with only a single panel showing anything going on there. This isn’t a detraction on the issue, but this is more of an observation.
Art: The penciling duties are split between Javier Pina and Miguel Sepulveda. Sepulveda handles the Captain America section, while Pina handles the flashbacks. Pina perfectly captures the look that Jesus Saiz has been using when creating these flashback sequences. It’s done so well I had to make sure that Saiz didn’t pencil only part of this issue. Sepulveda does a small thing different with the new Captain America outfit that just bothers me: the ears. While Saiz kept them close to the head, here they stick out like Cap is going to fly away. It makes the headpiece look goofy compared to only a few issues ago. The rest of Sepulveda’s artwork is great, with the lone action sequence flowing quite well. Leaving the brutality up to the imagination of the reader is a great choice.
Verdict: While Spencer’s development of Cap’s new personality is interesting, the issue feels bogged down with overlong sequences of Cap’s supporting cast. The series continues to show carve out its own purpose in an entertaining way that should keep long time readers coming back.