REVIEW: Captain America Steve Rogers #11 “Rogers and Zola BFFs”

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #11
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Jesus Saiz
Ink Assist: Scott Hanna
Colors (5-22): Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Paul Renaud
Rating: T+
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 02/15/17

Plot: To continue his master plan, Steve Rogers asks for help from his childhood friend, Baron Zemo. Meanwhile someone learns Captain America’s secret.

Story: One thing I noticed in this issue was how Steve’s friendship with Zemo parallels his friendship with Bucky in the MCU. Like Bucky, Zemo is Steve’s childhood friend who protected him before Steve’s transformation. There’s a moment in this issue, where Zemo kills Dr. Erskine so Steve can fulfill his mission. This scene reminded me of how in the MCU Bucky would always protect Steve (before Project Rebirth). Also when Cap releases Zemo from his prison and they share a man hug feels like something we’d see Steve and Bucky do.

My only criticism with this issue is the circumstances of Dr. Erskine’s death. While it is difficult to go back and re-write continuity (especially for well-known characters), there are some things that could still work. In this issue, Zemo assassinates Erskine before Steve gets the super soldier serum. Then Zemo exhumes the formula from Erskine’s mind with technology from HYDRA. If HYDRA did have this technology, why didn’t they just do it before history was altered? Plus if they had the formula why is Steve the only super soldier, couldn’t HYDRA have just made their own army of super soldiers? Maybe I’m just nitpicking but it’s these things that just take me out of the story.

Finally, Taskmaster learns Cap is a HYDRA agent while going through the wreckage of the crash from the first issue. This scene is interesting because this could set up how the other heroes discover Cap’s loyalty to HYDRA.

Art: The issue’s artwork is stunning. My favorites pencils are in the flashbacks using a combination of grey-shaded characters and faded-colored backgrounds. It’s a nice change of pace from flashbacks that use only faded colors or black and white. Plus I enjoyed how Jesus Saiz drew the character’s facial expressions to match the tone of their voices. Also the scenes where Steve is talking with a pitch black background add to the shock when we learn he’s talking to Zemo. The layout and lettering of the book help the story progress at a smooth and steady pace.

Verdict: This issue hints at how some characters will be involved with the Secret Empire event. However, it mainly focuses on Steve Roger’s altered origin story. Overall, this issue is another reason why you should look forward to Secret Empire this summer.

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