DISCLAIMER: This article is a review of a series by Nick Spencer. “Not My Captain America” is the title of the first collection(issues 1-6).
Written by: Christopher Johnson
Story by: Nick Spencer
Art by: Daniel Acuna, Paul Renaud and Joe Bennett
As of writing this, Captain America: Sam Wilson ended its first arc roughly 2 weeks ago. I have finally compiled my thoughts together and can say that this series can be controversial if it is judged only by the (possible) political undertones. In this review instead of looking at it issue by issue, we will discuss the aforementioned political undertones, the story and I would finish with detailing my thoughts. Without further ado, let’s begin.
The first notion of politics we have is Sam’s speech. This speech happened when Sam wanted to go public with his political beliefs, where he wanted to pick a side. We do not know exactly what he said. We only know 2 things about the speech. The first thing we know is the ramifications of this speech. After he spoke to the public many people began hating Sam saying hes now “Captain Socialism” while some stand by him. The other thing we know is spoken by the head of the Serpent Society, Viper. He mentions something about “Sam’s Come Together Speech”. So it is safe to say the speech was about us uniting as a nation with a few other phrases that did not sit well with others.
The second political undertone is the two instances where you can argue that conservatives are the villains of the book. After I explain the two instances I will give my thoughts if I think conservatives are the villains of this book. The first instance of this is in issue 1. Sam meets a gang out in Arizona called the Sons of Serpent. Sam received a tip about the group from an elderly woman who claimed they kidnapped her grandson(more on that later). The leader of the Sons of Serpent is clearly a man with a lot of hatred, known only as the Supreme Serpent. He complains to Sam about how Mexicans are stealing American jobs and just the typical complaints you hear. I do believe this is the writer mocking Conservatives but that does not mean they are the villains. The second instance is very similar but this is once again spoken by Viper in issue 5. He makes similar jabs at Conservatives are the Supreme serpent did but this time he says it in a mocking way illustrating that is how he rose to power by feeding them lies and pretended to be on their side. From what I can tell Nick Spencer(the writer) is a liberal whose tweeter is filled with political based tweets. It makes sense why he would have political undertones in this book ,but I do not think Conservatives are the main villains in the book. Now, with that out of the way, let’s discuss how the story unfolds..
The story begins with Sam Wilson standing against S.H.I.E.L.D and he goes off on his own. In doing this he loses all funds and access to S.H.I.E.L.D Equipment. He sets up a helpline and received a call from an elderly lady about her grandson being kidnapped. Sam books a flight on coach to fly to Arizona to investigate. He runs into the “The Sons of the Serpent” and after a run in with S.H.I.E.L.D, he discovers that the “Sons of the Serpent” are sending the people the kidnap to New York to a man named Dr. Malus. When Sam visits the lab of Dr. Malus,, Sam and his pet bird “Redwing”, get captured. Sam gets transformed into a Werewolf while some of Redwing’s DNA is merged with the kidnapped boy “Joaquin Torres”. Here is the deal with Joaquin, the bird he was merged with was a vampire falcon. That means Joaquin’s condition is irreversible so unlike Sam who eventually loses his werewolf form, Joaquin is stuck with wings growing out of his back. In the last three issues we are introduced to the man behind everything, Viper. Viper was always big in the advertising department and in this instance he was using the genetic experiments to bankroll the big businesses. He began by funding the cosmetic industry but planned on branching out if Sam had not stopped him.
3. My Thoughts:
First and foremost, the art really fits the tone of the book. Sure, you can tell when the artist changes but it isn’t THAT big of a deal because it is similar enough throughout the series. The political undertones can get a little annoying until you realize Viper really only used it to use the fear to get people to do what he wanted. Using the concept of fear, he convinced the Supreme Serpent to kidnap illegals for him so he could do his experiments. Another thing I really liked were the characters involved. Seeing Diamondback in a semi major role was cool and seeing her switch sides to defend Cap was a good showing of how she really is reformed. D-Man returning was a nice touch but everything I reads says he died but the author makes no attempt to explain how D-Man is even here.
In my opinion, the story is both a positive and a negative. I really liked seeing Sam fight against S.H.I.E.L.D and seeing him interact with people on the plane was a neat touch. Also, the issue where he turns into Cap-Wolf was so fun and campy that I enjoyed it so much! The problem I have is connecting the first 3 issues with the final 3 and seeing how the genetic experiments allows him to make money or something. I really like that the author does stray away from making a cliche story and attempts at making a unique story but it confuses me to the point of not really sure how it all pieces together. Overall I give this series a 7.50/10