Captain America is back in action at Marvel Comics with a new Captain America #1. But how does the new title from writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Jesús Saiz hold up to other, lauded runs? Particularly with a lot going on in the debut issue.
We reviewed the book on this week’s Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!
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Captain America #1 Review:
In the issue, picking up after Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing’s run, Steve Rogers becomes the landlord of his building. Meanwhile, we flashback to when he was 14 and evicted from that same building, ultimately stumbling on a Nazi rally in Central Park. And back in the present, while Cap teams up with the Fantastic Four, a new villain is brewing in the background.
So, lots going on, but the first bit called out was actually the coloring on the issue by Matt Hollingsworth — which leans into sepia tones and browns for the nostalgic look of the series. Noting the coloring, Alex Zalben said, “Brown is not a catchy color in the same way that a white-black, like Jonathan Hickman loves, or a red… But it really makes [the book] stand out. It’s a very purposeful decision, that I thought was really fascinating to see play out throughout the book.” Justin Tyler agreed, adding that the “tinted brown look” makes the issue “pop with a lot more vibrancy.”
The Series Is Taking On A Lot!
On the plot itself, Pete LePage was a little disappointed that so much time was spent on Cap being “the greatest landlord in the world,” and was jokingly thrown by how “it’s really easy to join the Nazi Party because they give out free sandwiches.”
Zalben was also a little thrown by how much the book was taking on. “It’s paced out very well,” but, “we’re doing the secret history of Cap, and also Captain America: Landlord, and also there’s secret enemies… There’s a lot going on here, and a lot to balance.”
Other than that, Tyler compared the plot to “Captain America as American Jesus,” showing his time in the desert before he became “buff cap.” He also liked the team-up aspect with the Fantastic Four and the tease that Cap will be teaming up with Spider-Man in the second issue. “I like injecting [Cap] back into the main superhero world,” versus the “Ed Brubaker-inspired world of espionage” he’s been living in for the past few years.
Captain America #1 Official Synopsis:
WHAT FUTURE AWAITS THE MAN OUT OF TIME? Decades ago, Steve Rogers changed the world forever. Now powerful and insidious forces are assembling to ensure he never does it again. Past, present and future collide as the man out of time reckons with an existential threat determined to set the world on a darker path at any cost… Esteemed creators J. Michael Straczynski (THOR, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Jesús Saiz (PUNISHER, DOCTOR STRANGE) embark on an exhilarating new journey for CAPTAIN AMERICA!