Captain America #2 Review: A Different Pace For A Superhero Book

Captain America #2 (2023) review header

In Captain America #2, we’re once again getting multiple timelines as writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Jesús Saiz lay out a big story for Steve Rogers. But does the different pace work?

We reviewed the book on the 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 #2 (2023) Review:

This issue, like the first, jumps through multiple timelines and ideas. Cap is teaming up with Spider-Man in the present, and trying to rebuild his new apartment building. Meanwhile, a new villain is building in the background. And decades earlier, Young Cap is dealing with the rise of the Nazi party.

Kicking things off, host Pete LePage explained he was “really worried” after the last issue ended with Steve stumbling onto a Nazi rally in Central Park. However, he was “happy with how this was handled in this issue,” as Steve tries to shut down the rally — and the rise of Nazism — quickly, despite not having any superpowers.

As for the art in the book, LePage felt that it “does a great job of feeling old-timey for certain parts,” while the present art feels fresher. To that end, LePage felt it helped clearly delineate the timelines through the coloring.

Justin Tyler noted that despite J. Michael Straczynski having decades of comic book work behind him, this book feels “different than so many other books.” Between all of the timelines and jumping between different scenes, Tyler likened it to “a movie where we don’t know [how] everything connects.”

Alex Zalben agreed. “This has a very different pacing from a lot of other comic books and particularly mainstream comic books,” Zalben said. “I’m not quite sure what to make of it because it is biting off so much. I don’t know if it’s biting off more than it can chew necessarily because it is JMS, who knows what he’s doing when it comes to a comic book.”

Tyler jumped on that thought. He added, “It feels like JMS, whether it’s true or not, plans on writing this for a long time… There are several short-term things that are happening, there are longer-term things, and there are very large long-term things.” But despite all the balls in the air, Tyler still had a good time with the book.

“You have this Spider-Man scene that [has] some jokes,” Tyler said, “and a new way of telling a Spider-Man isn’t good at being a superhero bit here, which is fun.”

Captain America #2 (2023) Official Synopsis:

When Spider-Man interrupts date night to ask for help taking down the Sinister Six’s latest plot, Captain America begrudgingly obliges. Meanwhile, more and more of Steve’s former enemies are being recruited by a mysterious new threat – one seemingly connected to an enemy Steve faced long before he picked up the shield…

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