Captain America #5 Review: More Like Captain Granola Pouches

Captain America #5 review

Read our review of Captain America #5 from Marvel Comics, written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Lan Medina.

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 #5 Review:

Captain America is desperately trying to figure out what is going on with the demon looking to erase him from history, with the help of a doll of Doctor Strange. Meanwhile in the past, Steve Rogers is stopping a HYDRA attack on Madison Square Garden.

Kicking things off, host Alex Zalben noted that the Nazi rally at MSG is a real, black mark style event in American history. And while he lauded the issue for drawing on this event, and “really liked the series at the start. I still really like Lan Medina’s art. It’s just so nice and clean throughout. It feels very iconic and old-school.” However, “There are way too many jokes in the present, it is non-stop.”

Justin Tyler agreed, particularly with the Doctor Strange doll. “And honestly, I think it’s pretty funny. [But] it’s just such as tonal mismatch to everything else that’s happening.”

“Yeah, that is my big problem,” Zalben continued. “The jokes are good. But this is a pretty serious situation that we’ve been treating very seriously. And now they’re just making jokes about [how Cap has] half a granola bar in [his] pouch.”

Furthermore, Zalben had an issue with the idea that young Steve started out being who he is pre-Super Soldier serum, doing what he can to fight back against Nazis — aka verbally protesting in Central Park. On the other hand as presented in this issue, “The idea that the young Steve Rogers was an elite agent working for the mob tried to stop Baron Zemo blowing up Madison Square Garden… Is too much.”

Zalben compared the plotline to the Ezekiel/Spider-Totem storyline from Amazing Spider-Man back in the day, which turned Spider-Man into a hero of destiny instead of a character who got a chance to be something better.

“You can tweak things, and you can change things about an origin, and you could retcon things, so that’s fine,” Zalben said. “But Steve Rogers was a good guy who ultimately kept flopping out of the Army, and then got this chance to be the man he knew he was inside. If he already was essentially a super-soldier wheezing with asthma, but crawling through the sewers and fighting Baron Zemo, he was already there. That changes him too radically for me, so this is the issue where it started to diverge into neither of these plotlines working.”

Tyler said he “liked it more than that, I don’t mind younger Steve fighting the Nazis because it actually does track with the rest of his stuff. I like how much he’s he’s just trying really hard, which is, I think, Captain America’s real superpower, never giving up.”

That said, his bigger issue was the jokes, which he called out as “strange,” though he did like the “way the timelines come together at the end of this issue.”

Captain America #5 Official Synopsis:

New information about Captain America’s recent attacker — a mysterious figure known only as the Emissary – has Steve Rogers, Misty Knight and Sharon Carter scrambling to protect a peace rally from being this new foe’s next target. But how can masters of physical and mental might defend against the supernatural prowess of an ancient evil?

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