|ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA No. 5, May 2015|
In many ways the first page to Issue Five of “All-New Captain America” probably sums up what the vast majority of this title’s 38,871 strong audience were thinking in March 2015, by depicting a nameless “stranger” in a café pointedly asking aloud just what Sam Wilson has ever done to actually deserve taking on the titular character’s mantle? This arguably cynical, potentially bigoted, hard-hitting “dismissive appraisal” is undoubtedly correct in its argument that the former Falcon hasn’t won any wars for his country, or put down many invasions either. Yet storyteller Rick Remender bizarrely seems to only take issue with the customer’s scathingly succinct assessment that all the latest Sentinel of Liberty can do is ‘fly and talk to birds.’
In fact, the entirety of this twenty-page periodical seems to have been populated by the accomplished author with whacky examples of Sam’s superhuman prowess in order to rebuke any such suggestion that Steve Roger’s “long-time friend and colleague” isn’t “the best man to stand as the embodiment of our great nation.” There certainly can’t be any other rational explanation as to why penciller Stuart Immonen draws the colourfully-costumed Avenger shrugging off Baron Zemo slowly sticking his sword into one of his lungs, or having both hands partially severed by that self-same blade as Wilson miraculously wrests the weapon free from Helmut’s grip and sends him reeling across the floor, courtesy of a blow to the face with the hilt.
Perhaps Remender’s greatest illogical innovation however is Cappy’s sudden ability to communicate with all the resident fowl of the Florida Everglades and convince them to eat “a cloud of infected fleas” which Hydra have unleashed upon the unsuspecting world “as a bioweapon to sterilize populations of undesirables.” Admittedly Gene Colan’s co-creation has previous demonstrated some “limited control over birds” in the past, and demonstrated his “empathic link with [his] pet falcon” on numerous occasions. But to have him use his “useless gift” to conduct a mental debate with the winged creatures in order to convince them that they themselves “won’t [be] hurt” by consuming the blood-sucking insects seems extraordinarily strange, even for a character who is desperately trying to fight “the forces of tyranny and oppression as Captain America”.