Saturday, 28 January 2017

Captain America: Steve Rogers #4 - Marvel Comics

Advertised by “Marvel Worldwide” as a “Civil War II Tie-In” within which “Steve attempts to broker a truce between Iron Man and Captain Marvel”, and featuring a similarly-themed cover illustration by Aaron Kuder and Tamra Bonvillain, Nick Spencer’s script for Issue Four of “Captain America: Steve Rogers” must have had its 49,559-strong audience scratching their collective heads in utter bemusement. For whilst the former politician’s narrative briefly touches upon the publisher’s “crossover storyline” by way of Cappy informing Doctor Erik Selvig that Thanos is currently searching for the Cosmic Cube, the thirty-page periodical contains no mention of Tony Stark’s alter ego, or his super-powered feud with Carol Danvers.

Instead, the American author pens a choppy mess of superficially disparate scenes involving S.H.IE.L.D. Director Hill and Everett Ross, a Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing, Jack Flag’s sick bed inside a S.H.I.E.L.D. medical bay, Scarecrow and sheriff Taskmasker’s examination of Captain America’s crashed ship in Bagalia, the Thunderbolts thwarting “a whole alien army” headed for Earth, Wendell mentoring a floundering new Quasar and an infant Steve Rogers witnessing the cold-blooded murder of his mother by HYDRA agents. None of which actually help move this title’s overarching story-line noticeably forward on account of them all lasting little more than a handful of panels…

One such ‘flashback’ sequence that does make a lasting impression however, is Spencer’s graphic depiction of the titular character’s ‘securement’ of Selvig’s laboratory. Constructed by the Red Ghost and protected by his Apes, the supposed Sentinel of Liberty bloodily bludgeons its primate occupants to death with the pointed edge of his shield, and then causes a fleeing Ivan Kragoff to have one of his arms and legs severed at the joint; “Hhh-- Hh-- My leg-- My arm-- What have you done?” Disconcertingly though, Cappy isn’t finished with the Soviet scientist, and having casually dragged his mutilated body across to a control panel in order for the machinery to scan the villain’s one good hand, cold-bloodily dispatches the kneeling man in the self-same gory manner as he did his “children.”  

Equally as inconsistent as the haphazard storytelling, is this over-sized comic’s artwork. Dually drawn by Javier Pina and Miguel Sepulveda, presumably due to the book’s high page count, some scenes are remarkably well illustrated, such as those which take place in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1926, and the Red Ghost’s laboratory. Whilst others, like S.H.I.E.L.D.’s preliminary meeting with Hill or Taskmaster’s exploration in Bagalia, are far less successfully pencilled.
Writer: Nick Spencer, and Penciler: Javier Pina & Miguel Sepulveda


  1. Sounds like you were pretty underwhelmed with the issue, and sounds like I am not missing out on the way Steve Rogers is being depicted.

    1. I'm so underwhelmed that I'll probably drop this title at #12 (as I own up to #10 and its... awful imho). I certainly don't think you're missing anything, and best to save your pennies for some classic Cappy Bronze Age back issues instead :-)