Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Art: Jesús Saiz, Matt Hollingsworth, and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 20th, 2023
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 as Captain America #1 kicks by kicks off.
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Captain America #1 won’t begin where you think it might. Readers will find very little action, suspense, or thrills as this opening installment begins. However, Straczynski delivers nostalgic, classic vibes soaked in wholesome Americana and sprinkled with ingenuity and intrigue. Be forewarned. Captain America #1 is a bit wordy and crams in a ton of info to set the temperature and placement of this Cap story. Additionally, the slow nature of the issue weighed down the momentum at times causing the opening installment to come across as less explosive and more informative. Nevertheless, what this comic lacks in action and thrills it will certainly hook you with its charm, creativity, and plot twists.
You’ll feel for Steve and his childhood as well as get a perfect glimpse of a “Day in a Life” type story of what it’s like being Captain America. However, it’s the sidebar between the would-be antagonist and what appears to be a pretty crazy cliffhanger that will truly draw readers into something deeper afoot. Moreover, the parallel between what the antagonist is selling mixed with the concept of changing future events is what truly hooked this reviewer. I couldn’t help but see some connections with what’s also been happening with media itself since the 60s as well. Readers, there is a ton of potential in this opener that should cause fans to get excited if they can comb through the heavily narrated beginning.
Jesús Saiz and Matt Hollingsworth kick this new series off by providing a Captain America with a nostalgic vibe. The colors are cool, calm, and almost muted to provide a classic feel. The transitions between a young Steve and the current Steve were done with exceptional taste while the Fantastic Four splash page showed the true expanse of what this art team has to offer when this series starts to pick up. Not only should fans get excited about the story, but watch how well these two complement Straczynski’s story as the series progresses.
Captain America #1 may be a bit too slow as an inaugural issue BUT what it lacks in action it provides in charm, character, and creativity. Readers get the classic, down to earth, Cap who’s one with the people and breathes American values. Sure, the wordy narration did throw this reviewer out of the story at times. However, I think this was a one-time thing with Straczynski who was mainly trying to give fans as much information as possible in a short amount of time in order to get this party started.
Moreover, the sly elements of the supernatural mixed with the advanced technology angle make for a rather intriguing villain tampering with what appears to be past events. I can’t help but leave Captain America #1 excited for what’s to come while also trusting Straczynski to keep the character grounded in his roots as well as what makes Steve the one and only Captain America. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!