Review of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1

359012._SX640_QL80_TTD_by Nick Spencer & Jesus Saiz

As was inevitable, Marvel Comics brought back Steve Rogers for the Captain America role this week but not without a huge reveal at the issue’s end that like clockwork, is making the ever expanding internet idiot brigade congregate around dopey hashtags. The debut of Steve Rogers is interesting in a lot of ways as writer Nick Spencer makes some unorthodox choices while leaning on his strengths. Unfortunately, artist Jesus Saiz really stumbles out of the gate here and ultimately, it’s the books alarmingly substandard visual storytelling that leaves this new iteration of the character lacking.
Spoiler’s if you don’t want the reveal going forward
Spencer opens the book with a happy Steve Rogers back from old age kicking ass and taking names. The writer’s trademark humor and political commentary are in full force throughout the titles debut with a twist at the books conclusion that Rogers is now a member of Hydra and his mother may have been as well. You take away that reveal and the writing is fine if ultimately unremarkable and redundant to Spencer’s Sam Wilson book. For that reason, the issue’s finale is more or less the only reason for the comics existence conceptually, otherwise it’s just another Nick Spencer Marvel book and one of his less inspired efforts as of late. In that way, it does feel like an interesting idea to start the story off with and without having any context of why, it’s hard to feel much of anything about it other then curiosity and by proxy, hard to feel anything about the writing in and of itself.  Although it’s tough to judge the writing as part of the final product too harshly because Jesus Saiz’s art is incredibly off-putting. Saiz is a talented illustrator who managed to make lush and detailed visual story telling out of a line style that was light and straightforward in his extended run on DC Comics Swamp Thing. In Steve Rogers, Saiz is credited for “art” meaning pencils, inks and colors are all the his doing; it’s really bad. Saiz coloring is messy and has a bland sheen that recalls Greg Land or Salvador Larrocca while his actual illustrations are misshapen and muddled. The way Peggy Carter is made to look aged instead makes her appear deformed while the rest of the book runs between barely passable to almost incoherent in it’s visuals. Captain America Steve Rogers looks like a low end Dynamite comic which is problematic for what’s supposed to be a high end Marvel comic with a well established creative team.
Where as the result’s of Spencer’s story decisions will ultimately bear themselves out over time, the issues artistic deficiencies are apparent from the beginning and will require either an experienced colorist or new art direction altogether to make this a comic anything close to passable or worth reading no matter how many controversial twists are contrived for the character.

2 thoughts on “Review of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1”

  1. I think that this plot twist is incredibly weird, dumb, and kinda gross considering who Captain America’s creators were, but my initial reaction was amusement. I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds like something nonsensical done only for shock value and I know it won’t last long. Unless it’s revealed in the storyline that he was a triple agent, brainwashed, implanted with false memories or something of that nature, I give it about a year or two before it’s retconned.

    1. Wow, between this & Rebirth, today must be the day for inane, “shocking” plot-twists . . .

    2. Shame to hear about Saiz’s art. He did some terrific stuff for Birds of Prey and Swamp Thing . . .

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