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All-New Captain America #4

5

Baron Zemo’s horrific plan ticks closer to becoming reality as Captain America, along with Misty Knight, race to throw a wrench into the gears.

The Good

There was a seismic shift when Marvel Comics decided to bestow Sam Wilson with the title of Captain America, following Steve Rogers’ depowering. Not just because of the questions about race that it raised, but because Wilson is an entirely different person with an entirely different power set. Which is why it was a great decision for Rick Remender to not just give him the shield, but to fundamentally alter the suit to take advantage of his different skillset. And like all good Marvel renumberings/recastings, Sam’s been chucked into the very deepest end of the pool and told to drown less. Baron Zemo’s unleashed his most Nazi plan in a very long time to sterilize the “undesirables” of the world (meaning anyone who doesn’t have his cure) and win in such a subtle way that it would go unnoticed until it may be too late. After dealing with his past, as well as Sin, Cap is ready to step up and go toe-to-toe with one of Cap’s most vicious enemies. Remender does a great job writing set pieces that easily have a real sense of pacing within themselves with a real sense of fluidity, which sets a great tone and pace for this issue overall. Cap was always about fluidity and seamless transitions in combat so making that the crux of how this combat-heavy issue moves makes it read amazingly well. He also gives us glimpses at plenty of similarities and differences between Wilson and Rogers, another critical part of making this a compelling tale and not just the publicity stunt it gets accused of being.

Stuart Immonen handles pencils and does an absolutely phenomenal job of blocking and panel control. It’s always easy to tell where everyone is in relation to one another and it keeps the fight moving with a brisk, exciting flow. The characters, from top-to-bottom look fantastic, and Immonen knows how to use body language to say so much that the characters would be clear even without dialog. Wade Von Grawbadger handles inks and does a fantastic job at bringing a sense of weight and even realness to the otherwise cartoony visuals. Immonen’s visuals tend to the fantastical, and that’s to their benefit, but with a story like this strong, defining inks can help to keep a sense of realism and impact. Marte Gracia handles the colors and gives the whole book a dark, shadow-soaked tone that does justice to the frankly appalling ploy by Zemo. This is a surprisingly dark book, but it never becomes dreary and the palette also helps Cap shine like the beacon in the dark that he is.

The Bad

While the set pieces are well blocked and well-paced within themselves, the transition from one to the next can be confusing, and it can be a little tough to keep track of who is where at what time.

The Verdict

There’s a great cliffhanger to end the issue, leaving the audience champing at the bit for the next issue and establishing that Remender and Immonen know exactly what they’re doing and were a great choice for creative team on this title. This issue helps to justify and define what kind of Cap that Wilson will be, and the fact that it NEEDS justifying isn’t great, but here we are. This book is so much greater than an attention grab and deserves to be read.

29 Comments

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DrellAssassin

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OH MY GOSH THIS ISSUE WAS SOOOO GOOD. I really feel like Remender's run on Cap and now this are highly underrated, and this issue is one of his best yet. I really like how well he's distinguished Sam's motivations from Cap's, especially in this issue. The focus on family and making a world a better place for the next generation is unique, and I feel it gives Sam a lot of depth. Plus Immonen and the rest of the art team are churning out some top notch stuff here. And that ending!

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Super_SoldierXII

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This issue was good. Still, I'd rather it be called something other than "Captain America". Because that's exactly what this book is. Something other than ...

Happy Sam's getting some spotlight. Like the treatment of him by and large. But, to me, it's still kind of like calling Daken Wolverine, or Kaine Spider-Man. Which would, in themselves, be far closer to truth because at least both their abilities and power sets mirror one another. Sam was never remotely close to Steve's skill / hand to hand, technique or power set / abilities.

I still feel throwing Sam in there all uber with the shield and such cheapens the ethos of Steve Rogers some.

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ShadowSwordmaster

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This series is still going strong.

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ScrappyDont27

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Can't wait to read, I am really enjoying Sam Wilson as Cap

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RisingBean

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I still feel throwing Sam in there all uber with the shield and such cheapens the ethos of Steve Rogers some.

It's why when publishers treat heroes as interchangeable costumes that I quit reading.

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Child_of_the_Past

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@risingbean: But that isn't really happening here. You could be missing out on great stories using your logic. Did you accept Wally West as Flash or Damien Wayne as Robin or Dick Grayson as Batman? I don't see how what you said holds up in the long run.

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Kgphil01

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@drellassassin: Couldnt of said it better myself, I really felt this issue brought out the inner struggles that Sam is thinking about and his motivations on why he took up the shield! Which also seems to blur his thinking and actions at times. So far I'm very impressed and excited about this series. So glad I gave it a chance.

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Antihero_Jaymok

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I will admit, I'm really digging this series. Immonen is more than fantastic as an artist, and it's just my kind of art! That being said... Sam is NOT Steve, and should not BE Captain America. He is just not good enough to wield the shield. And I still don't get how he uses it the way he does without the enhanced strength Steve had. I don't care what Marvel says or does, I'm STILL calling Sam, Captain Falcon. And guess what Marvel, every time I say it, EVERYONE knows who I'm talking about; because everyone knows that's who he is.

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eamon542000

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This series had a bit of a slow start but is not really starting to rev up

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RisingBean

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@child_of_the_past: It is what is happening here. Some other guy (Falcon this time, instead of Buck or Johnny Walker) is pretending to be Captain America. Steve Rogers is Captain America. And because at the end of the day "Status quo is god." This whole exercise is moot.

As it is, because of my age, I didn't mind Wally West.

I outright hate Damian and was not a fan of Bruce's mantle being passed. I also disliked it when Superman died, and we got four "Supermen", Azrael became Batman, Hal went nuts, Ollie got blown up, Pete became a clone, Ult Pete got killed so Bendis could hit the reset button and rehash everything all over again, Ult Logan died because Loeb's a hack, and his weiner son took over, And lets not forget the marketing ploy that is modern "Wench Thor".

Every few years when Cap gets replaced I find it as lame as I did the time before.

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ia0delond

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This book confuse me so much in a good way.
Seeing this 100% evil Zemo winning over Sam Wilson, killing easily like he was in Game of Thrones just make me wonder how the good guys are gonna win.

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Super_SoldierXII

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@risingbean: But that isn't really happening here. You could be missing out on great stories using your logic. Did you accept Wally West as Flash or Damien Wayne as Robin or Dick Grayson as Batman? I don't see how what you said holds up in the long run.

Those are "super powers" not abilities and skill (both of which take time to acquire with any ounce of realism). Cap's schtick is he's super human with that shield of his, has had military training, a lifetime of martial training, spearheaded the charge throughout WWII, and he's an enhanced human. What has Sam done to say he can wield the shield?

Steve's accuracy is at near Bullseye levels with that shield. When any old "peak human" picks it up and starts using it like it's academic, it's like Wally taking up the mantle of Flash without the speed force, just like he woke up one morning and decided "gee, well, I want to run like the Flash too so here I go!".

Dick Grayson at least trained with Batman, was trained by Batman, for years at his craft before daring to wear the cowl. They're both peak humans as well so it's less laudable that whatever Bruce can do, perhaps Dick can too (but mostly it makes sense due to the extensive training he's had ON PANEL under Bruce Wayne). Bruce were enhanced with a super soldier serum, well, then Dick just walking in and replacing him would have seen me raising an eyebrow a little and this despite the training.

Really not the same as the transition in your examples were made intelligently and we did not have to suspend our belief to such an extent.

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Super_SoldierXII

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@child_of_the_past: It is what is happening here. Some other guy (Falcon this time, instead of Buck or Johnny Walker) is pretending to be Captain America. Steve Rogers is Captain America. And because at the end of the day "Status quo is god." This whole exercise is moot.

As it is, because of my age, I didn't mind Wally West.

I outright hate Damian and was not a fan of Bruce's mantle being passed. I also disliked it when Superman died, and we got four "Supermen", Azrael became Batman, Hal went nuts, Ollie got blown up, Pete became a clone, Ult Pete got killed so Bendis could hit the reset button and rehash everything all over again, Ult Logan died because Loeb's a hack, and his weiner son took over, And lets not forget the marketing ploy that is modern "Wench Thor".

Every few years when Cap gets replaced I find it as lame as I did the time before.

Post made me chuckle.

Gods was Ult. Wolverine ever mismanaged. So much potential. Were I to be able to start from scratch with Logan, dear lord the things I could pull off. So much untapped potential, it's really sad the complete lack of creativity from Marvel sometimes.

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NePlusUltra51

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Falcons's been around since 69' and Cap trained him I'm sure he's learned some stuff over the years. He may not have super powers but right now he's showing he's a super hero. And he's not that good with the shield just yet, i like that portrayal as well; but he's getting better. Great series so far.

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CurrentThor2015

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This is the best issue so far in All New Captain America, loving Sam as Cap.

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RisingBean

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@super_soldierxii: I tell you. Marvel literally has me running in the opposite direction as far as comics go these days. I swear Editorial is saying "alright. Lets figure out just how much we can suck the joy out of reading our brand o' comics." then they give the writers a hug and whisper into their ear "Hail Hydra."

On the bright side, at least Marvel knows how to make movies right.

This is probably not the forum of it, but if you ever explain what you would do with Logan, a blank slate and all the potential in the world, be sure you add me to the notifications. I'd be interested in hearing about it.

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Teerack

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I really like Misty as a supporting character in this series.

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Super_SoldierXII

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@super_soldierxii: I tell you. Marvel literally has me running in the opposite direction as far as comics go these days. I swear Editorial is saying "alright. Lets figure out just how much we can suck the joy out of reading our brand o' comics." then they give the writers a hug and whisper into their ear "Hail Hydra."

On the bright side, at least Marvel knows how to make movies right.

This is probably not the forum of it, but if you ever explain what you would do with Logan, a blank slate and all the potential in the world, be sure you add me to the notifications. I'd be interested in hearing about it.

I would make him more consistent in every arena. For starters, Wolverine "popping" his claws would be a momentous occasion. Like a samurai who only draws his katana when he truly means to whet it with the blood of his enemies. I mean, he's essentially punching holes through his hands every time he pops them. Have to make it meaningful (despite the healing factor ... it hurts!!). It would get to the point for fans of the character than when he went "SNIKT" everyone stood to attention as sh!t was going to hit the proverbial fan. And for good reason.

Which is to say, Logan would function more around the code of "Bushido". His code of honor and conduct would be more constant and apparent in my rendition of him. As would his struggle against the rage, the "animal man", he perpetually sought to suppress. That struggle would boil to the surface, and the reader would feel the tension. It would be meaningful.

I would respect the fact he could kill 99% of his antagonists with an adamantium laced punch, let alone six 12 inch claws. I would not pollute that with the need to have the claws hitting nothing but air at every swing just to avoid killing off his rogues gallery. His mutant & Weapon X enhancements, coupled with 100+ years of combat and martial training would suffice just fine ... "most" of the times.

Which is to say, his martial abilities would be in full swing and, again, the claws used only under extreme duress when he's little choice. Ostensibly, his claws are among the most powerful weapons in the Marvel U and are often gimped as a result. They can cut through "anything" after all. Used with skill and precision, they could feasibly drop a Thor level character.

And why shouldn't Wolverine use skill and precision?

He would be connecting 99% of the time, instead of missing 99% of the time, sans claws (i.e. Wolverine swinging claws out at someone like, say, Captain America would be absolutely ridiculous - paints the picture of a psycho, not a hero). His healing factor would not be a meat shield but, rather, a fail safe. And with good storytelling, I wouldn't feel the need to showcase it every second issue. Whenever the need to showcase his healing factor would arise, I would ensure it was done for the greater good, or for simply saving someone more helpless than he from suffering the same. (It would be more poignantly felt). Sure, the healing factor would be used to supplement the visceral effects of him succumbing to a "berserker" rage every now and again. However, these moments would be meaningful and Logan would reel from their effects (and inevitable aftermath).

He would be a martial artist first, brawler second. A samurai fighting with inner demons born from a long tortured past, with and inner heart of gold, constantly rooting for the "underdog".

Oh, and, "Hail Hydra". :-P

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RisingBean

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@super_soldierxii:

Yup, I'd be reading that title every month.

Claws are dangerous. Getting stabbed would mean something in your take. Realism (for what it is worth in comics, anyway) would mean something. We'd have a ground floor to base our suspension of disbelief on. I can dig that more then peak humans outspeeding bullets or surviving multiple occurrences of organ trauma when they fail. I face palm more then I applaud when a guy tanks a few bullets and acts like he got hit with the garden hose afterwards.

Killing the rogues gallery!?!? Egads, nooooooo! We need to milk the villains for all they are worth*, even to the extent it hurts our heroes credibility! If you don't keep the villains, your comics suck! Well unless you are Valiant. Or Conan. Or anybody else whose writers bother to think up new villains. All kidding aside, I think that the revolving door of evil needs a door jam stuffed under it in general. It's one of the reasons I often prefer movie versions. Bad guys end up in jail for good or dead.

Like I said to start this post, I'd read that title without fail. I can see your fandom shining through, and It's a breath of fresh air. I'm real tired of writers phoning it in with my favorites.

*When I muse too hard on the Batman and Joker Dynamic, the fact that Joker has killed thousands of people and Batman can't make the sacrifice to kill him leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Does it suck to be weighed down with the burden of taking life? Yup, but sometimes good people need to carry those burdens lest evil thrive.

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Super_SoldierXII

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@super_soldierxii:

Yup, I'd be reading that title every month.

Claws are dangerous. Getting stabbed would mean something in your take. Realism (for what it is worth in comics, anyway) would mean something. We'd have a ground floor to base our suspension of disbelief on. I can dig that more then peak humans outspeeding bullets or surviving multiple occurrences of organ trauma when they fail. I face palm more then I applaud when a guy tanks a few bullets and acts like he got hit with the garden hose afterwards.

Killing the rogues gallery!?!? Egads, nooooooo! We need to milk the villains for all they are worth*, even to the extent it hurts our heroes credibility! If you don't keep the villains, your comics suck! Well unless you are Valiant. Or Conan. Or anybody else whose writers bother to think up new villains. All kidding aside, I think that the revolving door of evil needs a door jam stuffed under it in general. It's one of the reasons I often prefer movie versions. Bad guys end up in jail for good or dead.

Like I said to start this post, I'd read that title without fail. I can see your fandom shining through, and It's a breath of fresh air. I'm real tired of writers phoning it in with my favorites.

*When I muse too hard on the Batman and Joker Dynamic, the fact that Joker has killed thousands of people and Batman can't make the sacrifice to kill him leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Does it suck to be weighed down with the burden of taking life? Yup, but sometimes good people need to carry those burdens lest evil thrive.

I think we both see certain things in the same light. And thanks for the vote of confidence.

I agree that comics are sacrificing depth and development for generic and gratuitous far too often.

As far as Bruce not killing the Joker goes ... I couldn't agree more. What a wet blanket they paint Batman as at this point in that particular yarn. Far as I'm concerned, the blood of hundreds of innocents are on his hands, because he cannot yet seem to justify taking the safety permanently off that particular trigger. But, well, you know, the plot must go on!

In their defense, I think editors cripple writers to a degree. So many lines one cannot transgress. It's a breeding ground for rehashed plots. Which is why alternate realities can spark renewed interest in me from time to time as they "allow" for a more realistic outcome, and for both heroes and villains to meet a justifiable end from time to time.

I think there are many ways to see villains get their just deserts without necessarily writing them off as dead or permanently "gone" though. As for the Joker, well, he needed to die decades ago.

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Kgphil01

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Edited By Kgphil01

So I have a question? With this whole Secret Wars "event" coming up in May will this series just end after the April issue? Or will it continue monthly during the SW event? I somewhat understand the set up of SW but didn't know if every one of marvels solo books (like this Antman, and superior iron man) will just stop for 6 months eventhough they just started?

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asjmooney

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Loving this. Just bought the first two trades of Rememder's cap run to start getting up to speed.

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takashi_cloud

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somewhat off topic but, Steve is gonna be really messed up when he hears what happened to his son.
:( i mean come on, give the guy a break. its bad enough that he's old and shaky now...

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Heatblaze

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Steve Rodgers will always be Cap to me.

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-daydream-

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Bring back the good old Cap, bring back Brubaker, maybe then i will read CA again..

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Zearing

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Just got to this today, it was a great read.

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UltronMk7

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This continued to be 1 of my fav books each month. I love Remender, but I thought his run on Cap wasn't anything to special. Not terrible, but not excellent like some of his other work. So I expected very little from this series, but I was so wrong. This series has shown what an awesome character Sam Wilson is. Love the character design, Cap just jumps off every page. Immonen's art is phenomenal. Seeing Sam grow into the role has been awesome. The flashbacks and inner monologue have added so much to that journey. The story moves at a great pace, ending with jaw dropping moments almost every week. Just great stuff. I'm assuming Secret Wars will end with Rogers back as Cap somehow, and as much as I love Rogers, I don't want to lose this series. Hoping to see this series continue even if they have to make Sam Falcon again. For those that have passed on this because they think it's just a stunt I encourage you to reconsider. Go grab the 1st 4 issues and check it out.

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phocracker

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Love Falcon's run as Cap. He's definitely his own Captain America while Steve is the true Captain America.