The Sam Wilson book has not shied away from the complications and prejudices in modern America. In this issue, in addition to the prejudices against Sam Wilson being the new Cap, his sidekick, the new Falcon, is being accused of being an illegal immigrant. Joaquin Torres, the new Falcon, gets a recap of his origin and a lot of flack from a pundit named Ariella Conner.
Conner’s vitriol is focused on Torres, evidently because he’s Mexican-American. Falcon and a new associate, Rage, go to Empire State University, a long running staple in the Marvel Universe, to confront Conner. Instead, they end up fighting a really pathetic group of supervillains calling themselves “Bombshells,” as they spout catchphrases from the more ridiculous aspects of modern college life. There’s something a bit wrong when someone goes on about “safe spaces” as they try and kill someone they disagree with, but it’s believable at this point. After Cap arrives and the heroes part ways, Rage gets set up in a really unlikely scenario and falls afoul of the Americops.
Plot: The focus on bias and the strong feelings about illegal immigration is well done. I frequently find the stories that focus on secondary characters more interesting, and I liked Falcon II taking center stage. I’ll give the plot a 3.5 out of 5.
Art: The art was a little lacking. In a few of the panels, Rage didn’t seem to have eyes at all, just the suggestions of slits where they should be. A lot of it just seemed slightly unfinished. I’ll give the art a 2.5 out of 5. It these were artistic choices, that wasn’t clear, and it didn’t look right to me.
Positives: I liked getting a focus story on Falcon. Him bringing Rage along made sense, and the Sam/Rage talk near the end was really well executed. The idiot college activists were entertaining.
Negatives: I didn’t like the art. The final scene with Rage didn’t make a lot of sense to me. The people he fought are usually for hire types, not what they were doing here. Rage just happening to run across them at this time and then getting left for the Americops didn’t really play.
I’ve been enjoying this book. I like that the writer is looking head on at some issues a lot of people would rather avoid. I think Sam Wilson is doing well as Captain America, and even better in contrast to this “Steve is really a Hydra agent” nonsense in the other Cap book.
Sam Wilson, Captain America issue #17
Writer: Nick Spenser
Artist: Paul Renaud
Colorist: John Rauch with Paul Renaud
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Daniel Acuna