“Winter in America Part IV”
Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Pencils by: Lenil Francis Yu
Inks by Gerry Alanguilan
The Story So Far:
Cap is fighting to earn back the trust of the nation after Hydra took over America with an alternate universe Cap as their leader. The people no longer trust him, and he is left to his own devices while battling The Power Elite, a new group bent on world domination.
Steve turns to Wakanda and King T’Challa for help to infiltrate and take down a Nuke facility, where he discovers that Sharon Carter’s latest mission was a setup, and she has been taken prisoner by the Power Elite.
Cap parachutes into Albania, where Sharon is being held captive. As he infiltrates the base, he muses that he knows that Thunderbolt Ross is responsible for the setup. He reflects on the nature of being a patriot, a believer, as he fights his way further into the base. He muses that people like Ross used to be someone you could take at his word, and the irony that many in the world would probably say the same about him.
Meanwhile, Sharon’s captor reveals that she is a Russian agent, bent on turning middle America into the next Russia. Her captor, Alexa Lukin, is the wife of Aleksander Lukin, whom Sharon killed in a previous mission. Lukin reveals that she will have Selene torture Sharon.
Cap discovers that the Taskmaster is defending this outpost, and engages in combat with him. He is hit with an arrow tipped with a serum designed to slow Steve down, and he realizes that he’s in over his head as the issue ends.
Again, the social commentary on this book is astounding. The writing is stellar, as is expected from Coates. Interspersing the action of Steve fighting his way to Sharon while Sharon’s captor divulges her reasoning for taking Sharon in the first place is balanced perfectly. This book asks the hard questions, and doesn’t presume to answer them for you. You must come to your own conclusions, as is the case with the best art.
The art is again amazing. Yu is knocking it out of the park every month with this book. His Taskmaster is a vision to behold, and the action sequences again stand out as the highlight of the issue. I hope he stays on this book after the first arc. I know Marvel has a tendency to swap out the art team on series more often these days, but I’d like to implore them to keep Yu on, as he is the perfect pairing with Coates on this series.
What doesn’t work:
Nothing. This book is almost perfect. Some might think this series is getting preachy, and to those who say that, I say this: go back and read Marvel comics from the 1960’s. The 70’s. The 80’s. Know your history. Marvel has always been about social commentary, and the best art makes you think. That’s what this series does.