by Lewis White
Recently, things haven't been great for Steve Rogers after being turned into his actual age. However, after the events of the Avengers: Standoff returned him to the young face we all know, things are looking up – at least until HYDRA escaped the events of Pleasant Hill. So, kicking off straight where Standoff and the Free Comic Book Day 2016 special left off, we now get the continuing story of Steve Rogers as Captain America.
The storyline begins with an insight into Steve’s past and a mysterious woman. When we jump back to the present, Steve is taking down more HYDRA terrorists as we are faced with a more modern-day attempt at Steve’s heroism. HYDRA is also presenting a more modern scheme of brainwashing the public, with Red Skull grabbing audiences in rallies that bring in as many people as it alienates; it really shows HYDRA's power rising. But with all these new threats, what will happen to our heroes, and will Steve stay true to his name?
This comic introduces fresh views into classic ‘C level’ heroes such as Jack Flag, Free Spirit, and the newly humanised Rick Jones. The three of them act as a team to stop HYDRA under SHIELD’s control. We see Sharon Carter in her role as a commander, while still being Steve’s love interest. This comic also gives us a rather relevant storyline of terrorism and it's affect on the modern world.
Red Skull’s speech to his HYDRA followers really sets the tone for the series. It gives us the opportunity to see contrasting powers, especially with Maria Hill still acting as a leader. Oh Maria Hill, when will you ever be a likeable character? Still behaving as the head of SHIELD, Maria Hill really is a reminder of how corrupt the secret organisation really is.
This comic is well written with a story that is consistent in plot and intriguing enough to grab you and continue reading. Before I read this issue, I had no interest in this series, but the ending has convinced me to continue with it. If you haven't read it yet, you’re bound to have seen this “twist ending” on the Internet. For those of you that have somehow avoided it, I urge you to be prepared for a final scene that will shock you and may displease you. A message to you all is that this is a comic book, and comic characters change all the time - not everything is permanent.
The artwork by Jesús Saiz is brilliant, and a very interesting new plot from Nick Spencer again shows his skill at comic writing (after brilliant storylines such as Secret Avengers and the Superior Foes of Spider-Man). I think this comic was very well written and an overall good read that paves the way for an intriguing and controversial storyline. This one is well worth picking up.
Lewis is wondering how Captain America will save him from his exams and the evil HYDRA invidulators.