Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Jesus Saiz
In my first article for this site I did something of a hybrid review/op-ed about Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, Now that Issue #2 has hit the shelves I’d feel remiss if I didn’t give it at least a passing mention. Since this book is just out this recently and I don’t want to spoil it, this will be a spoiler free review.
This was a very plot driven issue, so, in avoiding spoilers I’ll jump over that and get to reactions. First of all, I wanted to mention Jesus Saiz’s art which I left out of my last review. It has been excellent. I find his very clean style helps deliver the visual punch of the narrative and in the three issues I’ve read there’s never been a panel that’s felt out of place or drawn me out of the story. As well, especially in this issue, I do have to give him credit for his work on the facial expressions of the characters. I can only imagine how hard it is to make Red Skull’s inhuman rictus emote but Saiz manages it especially with Skull’s many close ups. As for Spencer’s writing, it was serviceable but not stellar this issue, and there were a few beats I found a little cartoony (such as the one with the kitchen staff for those who’ve read the issue). However, I am willing to give him a pass on this issue mostly because it’s almost entirely exposition. Albeit needed exposition, as the entire issue is devoted to explaining how Cap came to be a member of Hydra and does so in a way that people who might have just started reading Captain America books will understand.
Was I satisfied by this explanation? Definitely. I had more or less puzzled it out for myself based on some of Cap’s storylines preceding Spencer’s run and while the issue was all exposition, it wasn’t dry dialogue about what happened, but it took us back to those previous issues and showed us.Was it a fun read? Somewhat. Most of the enjoyment I got from this issue was in learning what happened with Cap and so it’s not meant to stand alone as an issue. Which is good, because besides the explanation of Cap’s change of allegiances, there’s only a few amusing Red Skull scenes to provide entertainment. So, in all Captain America #2 may not be a great issue on its own it’s definitely needed and lets us move on with the story Spencer is trying to tell, which is a welcome surprise and continues to confirm that Spencer has more to tell with this story than just the big twist in Issue #1.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #2 is on shelves now at your friendly local comic shop and is available online at Comixology.