Rating: 4.5/5 – A Strange New Road for a Strange New Captain America.
by guest reviewer Kevyn Knox.
Please allow me to start with a bit of background on our situation here, and maybe some spoilers for those who have yet to read any of the Marvel event series, The Avengers & X-Men: AXIS. In that series, a collection of Avengers and X-Men come together to stop the Red Skull, now an alpha level telepath after stealing the mind of the late Charles Xavier, from destroying mutantkind. To stop Red Skull, Scarlet Witch and Dr. Doom perform an inversion spell, thinking it would bring the good of Xavier out into the open. What it really did was make all the heroes into bad guys and all the bad guys into good guys. So, as Carnage and Hobgoblin swoop in to play hero, Iron Man, the X-Men, and the like turn into bad seeds. And that is where our story begins.
Spinning directly out of that still going mini-series, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 is less a new series and more a re-branding of The Mighty Avengers series that ended earlier this year. Writer Al Ewing, who was also the scribe on the aforementioned earlier Mighty Avengers series, along with artist Luke Ross, bring an angrier, and dare I say more evil Captain America to light. As I am sure you know, Sam Wilson, the hero formerly known as the Falcon, is the newly minted Star Spangled Sentinel, taking over for the now quite aged and retired Steve Rogers. This week, Sam makes his big debut (of sorts) in both this title and his new solo series issue #1. Over in the solo series, Sam is still the heroic man we have all come to know and love, but here in this #1, poor Sam, along with Luke Cage, the only other team member present when the inversion spell went down, is still reeling from the psionic fallout from AXIS.
I think it was a rather strange choice to begin Sam Wilson’s Avenger-leading career while he was acting the villain, instead of waiting until the whole Axis thing wears off, which one assumes it will once Marvel moves onto a new universe altering event series in a few months. In fact such a thing has already been alluded to in the other inversion-affected new title of the week, The Superior Iron Man #1. Continuity be damned! Here in this re-branding first issue, we get a fascist new Captain America, an equally arrogant Luke Cage, and a quick cameo by an apologetic Spider-Man, himself just recently coming out of the superiority complex of pseudo-villainy. As for the other members of the Mighty Avengers, She-Hulk, Power Man, White Tiger, Spectrum, and Blue Marvel, they are either only shown in the background, or maybe even not at all. No, this first issue was all about the new not-so-nice Captain America, and his plans to force his will on the rest of America, even if that means his fellow “bleeding heart” Mighty Avengers.
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 may at first seem like nothing more than an inversion-induced reboot of the previous series, but writer Al Ewing weaves an intriguing tale of danger and deception, of which this critic is excited to see what comes of such a setting. Artist Luke Ross lends his solid penciling talents (and his inking talents, as well as a gorgeous cover to boot) to the whole shebang, and this kick-off first issue, with its magically-fed fascism and backwards day new Captain America, may be a strange narrative choice, but I for one, am looking forward to what comes next, even if it doesn’t necessarily jibe up with the continuity of the new Captain’s new solo series.
Reviewed by: Kevyn Knox