REVIEW: Full Anti-Fascist in The United States of Captain America #4
In The United States of Captain America #4, we get both the next chapter in the ongoing storyline that doesn’t flinch away from the thematic concerns raised by the story, plus another backup story that introduces (another, yes, another!) new Captain America. Both of these stories were colored by Matt Milla and feature lettering by Joe Caramagna, and the issue features a main cover by Alex Ross (although I am very excited I was able to obtain the “character design” variant by Jodi Nishijima, featuring Arielle Agbayani, the Campus Captain America who is introduced in this issue)!
“I Hate It When This Happens”
The first story, by Christopher Cantwell, Ron Lim, Cam Smith, and Scott Hanna, we get the next chapter of the ongoing tale of Cap’s stolen shield, and do to so, all the Caps must join forces in the woods of Colorado… with one addition!
The United States of Captain America #4 is especially interesting because it incorporates John Walker, A.K.A. U.S. Agent, a character with a (shall we say) complicated history with Steve Rogers! But it seems that Cap currently has the upper hand, after all he finds Walker partially passed-out in a bar quoting Oasis (and in narrative, quoting Oasis is never a sign of anything good).
I also appreciated how directly this story addressed the fact that Cap fights fascism – in other words, he is Antifa (and for the pearl-clutchers, that’s anti-fascist) through and through, and not at all ashamed of this fact!
The United States of Captain America #4 finds space to devote several pages to the conversation surrounding this theme, and to the Nazi-punching history of Steve Rogers, his young sidekicks, and the new Caps. It’s another example of how this issue understands the important legacy of Captain America in Marvel Comics, and directly addresses that legacy!
Plus, this story features the return of Aaron Fisher, the Captain America of the Railways, which is an especially welcome reunion for this reader.
“The Halloween Party”
But the story that really stole my heart in this issue is “The Halloween Party” by Alyssa Wong and Nishijima. This story is set on Halloween night and features Arielle, the new Cap for this issue.
I liked the way this story doesn’t pull punches.
The antagonist is a lacrosse player who has sexually assaulted Arielle’s roommate. While this is a difficult crime to read about, it is one that takes place on college campuses on a regular basis, and for that reason, it is empowering to see Arielle take a stand against those who would perpetrate such a gross injustice.
As a female-presenting comic fan, this story meant a lot to me, and it was great to see what Arielle did when she had to opportunity to wield the shield. I wish she had been there to take back the night when I was in college, but that’s not how sororities and sisterhoods worked back then. But maybe this new generation will have someone better to look up to now?
United States of Captain America #4
Have you been following the ongoing storyline in The United States of Captain America? What did you think of this issue?
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