Monday, August 22, 2016

Captain America: Sam Wilson #12 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

Fighting the System

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Daniel Acuna
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 17, 2016
Publisher: Marvel Comics

*Non-Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

While we are still in the middle of Civil War II, Sam Wilson is now about to take down a much larger issue on the streets: THE AMERICOPS. I know it sounds weird when I say it like that but in all honesty, I'm much more interested in this storyline than the main Civil War series at the moment. I believe that when it comes to Captain America stories, it should take chances at talking about current real world issues. The first story arc had Sam saving a group of illegal immigrants from radicals who want them off American soil while the second had a group of villains pulling strings from a white collar position. I knew that eventually, we'd get to the topic of police brutality, especially with all the stories on the news , and from what we've gotten so far, this is turning out to be a pretty good story. Sam is now on his way to stop a riot that's about to get out of control, while the owners of the Americops call in a secret weapon to take down Cap... Another Cap! Well U.S.Agent, but close enough! Let's dive in and see what unfolds...
We open with Sam explaining that despite him being in the game for years(with a flashback to him getting bailed out of jail by Steve Rogers), there really has never been a time they stood united for good, often reverting back to being divided over beliefs. When I say 'they', I mean everything. Superheroes, the government, the people; everything. This is the only part that really is tied into Civil War II, as this point on, the focus is shifted right to the story as he gives us a quick summary of what's been going on.

Sam flies in alone, with Falcon staying on top of a nearby building for backup, and asks the Americops what seems to be the problem, trying to play the peace card. The head Cop tells Sam that he is not needed here, but that won't stop Sam. He says that he wants to help settle this, and the Cop grabs Sam, telling him that was his only verbal warning.

Meanwhile, across the city, U.S.Agent is flown in by helicopter to talk to the big three of the Americops program: Senator Tom Herald, Radio Host Harry Hauser, and CEO Paul Keane. The trio believes that its time for Sam to be replaced as Captain America, especially with the amount of bad publicity that he's been getting and that how he doesn't answer to any major government organization like Steve did. Since Steve is just letting him go around, the trio believe that the best option they have is the U.S.Agent.

Back with Sam, he continues to play peacekeeper, but both sides are urging him to raise his shield in defiance against the cops. However, this isn't the same shield-slinging winged avenger that first picked up the shield. He knows that anything other than de-escalation will be bad. On one hand, he could fight the cops, but the headline would be "Captain America beats cops," while the other would be "Captain America gets beaten by cops." So rather than cause an uproar, Sam stands his ground and doesn't move... just like how Steve would have done... Yup, Sam Wilson has proved once again that he is just as good a Cap as Steve... Then Rage ruins it by punching the head cop in the face. Annoyed that Rage just ruined his attempt as de-escalating the situation, Sam orders Falcon to get the violent hero out of there as the cops converged to fight.

Meanwhile, back with the trio, the U.S.Agent gives them a very shocking answer.... No, he will not take back the shield. When the trio asked why he explains that it just isn't his fight. He believes in Steve Rogers, and even gave up the title when he used to be Captain America so the original could take his place. It would take something big to have U.S.Agent go against his former ally... Like turning on the news and sees that Sam is fighting the cops. Obviously, this was going to happen, but it's nice to see that the U.S.Agent isn't being treated as a true villain, but actually has a shade of gray to him.

We end the book with the only real action in it... and it's really friggin silly. As Sam is getting beaten, he uses his bird-telepathy to call in a huge flock of birds to make a giant nest as cover for him... I wish I was kidding. The only thing that makes it more silly is the fact that the Americops can't handle it and just swing at the birds. You know. Common thought would dictate that maybe this is a distraction and that they should focus on their target before he escapes. While Sam does get out of there, he ends up getting knocked out of the sky by the U.S.Agent... Who orders him to leave the shield behind.
As always, Daniel Acuna's art is pretty friggin amazing, especially with the design to the U.S.Agent and the Americops. I've loved every issue with it, and I hope he stays till the end of the line.

Bits and Pieces:
I am liking this story more and more with each issue, and it shows that Sam is growing as Captain America. This chapter shows the very fragile line that could have a protest  break out into a riot extremely well, as well as show the downside to both sides of the conflict. While I enjoyed most of it, the little action we get here can come off as a bit silly for a book covering a sensitive topic as this. Overall, I thought it was a great chapter, and the next chapter looks like it's going to be intense.


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