Captain America #3 review


November 29, 2023

As a series, Captain America has been on a roll for a while now. The last few runs have been incredible, giving Cap fans tons of content to enjoy after putting them through the unfortunate incident that was Secret Empire. So far, J Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz’s run on the title has been another mark in the “plus” category and issue #3 is no different.

Probably the best thing Straczynski has done with his run thus far is the flashbacks he has with pre-serum Steve, which is nothing short of a masterclass in writing that shows rather than tells. In these segments, Straczynski is able to showcase the inherent heroism that lies within Steve Rogers. It wasn’t the serum that made him great nor what made him heroic, the serum was just a vessel to make the change he wanted to see happen but the heroism was in him all along. JMS’s Steve gets into fights and loses when he picks battles with the German-American Bund, but no matter how many hits he takes or how many battles he loses, Steve will be there to try to put them in their place the next time.

Marvel Comics

I think this part of Steve’s character is incredibly relatable and perhaps a big part of why this character is compelling no matter what era we are in. There is always evil prevailing and sometimes, it can be hard to take a stand – it can be a guaranteed loss when you do, even – but to let said evil prevail unopposed is not an option. It can sometimes feel like being skinny Steve in a crowd of bigots, taking your time to preach what’s right not what’s popular, and to do so because you feel strongly about caring for the rights and humanity of others. It’s a reminder of why standing your ground and standing for what’s right is important and in today’s world, such a message feels incredibly important.

It’s not the serum that makes Steve great – that greatness was inside him all along, it just made him physically suit the part – but to see a character posed as his ideological enemy while taking a serum modeled after Steve’s own is so on the nose in the best ways. Another “very on the nose” thing is the villain in this run, which is almost like the embodiment of evil. This demonic presence that wants to crush all sources of good and positive change coming into the fold is really unsubtle but simultaneously awesome for it.

Marvel Comics

While flashing back to his days of squaring off against the German-American Bund in World War II America, Steve in the present notes that the past almost feels like a mirror for what he’s seeing today. Outside of the comic, we live in a world where people who proudly align themselves with Nazis and other bigoted hate groups feel safe enough to make their presence known and to be loud in spreading their bile. Captain America has always been a political book, having been made by Jewish creators to oppose the Nazi ideology that was in danger of gripping the world they lived in. And to see Captain America honor its Nazi-fighting roots and connect Steve to a sentiment many of us feel today in our world is a wonderful choice. Seeing any shred of our current, real-life political system reflected in these books is also wonderful – when we feel burnt out and disheartened by our pleas for peace falling on deaf ears, we remind ourselves we cannot stop now just as Steve had to keep showing up to oppose Nazis despite losing in fights. We cannot quit any more than Steve Rogers can.

The art is fabulous on this run, with Jesus Saiz knocking it out of the park every time he draws a new panel. The demon looks incredible and the framing of some of those scenes where Lane talks to it are so haunting in such a cinematic way. Lan Medina does the other set of pencils for this issue and once again, there is nothing to complain about. Every page of this book is a visual and literary treat. JMS proves his Captain America run as worthy to go toe to toe with the greats.

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In this article:Captain America, Marvel


 JMS proves his Captain America run as worthy to go toe to toe with the greats.  Read More