Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Adam Kubert, Frank Martin, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 8th, 2019
Cap is still in prison, a Von Strucker cage match, did I mention Cap is still in prison, and a Thunderball of sickness all in this week’s Captain America #10 by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Let’s break into this one!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!
Steve Rogers is STILL stuck in the Myrmidon for the murder of Thunderbolt Ross, which he didn’t do, while the Invisible Woman makes an attempt to break Cap out. She appears in the prison corridor and willingly injects one of the inmates named Thunderball with this techno-drug (I think) that will knock out the power dampeners in the prison. The issue ends with Cap taking on Von Strucker in a steel cage match at half strength and getting his butt kicked until the techno-drug (again I think) activates releasing the power dampeners, the inmates, and giving Cap his full strength back to crush Von Strucker while the other inmates break out of their cells.
Where is this story going? Since issue one, we’ve discovered that Hydra has tanked, the Power Elite has risen in its place and has spread throughout our government, Thunderbolt Ross was killed, and Cap was framed for it. Since about issue 8, Cap has been in prison and for the past three issues, he’s been there doing nothing. The story has stalled out and it’s going nowhere. For a comic that comes out once a month, there must be more going on to keep readers interested in coming back for more, including interesting cliffhangers to hold on too.
We have spent issues talking about the Daughters of Liberty but have seen them do very little AND we have seen Cap try to talk to inmates for almost three issues now with the story stuck in the mud. What was the point of Cap turning himself in if you were just going to break him out anyway? He’s still going to be a fugitive when it’s done so why waste your time in prison at all?
Focusing mainly on this issue, I was confused as to why Thunderball was so willing to help the Invisible Woman and why fans needed an issue that turned into a Steve Rogers monologue about what makes people bad, their level of badness, and that all villains are sons and spouses to someone who loves them. Did Coates really need to waste an issue on this?
Sure, Asam Kubert’s art was clear and easy to follow but it didn’t mask the lack of story and elevate this reviewers excitement for the next issue. Nothing dynamic happened and nothing leaped off the page to draw me in, whether it be dialogue or action. Ultimately, this reviewer follows a story by reading it to get its message and then responding to its story. I left confused on the direction but understood the message because it was spelled out directly through a monologue and not unearthed throughout the art and progression of the story. Something feels like it’s definitely missing and I hope Coates can figure it out before the next issue.
Coates really needs something exciting to happen soon or else the readers will start to bail. His message that everyone is important, regardless of where they come from, is commendable. However, it just didn’t hit the mark with this fan. Maybe it did with you? To me, this issue didn’t move the story forward and focused on elements of the story that didn’t appear significant at all. Coates has had 10 issues now with Cap and all we know is that Ross is dead, there is a new Hydra, and Caps in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The only thing of value that occurred in this issue was a prison fight and a monologue about bad people. As a Captain America fan, I hope we get something dynamic real soon.