Writer: Danny Lore
Art: Mirko Colak, Stefano Landini, Rogé Antõnio, Nico Leon, Erick Arciniega, VC’s Joe Caramagna, GURU e-FX, and Salvador Larroca
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: March 2nd, 2021
CAPTAIN AMERICA is in a vicious assault to win back Manhattan from the KING IN BLACK’S dark forces. Assisted by Falcon and the WINTER SOLDIER, Steve struggles to shake loose from the evil clutches of Knull’s symbiotic power before it’s too late. Will CAP’S closest allies help him break through this dark fog, or will he surrender to the shadows? Let’s dive into KING IN BLACK: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 by Danny Lore for a gnarled and frightening story at the crux of this war against the KING IN BLACK!
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As of late, CAPTAIN AMERICA has been… lacking in the comic book landscape. From his title to the AVENGERS ongoing, it’s felt like he’s almost taken a backseat to recent stories and events. So, my hope was this KING IN BLACK tie-in would give me a bit of the CAP adrenaline rush this reviewer has been craving since Mark Waid’s most recent run a few years ago. Well, at least for one issue. Sadly, it’s not quite what I was looking for.
Basically, the story is a mental battle within CAPTAIN AMERICA while Bucky and Falcon take the top billing in the action department. And as the forefront characters, Lore used them as a means to progress the story. However, the voices of Bucky and Falcon didn’t seem to hit the mark at all. Sure, Falcon may not have been a big player in a ton of recent comics and series. Nevertheless, the WINTER SOLDIER has been sprinkled around the market for the past two years enough to provide a noticeable tone shift. The jokes and buddy-buddy commentary between the two heroes were over the top, hokey, and almost slapstick at times. I felt the conversations drove me farther and farther out of the story.
Additionally, the mental exercises between CAP and the KING IN BLACK were almost cyclical and repetitive. Eventually, it became too confusing to decipher what was real and what wasn’t real. And in the end, what do we get? Readers see a CAPTAIN AMERICA that can inspire, overcome, and persevere. Granted, these are major qualities of the character. Yet, Lore’s intent was heavy-handed, obvious regardless of this issue, and severely pushed in readers’ faces. Furthermore, as a KING IN BLACK tie-in, the story does absolutely nothing to advance the plot or premise of the event.
This issue of KING IN BLACK: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 has a ton of artists contributing to putting this together. There are so many artists that it’s hard to tell where one starts and the other begins. That said, as a team, the illustrations and colors were pretty solid. Now, some of the smaller panels made the symbiote dragons look like smudges. Heck, even a few of the stretched, almost thinner panels made the characters hard to decipher. However, when given the true canvas to shine, this art team delivers some action while showcasing the movement and motion of the characters. With this art team, the more space they created to perform, the larger the flare and spectacle.
KING IN BLACK: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 isn’t required for this event. Additionally, it’s not needed for any pertinent information on Steve, Bucky, or Falcon. It’s a one-shot to merely show CAP’S struggle within since is separation from the KING IN BLACK. If that sounds up your alley, pick this issue up. However, be warned.
The story was jumpy and confusing at times with some of the representations being almost out of character. For an issue centered around CAP’S mental gymnastics, Lore made the issue feel more surface level. Overall, as someone searching for a strong CAPTAIN AMERICA story, I simply got more Falcon and Bucky than I anticipated as well as the entry-level course of what makes Steve Rogers CAPTAIN AMERICA. If your new to CAP and love KING IN BLACK, this issue is for you. Otherwise, I’d pass this week. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!