Written by: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Art by: Carmen Carnero
Colors by: Nolan Woodard
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: Carmen Carnero, Alejandro Sánchez
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 10, 2022
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #3 reveals the secret behind the creation of Cap’s shield and how its original purpose was to be used by a pawn working for the world’s most powerful organization – the Outer Circle.
Is It Good?
Meh. After reading the first two issues, there was some hope that Lanzing & Kelly would take this plot somewhere interesting or unexpected. Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #3 unfortunately confirms what the last issue hinted. The villain is yet another uber-powerful, secret organization controlling the world, and now that Cap knows about it, he’s out to bring the Outer Circle down.
In isolation, this issue is fine. Lanzing & Kelly capture Cap’s voice accurately, the shield-wielding action is terrific, the pacing and dialog are excellent, and the issue makes sufficient progress moving the plot forward. The technical execution is spot-on, so this is a technically well-executed comic.
The struggle lies in the lack of originality in the premise. Secret organizations that hold sway over governments and corporations have been done to death. AIM, Hydra, Skrulls, The Hand, and more have all reared their many heads at one point or another. Take your pick. So what makes the Outer Circle different? Nothing so far, and that’s a problem in a world already overcrowded with secret organizations.
The plot centers around Cap’s investigation of a special power plant in Europe named the Forge. Eventually, Cap learns the Forge isn’t a new powerplant but an old “forge” where his shield was first built. The Outer Circle desperately wants to keep the Forge’s secrets away from Cap, but how they go about it doesn’t make sense. Why allow the Forge to be repurposed as a new power source for Europe? Why send a conglomerate of SHIELD, AIM, and Hydra forces to attack it? Why call attention to the Forge in such a big, public way if you want Cap to stay away from it? The setup makes very little sense, and you can either choose to ignore the obvious plothole or keep going.
Meanwhile, Bucky continues his confrontation with Peggy Carter when he informs Peggy she’s unwittingly been aiding the Outer Circle’s designs for years. The scene is dramatic and tense, and perhaps something will come of it as the two part on bad terms with Peggy now aware she’s been used.
Again, there’s nothing technically wrong with this comic, but it lacks originality.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #3 ticks all the technical checkboxes for what you want to see in a Captain America comic. Cap’s “voice” is right, the action is energetic, and the stakes are high. However, the big revelation hinges on a very large plothole, and the villain’s identity is remarkably unoriginal.