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Captain America: Sam Wilson: “Civil War II” and “#TakeBackTheShield” (Marvel Comics, 2015; #9-17)

Alright, this is the last Secret Empire catch-up entry, and it gets us almost current with Captain America: Sam Wilson.

  • Both of these trades share a through-line: with Steve Rogers back as Cap, part of the public wants Sam to step down.
  • Spencer’s tapping into something real and uncomfortable.
  • The big picture in Sam Wilson has to do with the roadblock that comes when people who basically agree spend more time debating semantics and theory than problem-solving.
  • That includes calling out elements who might want the same thing as our heroes, but whose actions and rhetoric are as violent and misguided as their opponents’.
  • I can’t think of another book whose characters’ rhetoric has been so realistic that it makes me feel as anxious and frustrated as when I hear the same hateful garbage* spouted on TV.
  • Civil War II content is something of a brick wall, but Spencer uses is to his advantage thematically.
  • As has become the norm for this book, the art team revolves, but their pages always look good.

I can see this book being a frustrating read for a lot of people, for various reasons. I had to walk away from it a couple of times, not because it wasn’t good, but because it requires staring at a lot of real-world ugliness. If you’re okay with that, then you'll get something out of it.

*Please remember that just because a writer has a character in a book say something, it doesn’t mean that the writer believes it.

Collected in

  • Captain America: Sam Wilson, Vol. 3: Civil War II (#9-13)
  • Captain America: Sam Wilson, Vol. 4: #TakeBackTheShield (#14-17, Captain America (1968) #344)


Writer: Nick Spencer | Artists: Angel Unzueta (9-10, 15-16) with Szymon Kudrankski (16), Daniel Acuña (11-13), Paul Renaud (14, 17) | Colorists: Cris Peter (9-10), Daniel Acuña (11-13), John Rauch (14-17) with Paul Renaud (17) | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Covers: Angel Unzueta (9), Daniel Acuña (10-13, 17), Marcos Martin (14), Paul Renaud (15-16) | Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith | Editor: Tom Brevoort

Descender: “Machine Moon” (Image Comics, 2015; #7-11)

Animosity: “The Wake” (Aftershock Comics, 2016; #1-4, Animosity: The Wake #1)