If you haven’t read this new series involving the Captain, you may want to avoid this, as it could spoil you.
So, I’ve finally managed to catch up to #8 of Rick Remender’s run of Captain America. Wow, what a story this is. First off, the flashbacks are my favorite part, as they intermix the World War II/Great Depression Era with the wisdom from Steve’s mom, which manifest into who he becomes later…Captain America.
Secondly, the sci-fi elements are really fun and Zola has emerged as a great, terrifying and well-done villain beyond anything I could have imagined. I was skeptical at first, but Remender has managed to win me over.
I love Captain America for similar reasons that I love Superman: he doesn’t back down and he keeps moving forward. I can’t tell you how many times I clapped and/or was legitimately willing the Captain on when he’d say to himself, “Stand up. Keep going.” That kinda courage and perseverance is undeniably admirable. It’s what makes the Captain great.
Beyond the mythos that propel Captain forward, in this story in particular, his new-found son, literally, Ian, is in a limbo between his real father, Zola and Captain America; between the brainwashed ideology of Zola and the love provided by Captain America. And the Captain seeks to get him out of Dimension Z.
At the end of #8, I was legitimately shocked. Well, let me back up. First, we got this thought-provoking monologue from Ian, in his brainwashed stupor, when he was fighting Captain America:
As usual, with great villains (since these sentiments originate from Zola, not Ian) there is always some truth or at least enough there to entertain the possibility that it might be truth.
But it’s really not. Just like Superman represents the best of what humans can be, I think Captain America does so as well while also representing the best of our ideals, whether American in particular or in my opinion, just human ones (justice, freedom, choice, etc.). He fights for the world, not just America. He fights for all the people that “can’t stand up” for themselves. He’s the ultimate symbol that injustice will be corrected and sought. He may wear the American colors, but he bleeds human.
And besides, as others have pointed out, it’d be weird if he went by Captain Planet.
Speaking of bleeding, in #8, as you can make out in that panel, the artwork is fantastic and you really get a sense of just how much Captain America has been put through the wringer. The poor bastard has been beaten to pulp more ways than one.
Yet, as I’ve said, through it all, he keeps…pushing…forward. To really demonstrate just how principled and loving the Captain is, at one point, Ian has a gun to his head and Captain pleads with him to make the choice of whose name he wants to adopt; the Captain’s name of Ian or Zola’s name of Leopold. Captain says he’ll die happy if he knows Ian made the choice.
Then, and here is that shocking part, Sharon, Captain’s girl, comes from seemingly out of nowhere and shoots Ian in the neck, which looks to kill him. My eyes were agape at that scene. I’m not sure if Ian really died or not. I wouldn’t be surprised. Was that really Sharon? Did she really think she was saving him? Or is this another trick brought on by Zola? In any event, so many questions and a lot of suspense hang in the air.
I would highly recommend this series; it’s different, it’s fun, it’s heart-wrenching, it’s surprising and ultimately, it’s a great and new platform of one my favorite superheros in comics, Captain America.