Hydra is defeated, and the false image of Captain America is gone. Captain America #1 brings us to the world recovering from this battle and presents us a Steve Rogers that is trying to restart his life. Rogers will continue to fight for the protection of the world, but his country in the midst of rebuilding from enemy control isn’t so sure about their longtime hero.
A terrorist attack on the National Mall in Washington DC lets Steve Rogers shine as Captain America. His friends have not abandoned him, nor doubt his true loyalty. Bucky Barnes is watching Rogers’ back and Sharon Carter is flying overhead with assistance when needed. Everything looks like it should look.
The cleanup from the attack is when the reality of the new world hits Rogers. Thaddeus Ross is back from exile and acting as a special advisor for the new president. He believes in Rogers but doesn’t want his help. He does want to meet with Sharon Carter and Bucky Barnes.
What is next for Captain America? Does the stain of the Hydra conquest tarnish the image of Steve Rogers as Captain America forever? While ideologies are being discussed between Sharon and Steve, a new enemy rises, one that can be just as vicious as Hydra.
What is the real fallout from the Secret Empire series? Now we get a chance to see what Steve Rogers is going to do in a world that thinks he is untrustworthy. Captain America has always seemed to be the model citizen. Now in Captain America #1, we get to see how Steve Rogers rebuilds his life.
His friends all support him, his country mostly accepts him, but the shine that surrounded Steve Rogers is gone. This is an interesting time in his life. How does Rogers get back what he had prior to the Hydra takeover? I don’t think he can.
Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and Lenil Francis Yu have left readers with an assortment of questions with Captain America #1. We get the chance to see how the world has tried to heal itself since the Hydra takeover, how the American government has tried to right itself since it was conquered, and what is happening in the rest of the world. Is there is a place for Steve Rogers as Captain America? That’s what Steve Rogers is trying to figure out.
The story set inside of Russia, where Hydra agents are executed in a public square is interesting because this comic brings us back to the roots of 1960’s comics, when Russia was the enemy in all stories. While the enemy is not the Russian government, but rather a group known as the Power Elites, I was left enjoying this call back to older comics. By going back to its roots, Coates and Yu have allowed Rogers to start again in a world he doesn’t know, in hopes of making a life for himself.
Captain America has gone through an assortment of visual changes over the years. In Captain America #1, much like the plot has taken us back to familiar territory, the visuals of the story harken back to the classic look of Captain America, with his light blue suit, the vibrant red on his shield and the wings sticking off his head. We see Captain America as the mighty symbol of America, and not a corrupted individual controlled by Hydra.
Writers Coates and Yu also break down the moral philosophy of who Captain America is and why he is so unique amongst his super peers. In the middle of his fight with the terrorists in Washington, Rogers opines that he is a warrior who hates war. Steve Rogers as Captain America could not be better described. Imagine being the most gifted, powerful soldier on the planet, and you truly dislike war. What do you do? Steve Rogers is constantly looking for the good in everyone. Rogers is always willing to give everyone a chance. He talks as much as he fights, and for Steve Rogers, if he could avoid battle, he would.
However, in Captain America #1, the purity that the Captain America image held is no longer readily available. General Ross wanted to meet with Bucky Barnes, a former Hydra assassin rather than Captain America. A reformed enemy assassin is more tolerable than Steve Rogers. That should clearly explain how the government feels about Rogers.
This comic ends with Rogers vowing to do what’s right, and to never go away. Based on the growing threat that is happening in Russia, there is no doubt that Steve Rogers as Captain America will have to continue to be the warrior that he is. If the rest of this series continues to play off of classic themes, and challenge Steve Rogers to find a place in the new world, then I am on board until the end, and I can’t wait to see what’s in the next issue.