Captain America is hot on the trail of Zemo in issue #4 of All-New Captain America, a comic that reinforces the fact that Rick Remender is skilled at keeping readers on their toes.
The first arc of All-New Captain America has been high octane, and this story is no different. Sam Wilson has been thrown into the deep end of the pool whether he can swim or not, and this pool happens to be a complex Hydra operation. Remender is doing a good job of creating instability with this series, and comic, as Sam is still getting his wings acclimated to his new role. He’s been a hero for a long time, but more often than not he was heading into a situation like this as Cap’s wingman, not as Cap himself, so I appreciate Remender’s work reflecting that. While Sam isn’t completely naive and constantly making mistakes, the character isn’t completely at home with the shield and stripes and is making some mistakes in this story. Like anybody taking on a new job, there’s an awkward period where you are learning the ropes, but for Sam the stakes are extremely high.
Remender writes a great Zemo. The classic villain is in particularly fine form in this issue, and the lesser villains are entertaining as well. The Hydra lackeys bring their own unique flavours to this issue and show how this isn’t just Cap vs. Zemo, round 681. This is Cap vs. Hydra – an organized an unified Hydra, which is a very dangerous thing. Remender captures the global threat of this organization well with his choice of settings in this issue. One, in particular, is not a place where we see many comics and it brings a very dour mood to the comic. Through Sam’s inner monologue we are getting a better glimpse than we ever have of this character before and with each passing issue he is becoming more Captain America and less Falcon. This progression is very well written and I am liking this character in this role more by the page, and this is coming from a long time Steve Rogers fan.
The conclusion of this issue was not expected, and I’m not sure why, but I’m still floored when Remender pulls the rug out from under me, as he’s been doing for a fair number of years now. He’s a writer that will “go there” and unless something very strange happens in issue #5, there will be consequences to what has occurred in this issue. That isn’t always typical of a mid-arc comic, but it is the case with All-New Captain America #4.
Stuart Immonen’s visuals are rock solid, as always. He and Marte Gracia are an all-star one-two punch and this issue looks great from start to finish. Immonen delivers some fantastic splash pages in this one and the action sequences bleed kinetic energy. When Sam gets hit you can feel the force from the well crafted art and the amount of detail Stuart Immonen pours into a page is great. He paces the story extremely well, with maximum impact coming from the way he frames sequences and handles panel layouts. All-New Captain America is one of the sharpest looking comics on shelves today and Immonen is a modern master.
All-New Captain America #4 is a strong Cap story featuring a classic villain and some quality twists and turns. Remender knows how to keep me on edge and it’s been a long time since issues of Captain America were as adrenaline-filled as these are. Sam’s in good hands and this is a great first arc for this Captain America.
The Verdict: 8.5/10