ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA: HYDRA ASCENDANT
Writer: Rick Remender
Penciler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorists: Marte Garcia, Eduardo Navarro (#1), Dono Sanchez Almara (#3)
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Garcia
Rating: 10/10 Birds
Steve Rogers knows that Hydra is up to something. It’s time for Captain America to take down this terrorist organization once again. He relays this on comms to his old partner just before it cuts out, leaving Rogers forced to enjoy some fishing and relaxation. Sam Willson, once known as the Falcon, now takes flight as Captain America in this action-packed debut of All-New Captain America.
Remender kicks off Sam’s new series while wearing the stars and stripes in this fast-paced story while getting you up to speed on who Sam was and is. Sam, along with the help of Steve Rogers’ son Ian (gasp of a reveal for me), going under the alias Nomad, are tracking down a doomsday device in the form of an angsty child in Hydra’s possession. The terrorist organization has brought together some Captain America’s biggest villains who plan to sterilize the whole world with the Inhuman blood of this real rude kid. Batroc, Crossbones, Zemo and Red Skull’s daughter (double gasp of a reveal for me) all stand in Sam’s way to save the world.
This story really puts Sam on a world tour in his new role as he has to track down each of these villains across the globe before they set off the weapons that will sterilize the entire population that hasn’t taken the Hydra antidote. Touring the globe on a time limit conveniently works out in these six issues since there is a teleporting elevator that brings us to multiple locations for great action-filled moments as Sam confronts one villain after another to stop their plans. Hard choices and sacrifices were what awaited Sam Wilson when taking up this position and by the end of this read, Sam proves himself to be a worthy successor to the mantle of Captain America.
This story was an absolute solid for me. It felt like the creators kicked this run off with a bang. Immonen’s action scenes had great fluidity to them and definitely got violent. A lot of fun must have been had with this when you also get to draw all these scenes in so many different locations on the planet in the Marvel Universe. Not to mention the colors of Marte Gracia, who did most of this run, were phenomenal. While some of the characters might not have been familiar to me when I first read this, the story wasn’t derailed at all by it. Remender’s writing for everyone was terrific. This was a violent and high-stakes story, but still had some good small banter moments between Sam and his allies, Misty Knight and Nomad. His pages where Sam would reminisce about his parents, growing up, and his time as the Falcon, were all great foundations for new readers to get to know his character and what makes him a hero you can like.
To be honest, I wasn’t really too familiar with the Falcon character aside from some light internet research before I began reading comics. It wasn’t until I heard about Rodney Barnes’ upcoming Falcon series a couple of years ago that my interest was peaked. I knew Sam had taken the mantle of Captain America, but to step down from that big of a role had me curious. I really enjoyed those seven issues that got me more acquainted with Falcon and had me going back to his time when he had the shield. Barnes’ stuff opened the door for me on this character and Remender’s work in this run invited me in to truly treasure Sam’s time as Captain America. I can say that this won’t be the last time I revisit the high-flying adventures of Sam as Captain America and I hope you’ll take to the skies with him some time too.