Captain America hit a transition point in the last issue as we saw Steve Rogers now be implicated in the murder of General Thunderbolt Ross. This is a massive turn of events for Steve, who is still trying to recover his name after it was completely damaged due to the events of Secret Empire. Now with this latest case where Steve is implicated in killing a major government official this could make things a lot worse than before they ever get better. Knowing Steve he will likely turn himself in. The question is if he will go in quietly or will there be more to everything that Steve and his friends will lay the groundwork to discover what is really going on. Let’s find out with the start of “Captain Of Nothing” in Captain America #7.
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Frank Martin
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At Myrmidon (a private penal facility for the physically enhanced) Selene Gallio meets with Baron Strucker, who is in charge of the facility after he opposed the “Supreme Commander.” Selene asks Baron Strucker if Myrmidon can hold Steve Rogers. Baron Strucker says it will hold Steve long enough for whatever service Selene is providing Alexa Lukin. Selene says she does not serve any mortal and that there is only one “end” that she is concern with.
News outlets put out stories saying Captain America is wanted for questioning.
In Brooklyn Steve is questioned about his last interaction with General Ross and where he was the night of his murder by Bernie Rosenthal. Bernie says that since Sharon doesn’t remember what happened when she was saved from Alexa Luki that Steve’s alibi when General Ross was murdered holds very little water. Bernie then reveals that it was found that General Ross was killed with incredible force from a disk-like object. Steve knows Bernie is implying a shield.
Steve asks Bernie what her advice is. Bernie says Steve should turn himself in or else be faced with being tagged a fugitive. While Sharon objects Bernie says unless Steve has other quick options he needs to turn himself in fast.
At the Bar With No Name Winter Soldier beats up everyone there while asking for who was behind the murder of General Ross. Owl speaks up saying Winter Soldier isn’t acting like much of hero, bringing up Bucky’s history in the process. Owl reminds Winter Soldier of how Captain America turned on everyone and took Thor with him. He then challenges Winter Soldier to just do what he came to the bar to do and leave.
Sharon gets a call from Bucky, who says he did not find anything out.
Sharon tells Steve that Bucky didn’t find any leads. Steve says that is it then and he is turning himself in even though Sharon says this is bigger than Steve. Steve goes on to say that this has all been done in his name and he cannot continue to carry the shield when he is constantly fighting the government that gave him it..
Sharon tells Steve that he does not serve a government, he serves his country’s ideals and dreams. Steve says this is the world the public have choose with the freedom of democracy. Sharon says she is not letting this go. That is why, as Steve says, he is leaving Sharon his shield.
While Mayor Wilson Fisk holds a gala celebrating Roxxon Oil, Hammer Industries and other companies everyone gets a notification on their phone that Captain America has turned himself in. Alexa Lukin calls someone to tell them that it is done.
While being interrogated Nick Fury Jr. asks Steve where the shield is. Steve respond by saying he lost it.
Later Steve is transported to Myrmidon and taken to his cell by the guards.
Elsewhere, Sharon enters a secret bunker where she says “Aeternum Filias, sisters. Again the dryad summons us. Again the serpent arises.” Suddenly Spider-Woman, Invisible Woman, White Tiger, Misty Knight, Mockingbird, Echo and Annabelle Riggs teleport into the bunker. Spider-Woman finishes the saying with “And the daughters of liberty rise to meet it.” End of issue.
The Good: Ta-Nehisi Coates delivers a comic in Captain America #7 that continues a grander narrative that started with the first issue and sets the stage for the future. He does by making this story about Steve Rogers, what he represents and the challenges that come with him holding the name of Captain America. The end result is a compelling narrative that draws in multiple players, both good and bad, to have major roles in the story.
The best part of Captain America #7 is that Coates does not rush the story he is developing. Coates is taking his time to develop the story in a way that makes the reader care. While he is taking his time it does not mean that things are slow. Far from it. There is constantly something important going on that gets you involved in the role each character in the “Captain of Nothing” story.
Throughout Captain America #7 Coates does a compelling job of writing Steve Rogers as a guy who while not giving up knows turning himself in is the right thing to do. At no point does it feel as though Steve is going against his own convictions. Instead, Steve knows that with everything that has happened when Supreme Commander took his body the last thing the public needs is for a Captain America to be painted as fugitive. Add in the discourse going on in the world that does not relate to superheroes and villains fighting this was the only decision Steve could make. If he didn’t his fugitive status would only create more chaos, which is exactly what every bad guy wants.
At the same time, while Steve does turn himself in Coates is able to show that does not mean he is giving up. It is the complete opposite. By turning himself in Steve is giving Sharon Carter, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson and his other allies a chance to discover the truth. Steve’s final words and handing over his shield to Sharon went a long way in establishing how Steve hasn’t given up. He knows that the truth can be discovered and that his role is to inspire his allies to figure things out.
With Steve turning himself this sets up Sharon Carter, Bucky Barnes and others to be much more active participants in the secret conflict going on. Coates does a good job in showing that Sharon and Bucky in particular aren’t going stand aside while Steve is arrested for a crime he did not commit. They will do the fighting for Steve as he does what he needs to do to keep the conflict from bleeding into the public.
Sharon’s role in all of this is the most compelling. Out of everyone involved she is positioned to lead the fight to find out what is really going on with the death of General Ross. Sharon will make everything go as she makes it clear to Steve she will not give up on him.
Showing Sharon with this strong conviction made the ending of Captain America #7 a much more impactful conclusion. It was great to see how Sharon pulled out the emergency group that has been created with other Marvel heroes. Without saying why Coates does a good job implying that the team consisting of Spider-Woman, Invisible Woman, White Tiger, Misty Knight, Mockingbird, Echo and Annabelle Riggs was established in the post-Secret Empire world. This is the answer for to stop major crisis from taking place. How all these characters are used in Sharon’s part of the story will be very compelling to see play out.
On the other hand, it was great to see Bucky Barnes bust out his old Winter Soldier attitude. The entire bar fight was a reminder that when he wants to be Bucky as the Winter Soldier is the Terminator of the Marvel Universe. He is an unstoppable machine that you don’t want to ever be on the bad side of.
What made Bucky’s aggressive search for answers even better was Owl’s involvement. Owl calling out Bucky for not acting like a superhero was the perfect answer to get over Bucky’s current state of mind. With what the Owl said it does make you wonder if Bucky is going to go down a destructive path in order to save Steve. And if that is the case, it puts into question if that puts Bucky in danger of becoming the Winter Soldier of old.
While not having a big physical presence the results of Captain America #7 progresses the bigger plot being crafted by Alexa Lukin. Everything is falling into place for Alexa perfectly. Now the question is what is her next plan and if she is prepared for what Sharon is responding with. It does seem she has all the contingencies in place as he plans get even bigger.
Captain America #7 also created a greater interest in what role Selene Gallio will serve in all of this. Coates makes it clear through her interaction with Baron Strucker that she has her own plans beyond those she is working with Alexa on. And with how dangerous of a player we know Selene to be, positioning her to have her own secret plans puts in place an intriguing long-term sub-plot to follow along with.
Bringing Baron Strucker in as the prison warden for Myrmidon, the private prison that Captain America is locked up in, is a great use of his character. It’s been long enough since Baron Strucker served a major role in any Marvel comic that this feels like a fresh role for him. Seeing that he has developed what looks to be an underground fight club puts into context what kind of dangers await Steve. With this role and set-up for his prison it will be very interesting to see what Baron Strucker has in store for Steve.
Adam Kubert delivered solid artwork for Captain America #7. His art style was a good match for the espionage story that Coates is telling. There is a darker edge to his art, matching how Steve is going through another dark period in his life. Kubert does a good job showing how Bucky went Terminator on the bar patrons and the conviction Sharon had when starting her plan at the end of Captain America #7.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Ta-Nehisi Coates delivers a strong start to “Captain of Nothing” with Captain America #7. Now that Steve Rogers has been locked up it is going to be up to Sharon Carter and Bucky Barnes to step up to find out who is manipulating current events to create greater chaos in the world. In doing so Coates has created several sub-plots within “Captain of Nothing” that are equally compelling to the greater narrative of this series.