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"King in Black: Captain America #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

article-cover

Written by Danny Lore
Illustrated by Mirko Colak, Stefano Landini, Roge Antonio & Nico Leon
Colored by Erick Arciniega
Lettered by Joe Caramagna
2021, 33 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on March 3rd, 2021

Review:

The Avengers fell quickly during Knull's invasion of Earth in King in Black. All hope is not lost, as the heroes are mounting a comeback. Captain America was freed from the clutches of the symbiote hive and he's joined by his two best buds, Winter Solider and the Falcon, to continue the fight. The battle is not just on the land, as Steve Rogers has to hold off the symbiote influence that's still lurking in the back of his mind.

At this point, I've seen just about every character in the Marvel Universe fight a symbiote dragon. It's the way all of these King in Black tie-ins go. It's still pretty cool, but it's starting to drag a bit. Is there anything else these heroes can beat up during this invasion?

That aside, the real drive for King in Black: Captain America is this inner struggle within the First Avenger's head. Letterer Joe Caramagna portrays this dynamic well, shifting the hero's narration from perfectly shaped caption boxes in blue to rough red boxes with a jagged font. It's a great visual to show how this evil entity is trying to pull Cap to the dark side.

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Click images to enlarge

Rogers has these visions of what would happen if he would give in to these urges. Artists Mirko Colak, Stefano Landini, Roge Antonio and Nico Leon turn in a demonic and horrifying version of Captain America with dark jagged spikes protruding from his shoulders and head. He's transformed into a warrior of evil, losing everything that made him the noble hero we know him as today.

For a one-shot, it's odd that there are four different artists contributing work to the book. There aren't easy spots to handoff or many different scenes to transition from one to another, so we end up with an uneven reading experience. Some pencils are cleaner than others and it just feels a little weird.

Colorist Erick Arciniega is a constant throughout King in Black: Captain America, perfectly capturing the ominous tone of this hopeless battle. Despite the odds being stacked against them, Cap, Winter Soldier, and the Falcon fight on. They're this bright spot in the darkness, shining through to stop this invasion, regardless of the risks required.

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Click images to enlarge

Writer Danny Lore gets Captain America. They understand what makes the character tick and that is on full display in this one-shot. It's a fascinating examination of this soldier who fights not for himself, but for those around him. Cap keeps getting up because he sees what it would mean if he fell both for his closest friends and for the innocent people that look to him for hope.

In the scheme of things, King in Black: Captain America doesn't do a lot to move the story of Steve Rogers or the war with Knull forward. It's more of a character study, providing a new and interesting look at Steve Rogers in the face of such adversity. On the surface, Captain America is this square-jawed symbol of power and respect, but he's got doubts and insecurities just like any of us. The symbiotes brought all that to the surface, forcing him to question what he's doing. That's the hook for this.

Grades:

Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
Cover
Tfaw Buy Button
Art: Twoandahalfstars
Overall: 3 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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