Captain Carter throws her shield at the reader with Agent Braddock right behind her.

Captain Carter #1 Review

Written by: James McKelvie

Art by: Marika Cresta

Coloring by: Erick Arciniega

Lettering by: VC’s Clayton Cowles

I’ve never been a big Captain America fan. Any superhero who purposely ties themselves to a country rather than fans doing that themselves (a la Superman) generally rub me the wrong way. No country is without bloodshed that it won’t admit to, especially not America. This comic instead is about a national hero for a nation who has even more red in their ledger than America. If that bothers you I doubt Captain Carter is going to change your mind with this issue. It didn’t change mine.

Captain Carter bursts through the page.
Did you know the writer is also a phenomenal artist who drew this cover?

That’s not to say Captain Carter isn’t fun. This issue is fun and the character is likable enough, and more respectable than Steve in some aspects. She doesn’t let people talk over her as Steve sometimes will since he’s what many would call a respectful boy. Captain Carter is a true soldier with a heart of gold, who will also politely let you know that she can smell smoke a mile away. Her characterization in this book lands. It does enough to both separate her from Steve Rogers, but confirm why she would garner the same respect even if that hasn’t been shown yet. Enough that it will work for Captain America fans I believe, though more on that later.

This book also handles the literal politics of being a government project to entertaining effect in the first few pages. Reading how the U.S., the U.K., and Russia argue over who gets to take her home is bound to make a few eyebrows arch as it should. Captain Carter’s first meeting with the Prime Minister also goes over just as well, which sets up her place in the world really well.

Captain Carter is being thawed out of the ice.
Maybe I shouldn’t have expected something different.

So why hasn’t this changed my mind about the Captain America family of comics? Because this story tit-for-tat, feels just like the story of Steve Rogers. The difference is that it has a more outspoken Brit as the main character. She goes through, almost beat-for-beat, Steve Rogers rebooted origin story after he emerges from the ice. She reacts in a similar way to him, she has the same depressing attitude towards how the world has changed, she even has similar quips about her situation and mourning her lost friends and family. I may not be a Captain America fan but I know his origin story is well enough. Using the first issue to go over it again misses the mark with me because of that.

This doesn’t mean that the rest of the series won’t be something new. But unless they drastically change Captain Carter’s characterization, I see this story being little more than a slight riff off the main Marvel 616 Universe. If you just want to see more of the character from the great What If…? episode, you’ll probably enjoy this. If you’re looking for something to put a real twist on Captain America’s origins, Captain Carter may disappoint you. What would you want? Captain Carter to be more like Steve Rogers, or to feel more like her thing? Let me know in the comments below and check other comic reviews.

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