28th Jun2017

‘Sam Wilson: Captain America #23′ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by Nick Spencer | Art by Joe Bennett | Published by Marvel Comics

captain-america-sam-wilson-23-cover

Since Secret Empire has kicked off this series has worked as a type of therapy for the character of Sam Wilson. It is a place where he can work through his frustration and express his feelings over the insanity that has plagued him for some time. As a major event tie-in it does not add much to the overarching story. Instead it adds some character texture to the major elements going on in the main title.

What is unclear is where exactly in the Secret Empire timeline this fits in. As Sam Wilson: Captain America #23 appears to take place both before, after, and during the third installment in that series. Those who prefer their timelines to line up perfectly would surely become frustrated if they ever tried to fully plot out this story, which is typically the case for event storytelling.

Here Sam is still trying to sneak people over the border and this time he is providing an assist to a number of his past Avengers buddies. This leads to some fun monster action and a welcome appearance for everyone’s favorite underground dweller Mole Man. His interaction with Sam Wilson was the biggest highlight of this issue. Not only did it lead to a humorous Fargo reference it also shows how Sam has grown as a character beyond the point of many of his peers. He has his ear to the ground and better understand the way this new world functions.

By all means this is a general throwaway issue that will not have any lasting effects nor does anything major happen readers need to be aware. Despite that it is one of the more fulfilling books that has the Secret Empire insignia. By having the world go to hell the burden has been removed from Sam as well as this book. The focused as been more narrowed with a distinctive purpose, but based on the developments of Secret Empire that focus will widen as Sam gets tangled into the overall conflict with Hydra. Hopefully Nick Spencer takes the time to give Sam a purpose outside of reclaiming his Captain America moniker because if not  it would be a major step backwards for the character.

***½  3.5/5

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