Captain America: Sam Wilson #10
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Angel Unzeta
Colorist: Chris Peter
Cover: Daniel Acuña
We knew this issue was coming and I even joked that we’d probably see more of Marvel’s Black superheroes together in this one issue than we’ve seen all year. Well, it looks as if those assumptions were correct but it was unexpected how much Nick Spencer’s story would break down my cynicism as Sam Wilson (with some help from his friends) goes on a journey of self discovery while respecting the legacy of James Rhodes.
If you’ve been out of the Civil War II loop, Spencer brings you up to speed with events that led to this issue. Now as with most funerals, it usually brings everyone together and this is no different. Though before Rhodes is laid to rest, Sam and Misty Knight join the rest of Marvel’s prominent Black superheroes to discuss a few issues. A meeting that at first might have you questioninga a few things but as the conversation unfolds Spencer reveals it’s much more. It’s about family, the future, and most importantly representation and solidarity. Spencer makes this a thing by having Sam quote Luke Cage regarding just this type of unfortunate event. So if one of them ever dies then the rest show up as a sign of strength for the community. Not the superhero community but for the Black community. The regular citizens that look up to these heroes and identify with them on some level.
Not only does Spencer shine during some strong dialogue during the meeting but the best showing comes from Misty Knight. She doesn’t have to be kicking ass to show her strength and it’s truly evident here. Spencer has her beat down all of that self-doubt Sam is feeling and reaffirm not only his role as Captain America but why he’s the right guy to deliver the eulogy. Which ends up being so good that I not only see Rhodes in a new light but every hero that shows up should be ashamed for being divided in this Civil War.
Angel Unzueta’s artwork is just as great as the dialogue in Captain America: Sam Wilson #10. From being in sync with the narrative to just some very hard hitting visuals the tone is just fantastic. One of the many sequences that stands out is the reaction from Cage when Sam asks who is doing the eulogy. It’s a subtle moment that is so Luke Cage and it goes over well. During the funeral there’s a massive crowd as it looks like all of Philadelphia came out to pay their respects which is a great way to show Rhodes’ legacy and impact on his community. The colors by Peter help reinforce the mood and couldn’t be any more fitting. Especially on the final page of the eulogy.
As great as this issue is, there’s a subplot that bookends the funeral which seems out of place here. Sure it’s setting up another story and the appearance of a former New Warrior was a shock but it just felt a bit forced to me. Aside from that, this is one of those issues I’m glad I picked up despite my preconceived notions about event tie-ins. Especially when it seems that Civil War II had to kick off with the death of yet another Black Marvel character. And because of how the death of Black Goliath was handled as well as his actual funeral in the first Civil War. So thanks to this creative team for not having me waste my money or time.