Richard Gratton's Fantastic Reads 4 U

Captain America: Sam Wilson #9
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 05/04/16

The first 8 issues of Captain America: Sam Wilson have been average reads at best. Writer, Nick Spencer kicks it up a notch in issue #9, and new (guest?) artist, Angel Unzueta's images draw us into the action on every page. This comic is about more than the action taking place from one page to the next though, it is about Sam Wilson's journey to truly becoming Captain America and embodying what that really means. This issue is well plotted, well drawn, and a really good read.

We start out with Sam working out his frustrations on a heavy bag in a nameless gym, as he mentally struggles to make sense of his own personal journey from nowhere to becoming Captain America and all that being Captain America entails, including the lack of public acceptance and the ethical and moral dilemmas involved in the fallout from the Pleasant Hill incident. Steve Rogers offers his full support of Sam, allowing Sam to make his own decision regarding Maria Hill's criminal involvement and vowing to fully support him as a best friend should.

Misty Knight takes on a deeper role in this issue and could add a new dimension to the story if she continues to appear in this book. Other supporting characters, such as Dennis Murphy (Demolition Man) and the new Falcon, are underused; they appear only to support the two men sharing the title Captain America. The one supervillain in the comic is an obvious plot device used to bring Sam's moral dilemma to a head, and yet, the story does not suffer as a result because the villain is actually believable.

Sam Wilson's journey to becoming Captain America is a much longer, more complex process than he thought it would be. Putting on a costume and carrying a shield isn't enough. Sam is finding out that acceptance takes time, both for the public and himself; and if he truly wants to live up to the legend and reputation embodied in the title Captain America, he has to start by believing in himself and standing by the tough decisions he is forced to make. Captain America: Sam Wilson #9 is a comic weighed down – in a good way – by a moral and ethical dilemma and is well worth your time and money.

Scale of Awesomeness: 8 out of 10