CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1
By Nick Spencer (Author) and Jesús Saiz (Illustrator)
Marvel Comics (Publisher)
Review by Maia Bankhead.
Warning: If you planned to avoid spoilers on the newest Captain America series…it’s probably too late. It’s everywhere. Radio, TV … if you’re a geek on Twitter, you’ve probably seen #SayNotoHYDRACap, relating to what many fans are calling the most idiotic plot twist ever: Steve Rogers has been a Hydra agent from the very beginning. He’s not a clone. There’s no mind control. As Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Thief of Thieves) said, “This really is Steve Rogers, Captain America himself.” Jesús Saiz (Swamp Thing, Birds of Prey) uses a realistic art style that perfectly captures Spencer’s plot. During Steve’s childhood, a woman helps Steve’s mother after she witnesses his father hitting Steve’s mother. In the present, Steve talks about how anyone can be a hero, and how one person’s actions can inspire you to act a certain way. Steve’s tale complements the tragic example set by a Hydra suicide bomber on a train. This man, Robbie, fell in with a bad crowd, and ends up being a non-racist in a white supremacy group. A hard-working man who got laid-off, his anger leads him vulnerable to the Red Skull, who gives Robbie a new purpose in Hydra. Steve then compares Robbie to himself, meaning that Cap’s connection to Hydra makes a disturbing amount of sense, especially considering he grew up during the Great Depression. Issue #1 is still available; issue #2 hits stores this week! Despite the controversy, it IS a good comic that makes you curious where this is all heading, and no matter how furious you are, we need to congratulate the team at Marvel on how they did this.
PRINCELESS: SAVE YOURSELF
By Jeremy Whitley (Author) and M. Goodwin (Illustrator)
Action Lab Comics (Publisher)
Review by Maia Bankhead.
An African-American princess who is friends with the dragon guarding her tower breaks out of imprisonment and goes on a quest to free her sisters. Yeah … if I hadn’t read it, I probably wouldn’t believe the story existed. And yet, Jeremy Whitley was genius enough to make it happen. Princess Adrienne has never been a fan of how kings get son-in-laws: They lock up their daughter and buy a monster to guard her until a prince comes to slay it and save the princess. Her father, King of Ashland, is especially ruthless, not even willing to see his only son as a potential successor as, in the king’s eyes, he is too weak to rule. When Adrienne turns sixteen, she, like her sisters before her, is locked away in a tower. However, after she decides not to be some prize to be won, she takes Sparky, her guardian dragon, and decides to become a knight and break the system. Things turn for the better once she meets Bedelia, the quirky half-dwarf (luckily, given her mom’s height) daughter of a blacksmith, who knows a thing or two about armor and wields a giant hammer that would put Harley Quinn’s to shame. Goodwin’s art style isn’t the most realistic — this is fantasy, after all — but characters’ emotions still shine through. You can tell when Adrienne is annoyed or simply confused. There’s an extreme amount of detail put into each character, making it unlikely for readers to confuse one character for another. Princeless is hilarious, inspiring, and a whole lot of fun to read. If you have a daughter, I suggest you have her read this.