by Michael DeLaney
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Like a meta comic book continuity retcon, Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers’ Captain America titles collapse into one in Captain America 25. One of the last times Marvel published a Captain America 25, Steve Rogers was shot “dead.” While this issue might not be as monumental as “The Death of Captain America,” it is a book that is almost essential as a Secret Empire tie-in.
While Hydra Supreme Steve Rogers appears briefly at the beginning, the majority of the Captain America 25 is dedicated to Sam Wilson and The Resistance. The Resistance’s second (third, fourth?) wind is reliant on Sam “not big on speeches” Wilson’s rallying speech. I love that Jesus Saiz’s establishing image for this is a clear visual homage to Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen’s All-New Captain America 1 — the first full issue of Sam Wilson as Captain America.
Nick Spencer takes the opportunity to explain the Miles/Steve Secret Empire 7 showdown here with a bit of Cosmic Cube fragment ex machina. He also brings back a blink-and-you-miss-it Inhuman character from the early chapters of Secret Empire affectionately named here as “Barf.” Knowing that Steve altered his fate with a fragment, our heroes enlist Barf to conjure a cube fragment so they can do the same.
In the face of the political themes of Secret Empire, I can’t help but notice Spencer’s fascination with A.I. Tony Stark. Captain America 25 opens with an almost-silent page of Tony trying to blow out a candle on his birthday cake. Later Tony tries to literally “have his cake and eat it too” by using the fragment to grant his birthday wish.
It’s a moment that’s played for comedy but there’s gotta be more to it than that, right? I wouldn’t complain if Spencer decided to explore it in a future title — Iron Man or otherwise.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?