Monday, May 2, 2016

Captain America: Sam Wilson #5 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

First:  Misty signing the visitor's log to fight the Serpent Society is so far my favorite moment in comics this year.

Under Spencer's care, Viper has truly become a top-flight villain, an unrestrained apologist for the free market that sees the so-called "welfare state" as preventing America from achieving its promised glory. (His comments about the Clean Air Act killing the market for filtration devices and gas masks made me LOL.)  But, Spencer also shows that he's capable of heart here, as we get the full details on why Rachel eventually returned to the Society.  She had been engaged to Constrictor, who had also left the Society.  But, he got sick, and his lack of insurance prevented Rachel from getting him the help that he needed.  He dies, and Rachel loses everything.  She's forced into stripping again, but Viper visits her, telling her that they've turned her into a mouse when she used to be a serpent.  Renaud does an amazing job on this sequence, using nuanced facial expressions to show us Rachel's spirit getting broken step-by-step.

But, Spencer doesn't let this heart get in the way of political commentary:  after all, corporations convincing the working class that they shouldn't be restrained by government regulations to keep them safe or pay taxes to support the safety net that sustains them describes the civil war happening in the Republican Party right now.  (Spencer even brings this corporate spin to Donald Trump's wall, with Viper noting that he's got a line of friends in the construction industry that'd love to build it with some no-bid contracts.)

But, Sam eventually tells Viper to shove his ad-man pitch about getting people to feel fear and hate because it gets their blood pumping and convinces them to buy stuff.  Sam's comments gives Viper the sads, so he throws Sam out the window.  It's the moment where we get to the point of the issue:  the introduction of the new Falcon.  Redwing alerts Joaquin to Sam's plight, and he ditches D-Man (who's been acting as his nanny, essentially) and makes his way to the Serpent Solutions HQ.  He saves Sam (even if their landing isn't exactly soft), only to find himself with an injured Cap-Wolf facing down an angry Serpent Society.  Trial by fire, kid!

As much as I like the political commentary -- and I do -- I'm not sure if I could take another issue of Viper's monologues.  But, it looks like Spencer is going to wrap up this arc in the next issue, with the long-awaited battle royale.  Less talking, more fighting, here we come!

*** (three of five stars)

No comments:

Post a Comment