Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates/Artist: Adam Kubert/Marvel Comics

This is going to sound ridiculous given who I’m talking about. But Ta-Nehisi Coates’ [comic book] writing has improved already in the short amount of time since he started writing Black Panther. One of his few and biggest criticisms was that while he wrote incredible exposition and captivating dialogue, his action scenes didn’t play out as they should.

Well writing an issue of Captain America that is nothing but a giant action scene is a true testament to the growth that’s transpired.

Captain America #11 brings us to a riot at the Myrmidon, a private prison filled with super-powered criminals run by none other than “reformed” Nazi Wolfgand Von Strucker. Steve Rogers has been confined to incarceration for a murder he didn’t commit as the country continues to turn on him with every news headline. However, on the other end of the spectrum, he’s earning the respect of the very same criminals he helped put away.

It’s become clear that Steve can’t do anything to clear his name from behind bars. So Sharon Carter recruits the help of the Daughters of Liberty to break him out. The only catch is that they needed him to do quite a bit of work on his end to make things work out.

The issue isn’t short of the introspective internal monologue’s that Coates’ has shown a penchant for, either. While defending himself from robots with near-fatal intentions, Steve has to question himself about what his association with his new allies says about him. He recalls that he even once fought alongside the Soviets against the Nazis in the name of taking down a greater evil. This was the case again today. Especially after his time behind bars has given him a new sense of empathy for his current peers.

The issue also features a welcome return of the Americops, a group of android police officers who were created essentially as a metaphor for police abuse and a corrupt social justice system. Of course Coates got his hands on them for his run. I can only imagine him reading Captain America: Sam Wilson and calling dibs on them for his own series.

The issue did a good job of moving the story along while providing plenty of eye candy — been a while since we got to see some shield work. I’m especially looking forward to see how Steve’s time incarcerated changes his worldview, if at all, in the coming issues.

8.5 out of 10

Reading Captain America? Check BNP’s other reviews here.

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