Waid and Samnee on Captain America, let the good times roll again!
…hopefully? I’m absolutely excited, but my enthusiasm comes with a major asterisk.
Don’t get me wrong: no matter what, this is an immeasurable improvement. These guys are responsible for - I’d argue - the most influential comic of the 2010s in Daredevil, and while Waid has been grievously overextending himself lately, he always gives Samnee his very best. Waid sure as hell gets Steve Rogers, and Samnee’s style is a perfect fit, especially with Matt Wilson and Joe Caramagna onboard. At face value, attaching this team to the book is the best possible move Marvel could make in terms of detoxifying Cap as a brand in the immediate wake of Secret Empire.
One immediate concern though would be that Waid has repeatedly stated he’s gunshy about extended runs on characters he’s written at length before, a fear seemingly borne out by his second time up to bat at The Flash (though by all accounts the problems there were far more with editorial than with him). Given this run was rumored far in advance though, if the rumors hold true the pair are only here for 6 issues up through #700 for some immediate rehab work, before turning things over properly to Ta-Nehisi Coates with #701, and I imagine these two can pull out six issues worth of rip-roaring action in the mighty Marvel manner pretty much in their sleep.
That isn’t the real worry though. That’d be the description of this run:
“This is Steve listening to people to find out how they feel about him and what they want from him from now on…This is him getting back in touch with Captain America, learning how people perceive Captain America in light of Secret Empire.”
That makes it sound like we’re going to be getting Politically Topical Mark Waid, and given that’s the guy who gave everybody Strange Fruit and Champions? That is absolutely a cause for concern. He clearly has the best intentions, but he’s also clearly a straight white 50-something dude trying to assert his progressive credentials as hard as he can, sticking his head into some very touchy business and not exactly taking criticism of how it goes about it well. If that kind of material is going to form the heart of his stint here, it’s absolutely likely it’ll go right off the rails, even with some AAA+ storytelling bolstering it. I’ll absolutely be picking it up, but I’d also advise people not to be shocked if it ended up in the territory of Problematic Fave at best.
Then again, Waid also wrote this:
…so maybe it’ll all turn out okay. You wanna hit pause in the middle of your comic to have someone talk about how awesome the main character is, that’s how you do it.