Two Captains For The Price Of One: Reviewing ‘Captain America: Symbol Of Truth’ #12

Bucky Barnes, now known as The Revolution, has made his biggest move yet as a member of the Outer Circle. It’ll take two Captain Americas, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. member, a detective, and a super spy to stand against the might of Bucky and the villainous White Wolf with the lives of innocents and Steve Rogers’ son hanging in the balance.

Short multi-comic book-spanning event stories are often a mixed-bag affair. By that I mean sometimes the pacing might be spot on or wildly off when it comes to the small number of issues, the various chapters might read quite differently with so many creators on board, and they might feel quite disconnected (which is sometimes actually part of the story), or they can work really great and smoothly with things feeling like a breeze. So far, based just upon what we get here in Captain America: Symbol Of Truth #12 we’re definitely getting a mini-event that is of the great and smooth type of feeling that I mentioned.

That’s not a surprise since Tochi Onyebuchi has been doing fantastic work on the series this whole time just as Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have done on its sibling series Captain America: Sentinel Of Liberty. So, putting them all together in crafting an event where they switch off chapters is a real peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and chocolate or really peanut butter and most things situation. The pieces are great on their own but are even greater when together. I must really be craving some peanut butter right now; that’s what I get for writing this during my lunch break thinking about my favorite snack waiting at home.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. This read so so very quickly. That’s not a bad thing at all, trust me. I love comics that are so dense that it takes quite a bit to get through it and needs multiple reads to really get stuff, but I also love a really smooth quick-paced affair that still packs a punch. This is structurally the second issue of this event, following the Captain America: Cold War Alpha #1 one-shot, but it also serves sort of as a kickoff point itself as we see the heroes actually engage the villains so we get tons of solid action/fights, great quipping, some tight character interactions, and heroes getting to be the heroes.

It was all so well put together that it flew by, so much so that I flipped back a page because I thought “Wait it can’t possibly be over” only to realize that yes it had reached the end. Often, I’m quite aware of how many pages are left when I’m reading these issues on my Kindle, but not in this case, it snuck up on me. That, to me at least, shows off how really good this issue was overall and how great Onyebuchi is on this title.

Numerous really great artists have been able to pop up and tackle some of the issues of this series when the main artist R.B. Silva needs a break, but there is just something next level about the series when Silva is drawing things. That’s because he has a style that is just perfect for big action, big moments, just overall big superhero comic book types of things. Just a simple glance at any of the pages will make one feel this powerful epic energy radiating off every single panel. Not only is there tons of detail and depth to any page, the spaces actually feel like a lived-in true place, but the way that characters and items move across the pages thanks to panel layout choices is so fluid.

It all has weight and structure, with Silva giving us a real up-close-and-personal seat to everything happening. I know some people disagree but I love the use of things like wide closeup panels that show off just a character’s hand on a weapon, followed by their running feet, before moving back to wider shots because it enhances that sense of motion. The same can be mostly accomplished with a wide shot of the same thing but those close-up shots of just simple parts of a person or a space do it so much better and play into what I said about us being in the thick of things. This was just a fast-paced slick awesome comic book.

What helps is the color work of Jesus Aburtov, who has been here through this whole series bouncing his style splendidly across various artistic types, which makes much of what Silva delivers on the page pop even more. Their previous issue had a lot of bright orange and yellow colors around, as they were in Mohannda, where things were on fire during the big fight. Here, though, the characters are in the wide open snowy white expanses, and it adds a whole different energy. Even with all that stark whiteness, Aburtov still makes things quite bright and slick, which allows the brighter more fantastical colors (costumes, powers, dimensional beings, etc.) to stand out even more.

Such a stark color around them makes the action stand out even more because they are all colorful individuals and there are no other things to compete with them on the page. Our attention is fully upon them and Aburtov makes sure it stays that way with the colors alongside the way Silva frames things.

Playing within that white space of the setting alongside the characters are all the big bold SFX and other lettering work that comes from Joe Caramagna. All the dialogue and captions are pulled off perfectly as usual, because they flow so well and Caramagna does all the right things to make them pop with personality and energy. As we’re down in the trenches with the characters thanks to the other artwork, the lettering makes sure that feeling continues as we can accurately hear and feel the characters around us.

I really, really, really (probably a few more reallys), love SFX in comic books. It’s something that screams comic books since it’s their way of getting sound into a visual medium and used in the right way it can bring so much to the page. From small ones that allow us to hear a specific part of the environment to the much bigger ones that can almost shake the room with their power. Such as the Phrox Generals scream that we get on one page. Having it be huge over their heads, to the point that it’s stretched outside the page borders, was a chef kiss moment. Of course, this huge powerful scream from these other dimensional warriors would be so big it can’t be contained even by the page of this comic book they are appearing in.

Captain America: Symbol Of Truth #12 is now available from Marvel Comics.

Bucky Barnes, now known as The Revolution, has made his biggest move yet as a member of the Outer Circle.COMICONRead More

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