The End of an Era (Generations: The Americas Comic Review)

Generations: The Americas #1

 

Written By: Nick Spencer

Art By: Paul Renaud

Coloured By: Laura Martin

Lettered By: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Main Cover Artist: Paul Renaud

  

 

For years a superhero partnership that was hardly recognized by pop culture until the Marvel Cinematic Universe made it known to the public was the amazing duo of Steve Rogers, who we know as Captain America, and Sam Wilson, The Falcon. These two have had many adventures including their one team up books, different iterations of the Avengers, or just the average cataclysmic event. However by Sam Wilson’s own admission in Captain America: Sam Wilson #2 “Those were the days”. Then the days seemed to come to an end. As the shield of the Captain was passed along to him by a retired Steve, having been drained of the Super Soldier Serum that allowed him to remain young for so many years.

 

For almost 3 years in real world time, the world knew that Sam Wilson had became the bearer of the red, white and blue. For better or for worse of the world’s opinions, he has done his best to honor the legacy he represented. Now the time has come to look back on the past. Surprisingly, not Sam’s, but Steve’s. Let’s take a look at this one shot issue, and see if it’s a good read.

 

What you Need to Know:

 

With the launch of the title Captain America: Steve Rogers during the time of Captain America: Sam Wilson, it was revealed that after being restored to his super soldier youth by the cosmic cube manifestation Kobik, Steve Rogers was seemingly rewritten by the cube to believe he was always an agent of Hydra, conspiring against Sam in their respective titles and even against the superhero community in the background of Civil War II, this conflict came to a head in the summer blockbuster event Secret Empire. With that event resolved with both Sam and a true version of Steve Rogers defeating the Hydra version, Sam has been sent in what is known as “The Vanishing Point” by Kobik, as a gift to learn, grow, and understand what truly is the legacy of the Marvel Universe.

 

What You’ll Find Out (With Spoilers):

 

Sam Wilson, Captain America is teleported into the middle of New York City at the star of World War II. Fully clothed in the American Flag, A man offers him a place to stay, some new clothes, and a good job. After what seems like the inevitable, Sam enlists in the draft. Heading to train for the second war to end all wars. One thing of note is the consciousness of the writing to not forget that African American soldiers had lesser quality bearings and facilities than Whites in the war, so the inclusion of this is very well done. As Sam grows in his training, he seems to become leader of an air battalion, using his wings to fly while the rest use the airplanes of the time. They arrive right on the front lines just in time as Captain Steve Rogers leads a group of troops against the enemy. The air fleet saves the day and another victory for the good guys is ensured. Alone in the woods however. Captain America doesn’t seem himself. Vomiting, not able to stomach the war. Sam reaches him, saying that he is the true hero of this day, and that as this war goes on, people will look to him, and he will be seen as an icon for years to come.

The war goes on, and then the victory comes, but not for Steve. Frozen in ice in the final days against Hydra, Sam returns to the US to wait. Wait for the day his partner is released from his frozen prison. Sam has a life, becomes the Pastor his father and brother would of been proud of, and as Captain America returns, Sam grows older. Being able to see himself and many others challenge the evils of the world. And just as his life comes to a close, he awakens back in the present. Having lived an entire life, in what seemed like moments.

Sam Wilson, Captain America, ends his time wearing the flag, by returning the shield to the man who several times before had refused to retake it. Who had said that Sam was Captain America now. But Sam isn’t Captain America. Try as he might, even though he seemed to be the hero many needed in that time, he needed to be his own hero once again. Now with a new partner in tow, we await October 11th, when the adventures of Falcon and Patriot take flight in Falcon #1 as apart of the Marvel Legacy initiative.

 

What Just Happened:

 

Generations The Americas is quite literally the end of what will be a much missed era. Sam Wilson captured what Captain America could be. A true hero of the people, whether they wanted him to be or not. In the pages of Captain America: Sam Wilson, writer Nick Spencer went to great lengths to show what could be “the people’s Captain America” in an age where he had been looked at as a Cosmic Avenger who wasn’t able to be reached by human hands. Now with a man who literally is just a man, no extra ordinary abilities besides his ability to communicate with birds, and just the drive to serve the people, Sam Wilson becomes what truly should be the bearer of the Flag. The biggest problem with that though, was the impending racial tension over an African American representing…well America. Strangly a problem to some, to the point that many were chanting #NotMyCaptainAmerica. Not helping as well was the reveal of Steve Rogers having been turned into a Nazi, which made things almost double the difficulty for Sam. Yet somehow, he was still able to live up to the legacy in my opinion.

With this one shot issue, everything is encapsulated in one issue. Everything that makes Sam a worthy hero. His determination, his heart, and his belief in the American Dream. Even after the war, Sam becomes a minister like his father and brother before him. He starts a family, and even is called to a much greater challenge. The Civil Rights movement. He lives an entire life up until the day Steve is released from the ice. When Steve reunites with his old war friend, he immediately says “You’d think I’d forget my wingman?” and it shows that some friendships, regardless of the knowledge of one of them, can transcend lifetimes.

The art is very well done. Paul Renaud, who worked with writer Nick Spencer on a good deal of Captain America: Sam Wilson, has definitely nailed the tone of what Spencer wants to convey in his narrative. The expression, the colors, the perfect representation of what modern comic art should be consistently. Hopefully Renaud continues his work in this industry because he will definitely be missed when it comes to this title.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

 

The Generations one shots had one job. Show that the next generation of heroes were worthy to have the torch passed down to them. In my opinion, almost all of them succeeded in this goal, but in terms of this one, it almost flips the concept on it’s head. Sam Wilson, as much as many of us love him as Captain America, wasn’t meant to be Cap forever. Sam Wilson, until he wore the flag, fought to have his time in the spotlight. Now with time as what was supposed to be America’s Champion under his belt, he is now finally able to begin being the hero he has always meant to be. While also on the flip side of the concept, Sam is actually passing the torch back to the original torch bearer. Mainly because, the world needs Steve Rogers, regardless of them thinking he’s still a Nazi or not. And while the world need’s Steve, Sam needs to find his place in the world. An exceptional read all around and personally, one of my favorite books of the year.

 

Rating: 9.8/10

 

James Portis

James Portis

Editor-In Chief
Founder of Shoot The Breeze Comics. Co-Host of the comic book news podcast Panel To Panel. Long time comic book, video game, and anime nerd.
Written by

Founder of Shoot The Breeze Comics. Co-Host of the comic book news podcast Panel To Panel. Long time comic book, video game, and anime nerd.

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