Marvel Pick Of The Week – Feb 15, 2017: Sam Wilson #19 – Rage’s Trial!


Captain America: Sam Wilson takes the fearless commentary on race in the criminal justice system to the courtroom with a verdict you just can’t miss.

Pick Of The Week: Captain America: Sam Wilson #19 by Nick Spencer and Angel Unzueta

As Secret Empire launched softly from the ashes of the latest Civil War, Nick Spencer prepared to move the last year of his genius political thriller from the pages of Captains America Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers to the Marvel Universe as a whole. The Steve Rogers chapters have subverted the icon, challenging our faith in tradition. And in Sam Wilson’s book, Spencer speaks with courage about race relations in this country.

Last issue, Rage refused help for his false arrest. Instead, he wanted to use his high-profile case to show the inequality in the American court system. And he does just that this time – he gets a harried public defender minutes before the trial, a largely white jury, and a judge and DA with political aspirations. Sam Wilson has to pull out all the stops to save his friend.

My hat’s off to Nick Spencer for pushing the realism in this superhero story. Five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at the dramatic exaggerations. But after years of news footage, podcasts, conversations with lawyer friends, and conversations with black people? This feels so real it hurts. I won’t spoil the ending, but trust me, the entire issue pulses with tension over whether Spencer can tell the story that happens to black men in America or whether he can pull out a last-minute rescue of his own.

I want this issue to get people talking. We need to stop pretending that minority groups are criminals and then building a system that disproportionately incarcerates young black men into that self-fulfilling prophecy. And if we haven’t gotten that message from the news or from our friends, then maybe it’s time we get it from the man wearing our flag.

Honorable Mentions:

This page of Googam, Son Of Goom, shows the absurd fun this crossover can have. Monsters Unleashed breathes fresh air into your pull list after the muck of Civil War II.

Charming cad Maximus is the best reason to read Charles Soule’s Inhumans books.

Original Gwen lost her life to the Green Goblin. Dying Clone Gwen is going to take that jerk down with her. Big cheer all around.

The Golden Skull in his silly, tacky armor is the political joke Nick Spencer hasn’t told yet.

Patsy defeats her inner demons by scaring them to death with political news. Yes. Same.

If the kinky cover wasn’t enough (and oh, it was), this issue is worth your money because where can I get shorts that cute? Kris Anka has never had as much fun as on this series, and it shows.