Marvel Pick Of The Week – March 15, 2017: Sam Wilson #20


Sam Wilson’s fearless journey through race relations in America takes its darkest turn yet in this powerful issue – we need to talk about this.

Cover by Daniel Acuna

Pick Of The Week: Captain America: Sam Wilson #20, by Nick Spencer and Paul Renaud

Last issue, Captain America: Sam Wilson challenged its readers to take a hard look at the racial inequality in the American criminal justice system. Black teenager Rage, on trial for a break-in, refused any more assistance than the average Black man gets. And by the time Sam Wilson could introduce proof of Rage’s innocence, the jury had convicted him.

This week, the trial inspires riots across the city as Rage prepares to transfer to prison. Sam still thinks he can stop the violence, but Rage refuses: “How you gonna ask folks to obey the law if the law becomes their enemy? When the law is what they need protection from too many times?” Seeking more help in talking the protestors into peaceful action, he finds a preacher praying in support of the protests: “We will stand tall. And when we can’t do that, we will lean on each other.” And as the situation inside and out of the prison degenerates, Sam has to make a decision about where he stands. If he can’t pick a side, and fast, the cost will be too great to bear.

Wilson’s journey this issue has struck a chord in me, and I imagine it will do the same for most American readers. We don’t condone violence against the police. But we can’t accept a systematized violence against minorities, either. Spencer wins this week for his ability to spread this complicated debate across three characters. We as a country haven’t answered this question. Spencer won’t go for an easy fix here, either. And the end of this issue shows he knows we cannot afford to wait for someone else to make this better. It’s time to listen harder. It’s time to lean on each other. It’s time to be heroes.

Honorable Mentions:

Cover by Adam Kubert and Brad Anderson

Art by Adam Kubert

You may not yet know that you love Elsa Bloodstone. I’m here to help you with that.

Cover by Alex Ross

Art by Hannah Blumenreich

This cute doggy likes Spider-Man. Good enough recommendation for me.

Cover by Paco Medina

Art by Paco Medina

I loved the American Kaiju, a Conservative Marine from that Internet meme who can turn into a giant star-spangled lizard screaming, “You! Ess! Ayy!” But I think I love his human form, Todd Ziller, even more this issue. Thank you, Al Ewing. I owe you kisses.

Cover by Kris Anka

Art by Kris Anka

Doesn’t this make you miss Superior Foes Of Spider-Man?

Cover by Gerardo Sandoval

Art by Gerardo Sandoval & Iban Coello

Spider-Man and I have almost identical social media habits.

Cover by Afua Richardson

Art by Alitha E. Martinez

May we all find our purpose as clearly as these women have. Thank you, Marvel, for publishing such a beautiful romance.

Cover by Brittney L. Williams

Art by Brittney L. Williams

This cute doggy likes Belial, The Hell Demon. Good enough recommendation for me.

Next: Last Pick: Slapstick!