‘Generations: Captain America’ #1 Review: Has Some Heart, But A Muddled Plot

Generations: Captain America #1
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Summary
Writer: Nick Spencer, Artist: Paul Renaud, Color Artist: Laura Martin, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $4.99
Cover to Generations: Captain America by Paul Renaud
Generations: Captain America cover by Paul Renaud

Sam Wilson goes into the Vanishing Point and comes out in the 1940s as America enters World War II. Not sure what to do, he becomes an enlisted man, putting his skills to use in the army behind Steve Rogers, Captain America.

And then he becomes a pastor, partakes in the Civil Rights movement, grows old, becomes Cap’s mentor after he gets thawed, and…you’re already seeing where this one went off the rails, don’t you?

Yeah, unlike the other Generations issues, this one takes place over 70 years. 70 years. One comic. That’s not an impossible task, but it’s far from an easy one.

We get to see Sam Wilson live a whole other life here, like Roy from freaking Rick and Morty. But you’re supposed to take this seriously, and this one’s message is way more muddled.

We get to see Sam Wilson inspire Captain America with his own bravery and dedication. But spoiler, we figure out none of this affects actual history. None of this is intended to have lasting impact on the history of Marvel Comics superheroes. So, we see he is capable of inspiring Cap, but that just doesn’t have the same impact. Also, Kobik created the Vanishing Point. Surprise.

And that’s the thing. Sam Wilson is inspiring as Captain America. He inspired the new Patriot. He is inspiring in the real world. He’s a Captain America who doesn’t back down from his views. He fights all kinds of injustices. And he’s a black man who is Captain America. That does mean something, even if a bunch of people wish it didn’t or deny it.

I’ll put this out there: Sam Wilson is my new favorite Captain America. His stints on the Avengers and in his own comic have been awesome. This is a great version of Captain America.

It’s kind of ironic that Nick Spencer wrote Sam Wilson: Captain America, but he kind of fumbles the ball with the story here. This is the last flight of Sam Wilson as Captain America, and he doesn’t even wear the colors or pick up the shield for the majority of the comic.

It’s not a satisfying way to see Sam Wilson go after all this time.

Interior art from Generations: Captain America by Paul Renaud and Laura Martin
Generations: Captain America art by Paul Renaud and Laura Martin

Also, where is Bucky Barnes? He’s prominently displayed on the cover. I wanted to see Bucky in this issue, dammit.

Yet, the story does have its positives. Sam talks about wanting to forge his own legacy as the Falcon. He doesn’t want to live under someone else’s shadow. That does make sense, and I do look forward to the upcoming Falcon title.

It also says more about the concept of “legacy” than Marvel Legacy did in far more pages.

And Sam is a great character. He’s awesome. He’s a good character to put a book behind. He’s interesting, he’s driven, and he’s very deliberate.

Paul Renaud turns in some good artwork here. He has a detailed and distinctive comic book style, and he was a good choice for what this comic could have been. Laura Martin keeps things bright and colorful, which is appropriate for a book of two Captain Americas.

This could have been more. I wish it was more. But I can’t recommend it. It’s not that interesting. It doesn’t add anything to the story of Sam Wilson beyond why he wants to be Falcon again. This is supposed to be the finale to Generations, and it sends it out with a muffled sound of indifference. Give it a pass.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.