Under a cover depicting Sam Wilson as Captain America battling Cobra and Armadillo, writer Rick Remender and artist Stuart Immonen give readers the fourth installment of the All-New Avengers Now! Captain America with inker Wade von Grawbadger, letterer Joe Caramagna and colorist Marte Gracia.
Remender continues to surgically manipulate Sam Wilson's past as he builds Wilson's legacy as Captain America. The writer has streamlined the various aspects of Falcon's origins and family life and, in "Captain America" #4, Remender provides a peek back into the partnership of Cap and Falcon at a moment when Sam had worn himself fairly thin. Sam's dedication is put in the spotlight and it all comes back around by the end of the issue.
In the middle, Remender provides plenty of action and adventure and mixes in a bit of globetrotting as Sam fights the Armadillo (Arma-freaking-dillo!)and Cobra in the slums of India, before jetting to Florida in an attempt to bring down Baron Zemo. Remender continues to bolster the relationship between Sam and Misty Knight, adding depth to Sam's supporting cast as the writer continues to instill Wilson as the present Captain America. Remender respects the continuity of Captain America's foes and provides a subtle recollection of Armadillo's predicament. This winds up proving to be critical to the story, and Remender ties the two together for future developments.
Remender gives Immonen more to draw in "Captain America" #4 than most artists put into an entire arc of other titles. Settings like Madripoor, India, Florida and New York, attacks from Armadillo, Viper and Cobra, and more are packed into strong, tight storytelling by Immonen. There are a pair of spots in the story where an extra line from von Grawbadger would have tightened up the action in the panel, but Immonen provides enough clarity around those spots to keep the action moving and the reader apprised of the situation.
The visuals are nicely rounded out by Gracia's colors and Caramagna's letters. Caramagna's playful lettering starts in the recap page with red white, blue and green punctuating the tale. Likewise, Caramagna accentuates the action with sound effects like the "KROOM" of Armadillo driving Cap into the ground and the final "SHLKK" that closes out the blood-red final panel of "Captain America" #4. Gracia's colors are tremendous throughout the issue, but nowhere are they more impactful than in the opening scene of this issue. Limited to graytones and red, the opening scene is clearly a flashback and noted as such by Caramagna but, even without the scene tag, that one page is clearly set in the past, using its colors as a powerful indicator.
The opening of "Captain America" #4 had me wondering why Remender couldn't just write a Falcon story, but submerging the reader alongside Sam in the world of Captain America certainly provides a deeper appreciation for where Sam has been and where Remender is leading him. By the end of this issue, Remender has made this a Captain America story, elevating the consequences beyond Sam Wilson and embedding Wilson in action that shows readers why this is a Captain America adventure and not a Falcon story.