Marvel Comics 2020
Written by Priest
Pencilled by Georges Jeanty
Inked by Karl Story
Coloured by Matt Milla
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino
“American Zealot” Chapter 2 of 5:
The former USAgent’s routine mission becomes complicated by revelations from his past while an enigmatic new threat moves to intercept him.
There is no one who writes a damaged character quite like Priest can and since they say it takes one to know one I’d love to sit down over a meal and a few beers and talk to the man. So here we are with issue two and as John continues on his journey we are pulled deeper and deeper into his journey of self-discovery whether he wants to take it or not. When you’ve put up so many walls and told yourself so many lies to help you sleep at night and carry on that when it is time to finally face the truth it can be more brutal than a bullet through the heart.
I am a fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. I also have to say that Mr. Manning is an unknown quantity and that vial looks suspiciously like the stuff that Eli was taking for his powers (MGH for those who need to know). For a world where Steve Rogers is supposed to be one-of-a-kind there are a lot of super-soldier potions and such available nowadays, just thinking aloud what we all are. The character development is utterly phenomenal and getting see Valerie Cooper and his sister Katie that take us to depths and places that make this truly unforgettable. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way we are treated to the kind of storytelling I live for and want to see more of.
I have to say that after Force Works 2020, which needs to just be a Force Works ongoing series, and now this limited series those of us who are fans of this character and the kind of storytelling that sets it apart from the mindless humdrum that we normally see is what I crave. The way this is structured and how we see the layers continue and emerge further is delightful. The way that everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow is sensationally well rendered.
The interiors here are simply gorgeous. The linework that we see is amazing and I love how the varying weights are being utilised to create this level of detail work that we are seeing here. Also huge shoutout to Marco on the cover here because dayum. With the way Karl inks this and just how dynamic the work is before it even gets coloured brings me so much joy. This is the kind of stuff I wanna see from Marvel, not the “hyper stylised” garbage that they get on the cheap. God the links on Caps shirt alone draw the eye in beautifully. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a truly talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is so gorgeous to see. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is spectacular. From the way the flames are seen to the various techniques we see in how the colour is laid down the interiors here are just all around stunning.
John has always tried to do what is right, but what is right according to him. His time in the West Coast Avengers and Force Works tempered him a bit and showed him new ways of being the hero he always wanted to be but left to his own devices he seems to fail miserably. He’s one of the most complex and interesting men in the Marvel Universe and personally this brings me so much joy.