Captain America: Winter in America – Ta-Nehisi Coates & Leinil Francis Yu (Panini / Marvel)

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Steve Rogers has always been a man slightly out of step with the world.  Taken out of his time by a freak accident and returned to an America that he didn’t know, he’s always been a round peg that’s constantly being squashed into a square hole. That feeling of not quite fitting in, has gradually grown and consumed his every waking thought since the events of ‘Secret Empire’,  when “he” ruled America as the head of Hydra.  Convinced that he was somehow responsible and that the rest of the world still thinks that he was, and is, everything that he’s spent his life fighting, his disenfranchisement and loneliness since then has been compounded by his loss of, or rather uncertainty about, his own identity. No longer sure of who he is, in Winter In America Steve finds himself fighting the avatars of wayward super soldier programme, aided only by his allies from Wakanda. Isolated, alone and asked to stand down by a government mired in uncertainty and corruption, Steve and those nearest to him are slowly, but surely driven apart as an old adversary begins to tighten his grip on America, and enfold it in his withered embrace. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and for Captain America, winter is coming.

Winter in America is the story of a man desperately trying to find his place in a country that he proudly serves, but no longer recognises. Ta-Nehisi Coates story questions whether the ideals and dreams that the foundations of America were built upon, and that Steve Rogers embodies, still exist in a society whose rapidly changing face is constantly exploited and changed by corporations rather than its government.  Guided by Leinil Francis-Yu’s jaw dropping artwork that brings his story to life, Coates tears away the thin veneer of greed, power and corruption that now masks America and explores how shifts in policy and political direction are slowly strangling the values that America once clung to so proudly. Literature at its best is supposed to represent the period from which it emerges and that exactly what Winter in America is, modern literature at its finest.  By holding a mirror up to, and using Steve Rogers as a means of criticising, modern America, Coates’ has delivered a story that’s not only a new cold war thriller and riveting social commentary that reinvents who Captain America is, it’s also a direct reflection of the period in history that it laments. Winter has arrived… Tim Cundle 

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