Graphic Novel Review: Captain America: The Iron Nail

Captain America: The Iron Nail

Captain America: The Iron Nail - Credit: Archant

Is this the last stand of the fabled Sentinel of Liberty?

(Panini Books)

One of the recurring themes of 21st century Captain America comics has been the WWII hero’s reaction to contemporary military tactics, whether the work of the US government or peacekeeping force SHIELD.

The America of 2014 is a far cry from that of 1944, and although Steve Rogers claims to represent the ideals of the country, rather than any administration, he is still seen as the living representative of an increasingly aggressive and imperialistic world power.

How a man born at the turn of the 1900s can come to terms with changes in technology and morality, and the weariness of his decades-long battle as the Sentinel of Liberty, are challenges which make for great storytelling, especially as Rogers moves further away from his wartime origins over the years.

After the tragic loss of his adopted son Ian and fiancée Sharon Carter, and years spent in the otherwordly Dimension Z, Cap’s return to modern America has left him even more out of touch with contemporary society, and noticeably off his game.

Meanwhile, Jet Black, daughter of Nazi geneticist Arnim Zola, has been targeted for recruitment by the Red Skull’s S Men, and the disenfranchised SHIELD agent and global terrorist the Iron Nail has begun assassinating the heads of top multinational corporations as part of a plot to bring down the USA.

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In the midst of this chaos, the Weapon Minus Program has been reopened, and the psychotropic Dr Mindbubble deployed to wreak devastation within the ranks of SHIELD. If there was ever a time the world needed Captain America, then it is now, but will the cost prove too high for the shattered superhero?

A massive game-changer for the series which follows two years of development by writer Rick Remender, the conclusion of this latest volume opens the door for a new era of Captain America – but who will be the man wielding the shield?