The downward spiral of Steve Rogers continues, and just when you think he can't sink any lower, he manages to surprise you.
There are spoilers from here on out, so if you haven't read Steve Rogers: Captain America #5, you can turn back safely now.
Writer Nick Spencer continues to plot a course that will be quite difficult for Rogers to come back from, assuming that he eventually does come back at all. Steve Rogers is not only brutally maiming villains and friends alike, but in issue #5 it's revealed that he's been actively plotting against and skillfully manipulating his former teammates right under their very noses, and his actions have directly caused the death of a longtime Avenger and friend.
While most of the Civil War II tie-ins have really been irrelevant to the event, Steve Rogers: Captain America is an essential one. That's a double-edged sword, though, as after reading what's transpired here, it effectively kills any support or evidence for Captain Marvel's side of the argument. Granted, no one else in the book knows these events transpired, but the reader can't truly invest in her vision once they understand what happened.
As a story unto itself, however, the book continues to excel, and artist Javier Pina's pencils compliment the storyline nicely. The narrative is what will hook you, though, as there's a palpable excitement to see just how far Spencer will take Rogers and the ultimate knowledge that at some point he will have to face the realization of what he's done.
If there is one sticking point with the book so far, it's that the childhood flashback sequences tend to slow things down to a crawl. Hopefully, there will be a payoff that makes those pieces of the narrative worth it.
While it takes the wind out of Civil War II's central argument, Steve Rogers: Captain America #5 continues to tell an intriguing Captain America tale that manages to surprise at every turn, and deserves a place on your pull list.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Javier Pina
Colors By: Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettering By: VC's Joe Caramagna