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Steve Rogers (Captain America) raises his shield to protect a young migrant boy in Captain America #13, Marvel Comics (2019). Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jason Masters, Sean Izaakse/Marvel Comics

Captain America fought a militia to protect undocumented migrants last week

It’s an energy shield, don’t ask

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

If there were ever an example of how the meaning of Captain America can mutate, it would be Marvel Comics in August of 2019. On the one hand, you’ve got Maus creator Art Spiegelman withdrawing his introduction to a collection of WWII-era Marvel Comics rather than remove a line where he compared President Trump to the Red Skull. Then there was Marvel seeming to edit a Cap-themed essay in the Marvel #1000 anniversary one-shot to be less critical of America.

And then on the other hand, you’ve got Steve Rogers defending undocumented migrant workers along the United States’ southern border by beating the crap out of a Confederate flag-wearing local militia — all as part of an attempt to rehabilitate his image after the whole Hydra thing. The politics of superhero comics is usually a tangled knot, but this is a little ridiculous.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. Let’s get started!

Captain America #13

Captain America (Steve Rogers) talks with a migrant woman who was nearly killed by local militia members in Captain America #13, Marvel Comics (2019). Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jason Masters, Sean Izaakse/Marvel Comics

Coates and his collaborators are doing thorny philosophical/political stuff in Captain America, even if it could use a little more character work.

Runaways #24

Karolina and Nico get coffee after a failed evening of crime fighting and talk about how even though it’s hard to make a real difference, Nico just enjoyed spending time with her girlfriend, in Runaways #24, Marvel Comics (2019). Rainbow Rowell, Andrés Genolet/Marvel Comics

Runaways is low-key one of the most consistently charming books Marvel has out right now, and it does it all without big name guest stars or world changing cliffhangers. Just cute character stuff.

Dial H for Hero #6

A double page spread imitating two kinds of comics styles — one of which is a shot for shot recreation of the Batman: The Animated Series opening in Dial H for Hero #6, DC Comics (2019). Sam Humphries, Joe Quinones/DC Comics

Dial H for Hero is a comic about cribbing art styles and character origins from every potential source and and at first you just think “Oh cute, the ‘background’ page is Bruce Timm style” and then you realize that it’s actually shot for shot the legendary opening of Batman: The Animated Series. I’m so glad Dial H for Hero got renewed for another six issues.

Black Panther #15

Emperor N’Jadaka arrives on Earth in Black Panther #15, Marvel Comics (2019). Ta-Nehisi Coates, Daniel Acuña/Marvel Comics

Ta-Henisi Coates took Black Panther to space and he came back with recognizable versions of M’Baku, Nakia, and King Killmonger. They did it. Those absolute mad lads.

Doctor Strange #18

Doctor Strange trashes the house of a very confused suburban couple, in Doctor Strange #18, Marvel Comics (2019). Mark Waid, Jesús Saiz/Marvel Comics

In this cute one-shot story, Doctor Strange shows up at this suburban couple’s home and absolutely trashes the place looking for a demon, meanwhile they’re only, like, pretty sure they’ve seen him on TV before? Superhero comics are good.

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