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