The first issue of the Marvel Knights four-part series Captain America, Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers has been released. While Captain America and his exploits in World War II have been told so many times the series manages to take the story to new places while still retaining the character we know and love.
Reginald Hudlin’s story is akin to Allan Quatermain in deepest darkest Africa, the Nazi secret weapons conspiracy theories we all know and your standard Captain America awesomeness as Cap and Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos head to the African nation of Wakanda to uncover a Nazi plot. Hudlin has crafted a really gripping adventure piece, and the series really benefits from being under the Marvel Knights label, receiving a more serious and mature story. It actually feels like war, while the discussion of racial segregation in the military and the idea that Captain America, as the symbol America, should promote the idea of treating every man equally is really interesting stuff.
Hudlin’s story is greatly aided by Cowan, Janson and Pantazis's artwork. It utilizes heavy black lines in the artwork to give the series a more serious, realistic look. Also the choice of colors was perfect as they create a clear distinction between good and evil. The Nazis, whenever they are the focus, appear washed out, and their clothes and surroundings are predominantly grays and blacks with the occasional deep red, especially blood, really standing out and making an impression. In comparison, Cap and the Americans seem livelier and utilize more color than the Nazis.
Hudlin and the team have managed to create a great first issue. The artwork is brilliant, and the story combines the right amount of familiar and new to have me looking forward to the next issue where Captain America's exploits in Wakanda will be further explored.