Warning: contains spoilers for Captain America: Symbol of Truth #3!
Marvel’s Captain America may be the United States’ most famous superhero, but the rest of the world hates him for a very good reason. As one half of the current shield-slinging duo along with Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson saves lives and fights American enemies both foreign and domestic – and his signature vibranuim wings allow him to access areas that the first Captain America never could reach. But in Captain America: Symbol of Truth #3, Sam Wilson learns that even his flight harness won’t allow him to bypass the sovereignty of other countries, no matter how desperate his mission may be.
In current comics continuity, Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers both share the shield of Captain America. When Steve Rogers lost his powers in 2014, Wilson acquired the shield and became the Marvel Universe’s next Captain America – and when Steve Rogers regained his abilities of the Super-Soldier Serum, the duo decided two symbols of American might are better than one and resolved to fight alongside one another. Rogers became the Sentinel of Liberty and Wilson became the Symbol of Truth; as such, both are currently the titles of ongoing series that chronicle the adventures of the two superheroes.
In Captain America: Symbol of Truth #3, written by Tochi Onyebuchi with art by R.B. Silva & Ze Carlos, Captain America is caught entering Latveria with Deadpool while on the trail of stolen vibranium and brought before the ruler of the country, Doctor Doom. While Sam’s actions were never meant as an attack on Latveria, Doom still sharply chastises Wilson for entering the country unannounced; this could easily start an international incident with one of the most powerful villains on Earth. Doom ultimately lets Wilson go (while still imprisoning Deadpool), but warns “The next illegal incursion into Latveria will be answered.”
Unfortunately, Sam doesn’t learn his lesson. Later in the issue, his attempt to negotiate with the Wakandans for entry into their country fails, and rather than find an ally in the country (of which he has plenty), he decides to apply for Wakandan citizenship through a recently-introduced immigration program, thus entering the country under false pretenses. Wilson is walking a dangerous path: Wakanda is in the process of a civil war of sorts, and the current rulers are not as familiar with Captain America as Black Panther. Sam’s attempt to enter two countries with little regard to the consequences mirrors America’s strong-arm approach to world politics (at least as far as the rest of the world is concerned).
Latveria and Wakanda are xenophobic countries armed with advanced technology and a penchant for responding to invaders with violence. Sam Wilson’s incursion into one country and an attempted infiltration to another is precisely why the world is reticent to respect Captain America.
While Captain America has the world’s best interest at heart, not everyone believes him – and when his duplicitous actions in Wakanda are discovered, he will have to answer to more than Doctor Doom.
Next: Captain America Points Out The Major Flaw of New Avengers