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Truth: Red, White, and Black (Captain America Marvel Comics)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  323 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
In 1940, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Captain America, a frail patriot who was transformed by a "super-soldier serum" into a physically perfect specimen to champion freedom, an American alternative to the Nazi uebermensch. Now, writer Morales pursues this idea and also draws inspiration from U.S. government experiments in the 1930s that left unwitting African-Americans ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published February 4th 2004 by Marvel Comics Group (first published February 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 563)
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Aug 30, 2015 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: used-to-own, reviewed
Robert Morales' powerful story of the Army experimenting on African American soldiers to (re?)create the perfect soldier - with disatrous results - is mitigated by the incongruous art by Kyle Baker. Now I don't know Kyle Baker as an artist, but I seem to understand that he varies his style from one story to the next (am I wrong?). What I can't get my head around is why he chose this particular style for this project. The serious subject matter doesn't fit with the cartoony art, but not at all. T ...more
Paul Mirek
By the time a line of doomed, mutated men board a freighter named the HMS Pynchon, it's already clear that Morales and Baker's collaboration is no ordinary Marvel comic. The hysterical realism of Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, which balances real events with "overblown" conspiracy, is one of many touchpoints for this experience, which positions the leadup to Steve Rogers's transformation as the result of a Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment analogue.

Every page boasts some perfect little detail, whether
Aug 04, 2015 Miss rated it really liked it
absolutely brilliant story. morales retcons the captain america story to say that the government conducted tuskegee style experimentation on black soldiers to perfect the formula that empowers steve rogers. it's extremely plausible and a smart truthful commentary on us race relations

as literally everyone has mentioned, the art doesn't live up to the writing but what can you do. american comics are always a grab bag that way

4 stars
Aug 16, 2011 victoria.p rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Books written by POC
One of the best things I've read in a couple of years is the seven-issue Marvel series Truth: Red, White, And Black by Robert Morales (art, which is nowhere near as good as the writing, by Kyle Baker). It's the story of the Black Captain America -- or rather, the Black soldiers who served as test subjects for the super-soldier serum that created Captain America, and it's horrifying and fascinating and heartbreaking and all too realistic, given how America has treated its people of color over the ...more
The premise and the story are excellent.
The subject matter, black men being experimented on during WWII is completely believable.
Sadly, Kyle Baker`s art is completely innapropriate for this sort of story.
Don`t get me wrong Baker has done some great stuff, his Cowboy Wally Show and Why I Hate Saturn is some of the best comedy out there, and had he used the sort of art used in these books for this one, it might even have been more fitting. But the sketchy-cartoony style used here is completely not
Apr 26, 2015 John rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this more than I did. The plotting and dialogue were fine but I kept getting pulled out of the story by the art.

The character design leaned towards caricature; the inking was sloppy; the coloring looked slapdash; and in many places the posing was bafflingly melodramatic (in one panel the white Captain America hears something which surprises him; he seems to be twisting away from the other person with his left arm pulled back, and his head is tilted in a way which looks equally u
Bogi Takács
May 30, 2016 Bogi Takács added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bogi by: Noah Berlatsky
This is a powerful take on Captain America, Black erasure, and the parts of American history white people don't like to talk about. Noah Berlatsky recommended it to me in the wake of the Captain America Hydra plot twist (I got it from the library - apparently I got lucky because many libraries don't have it) and I was very surprised and pleased to find that it was part of the Marvel canon.

I really appreciated the afterword with historical resources, and I liked the dynamic artwork style. The onl
Amal El-Mohtar
May 03, 2013 Amal El-Mohtar rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I'm sad that I only came across this as a consequence of Robert Morales' recent passing. It's an incredible and harrowing book that provides a crucial context to Captain America as a character and as an entity in comics.

To go from seeing THE IRON PATRIOT in Iron Man 3 to seeing Isaiah Bradley was to be reminded (if one can be reminded of something so constant) of how the abuse of black people in America is barely even history at this point in at least two respects: it is not history because it
Aug 03, 2008 David rated it it was ok
The book is about the secret origin of Captain America. His powers come from an experiment applied to him during World War 2, and it only worked perfectly on Steve Rogers. Of course, there had to be lab rats before it was used on him. In comes Robert Morales' tale of the African-American test subjects that went through experiments before Steve benefitted from them.

While the concept is absolutely brilliant, the execution left a lot to wish for. There's a whole lot of filler, and a whole lot of no
Mar 01, 2012 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book revealing the less than stellar racial past of the Marvel Universe. The story of Isaiah Bradley and his fellow soldiers during WWII makes for a good entry point for characters like Bradley and his grandson who would later become the Patriot. The look on Steve Rogers' face when he finds out the actual truth about his black counterparts was priceless. The sight of Rogers who has seen and done it all staring at photos of Bradley posing with various black celebs was also moving ...more
Desdemona Gunn
The lead-up with this book was basically cripplingly depressing, powerful, and about as dark as Marvel ever got. While it tried to be, and it really flopped. The writing was alright, and the art was completely terrible. The cover was nice, the promotional art on the back was gorgeous, but the art inside looked like someone colored a New Yorker comic, maybe worse. I don't read comic books for newspaper-quality art. Not to mention I can't take a dark, serious, pretty rough concept seriously when e ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Siria rated it really liked it
Truth: Red, White and Black provides a twist to the Captain America origin story—and is, I believe, now treated by the Marvel writers as mainstream canon. Steve Rogers was not the first American to be experimented on by the US army in order to create a super-soldier. Instead, a group of African-American soldiers were exploited and tortured without their consent, paralleling the real life Tuskegee Experiments. The final surviving member of the group, Isaiah Bradley, goes out on a mission while we ...more
Sep 03, 2010 Sonic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful and moving story of the origins of the super soldier program that produced Captain America. A story that draws inspiration from the sad story of the Tuskegee experiments. The sad truth is, if there really were a super soldier program it probably would have been handled like this. This book brings questions of race and equality into the Captain America mythos. Excellent writing and superb artwork!
It's quite rare to see a Marvel superhero-based comic book with such a good bibliography. For a short one-shot story about black citizens of the U.S. and Germany from the "Great War" through WWII, Robert Morales covers a LOT of points from real history, making this book one of the most worthy examples of historical fiction in mainstream comics.

I usually don't like movies, books, or comics focused on wartime. I also don't usually notice subtle artistic nuances in comics as much as I pay attention
Christopher Mclean
Mar 31, 2016 Christopher Mclean rated it it was ok
I feel like this series really hit it stride in the last few issues, unfortunately the early issues were quite a slog.

Firstly the very comic-strip style are doesn't match the dark and deep tone of the book at all. Secondly I feel Morales is very heavy handed with the amount of racism depicted. I'm not complaining about depicting racism in general, or even that it's not an accurate depiction I just felt like too much time and space was spend on making the, very relevant point, that american blac
Apr 20, 2014 Kristopher rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
I wasn't crazy about the artwork--it looked excessively cartoony for the gravity of the story, although Baker is clearly capable of realism, as the Steve Rogers sequences show; however, this applies more to the faces than the bodies--Steve Rogers still looks about as muscular as Mean, the caricature of Wolverine in the Kitty's Fairy Tale dimension. The most racist character is the most distorted, and sometimes it looks like a political cartoon, which makes it clash with the tone less than it oth ...more
May 16, 2016 K rated it liked it
I'm shocked this is actually considered canonical. Though Steve Rogers himself in the present day reacts in a pretty cardboard, inexpressive way to the revelations of the human experimentation that made him possible, at least that information can be rolled into the reality of "America" that he's supposed to represent. I never liked the idea of "Cap" when he gets trotted out and embraced by radicals suggesting that America can do no wrong. It's a lot nicer when he's used to question if America is ...more
Jun 26, 2008 Tom rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I really loved the story. I really wished that Baker hadn't of phoned in the art. He set the bar, I didn't.
Oct 05, 2015 Andre rated it did not like it
This comic series had a good basic premise with its topic of human experiments to create the Marvel Universe's iconic hero, but the execution is really lacking and I cannot take this thing seriously or regard it as anything but a failure.
Plus like so many stories about this time in fiction this here feels hollow to me. Not least due to the fact that Captain America basically looks exactly like Hitler would have wanted a new super-human to look like.

First there is the artwork: For such a dark sto
Apr 01, 2011 Tom rated it liked it
I reread this today during my lunchbreak. The basic idea of the story (What if the government tried to recreate the success of the Captain America experiment with a squad of black soliders a la the Tuskegee experiments) is interesting, and the years have proven that past governments were not above experimenting on soldiers when they could, even if that "experiment" was "see what happens when a human being is standing too close to a nuclear bomb going off." The added racial elements also work out ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Travis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
I wish I could give this more than five stars. This is such an amazing story. Wow. Really,[return][return]What this is is a retcon history of Captain America. The story of Captain America is that he was a guy who didn't qualify for the army in WWII, and volunteered for a government experiment that would turn him into a super soldier and allow him to fight. This comic comes up with a backstory for that. What if Captain America was not actually the first Captain America? What if others ...more
Jun 08, 2013 arjuna rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully uncomfortable, and a very valuable addition to the Cap canon. At its best, Captain America is a fantastic way to hold certain values and assumptions and privileges up to the microscope - the character is strangely able to illuminate the untidy, unspeakable dark corners of the shiny world he seems to represent, simply by looking at it - his quiet acknowledgement is worth a dozen fire-breathing speeches of outrage. Morales and Baker use his unstated incorruptibility brilliantly here, t ...more
Jul 04, 2015 CJ rated it liked it
Shelves: _comics
Taking inspiration from the Tuskegee experiments and the human experimentation that was common in the world during the early 1900's we are introduced to Isiah Bradley who was part of the experiments to recreate the super soldier serum that made Steve Rodgers into Captain America.

The sotry was well written save for the fact that it has a slow start. The artwork on the other hand was not great. The drawings mainly came across as caricature drawings that you may see at a fair.

Overall a 3.5/5.
Acton Northrop
Jul 08, 2015 Acton Northrop rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
What a powerful piece of well-researched historical fiction masquerading as a superhero story. What could have been a cheap dig at the idea of Captain America ends up being a celebration of the character and an unflinching look at how similar America and Nazi Germany were in how it treated its unwanted citizens. Dark, funny, moving, scary and thrilling. This is the superhero adaptation Ava Duvernay should direct. Oh, and Kyle Baker is still the greatest.
Dec 31, 2014 Sunil rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
The very last day of 2014, a year in which the world had to proclaim loudly that Black Lives Matter because it was clear they still didn't, was a perfect day to read this book, which focuses on several black soldiers in WWII, including Isaiah Bradley, the black Captain America. It's an unflinching portrayal of racism and the race relations of that era—and though we've progressed, we haven't as much as we'd like to think—and it's an important story. Here in a mainstream title, the horrific injust ...more
Sean Kottke
Oct 20, 2014 Sean Kottke rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Kyle Baker's art may scream MAD Magazine, but that's just to lower the reader's defenses for one deeply serious story that confronts many harsh truths about American race relations in the 20th century (and unsettling parallels with Nazi Germany) through the medium of a superhero origin story.
Apr 25, 2013 Lissibith rated it really liked it
Ever read a comic with an annotated postscript citing the real-world atrocities that led to the story? That's one of the things that makes this book not only unusual, but all the more chilling - its something that could have happened. That did happen, in a way.

What do you do if you have a super soldier serum but don't know how safe it might be to use? Try it on some people you won't miss when they're gone. The result is a harrowing, moving tale about humanity and duty and the depths of disgustin
Brian Anderson
Jun 02, 2014 Brian Anderson rated it it was amazing
Great art and great story of America trying to re-create the super soldier program. A group of African-American soldiers become guinea pigs for the US overcoming Nazism, racists and the war itself .

This book shows that revamping comic history can be done and still have a great story.
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