- Acceptable Political Targets: Extreme right-wing conservatives, especially those who espouse racist or xenophobic opinions, and Wall Street. This isn't exactly new for a Captain America book, but Spencer's run has the themes be a lot less subtle, with the speeches of the supervillains sounding more and more like actual speeches from politicians. With that said, far-left wing progressives not necessarily exempt from scrutiny either as seen in Captain America: Sam Wilson #17. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on the reader's perception.
- The Sons of the Serpent are white supremacist supervillains who patrol the Mexican border looking for illegal aliens to kidnap and/or kill.
- A straighter example is the Americops, which handles the issue of Police Brutality against young black men with all the subtly of a sledgehammer by having the Americops be faceless stormtroopers who single out any black person they find.
- The Bombshells are "social justice warriors" that fight for campus safe spaces and speak in Tumblr-inspired politically-correct lingo, while attempting to kill a conservative for making a speech in their university. Of course, this ended up as Broken Aesop to some due to the comic being criticized for having the same tone as the Bombshells, especially towards right-wing figures.
- Broken Base:
- Sam as Captain America had a variety of...interesting reactions. The reaction of the public in the comic (calling him "Not My Captain America") has basically been the reaction of part of the fanbase, calling for Sam to return the shield to Steve, especially after Standoff and Steve's youth returned.
- The book becoming more political. Some think it's always a thing with Cap books and is expected, others feel it's done too unsubtly, and poorly, and distracts from the actual plot of the series, although in the latter case it's justified, as the highly political nature is part of the plot, a very large part of it to boot, including the responses of the characters and Sam's inner turmoil.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The Bombshells became this not long after the release of the issue they appeared in, when the Berkeley protests happened.
- Narm: Some people have found Steve painting a Hydra symbol on his chest when talking to the Red Skull stupid rather than dramatic.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Considering the political climate both during and after this book's tenure, many of the more unsubtle themes and Anvilicious portions aren't so Anvilicious when taken in that context.
- Take That, Critics!: The Bombshells' over-the-top "social justice warrior" actions could be construed as a jab at those who considered the "Captain Hydra" plot twist to be in poor taste. On the other hand, it's more likely the issue is simply an attempt at political balance.
- Uncanny Valley: Post-transformation, Joaquin's bulging eyes.
- Unexpected Character: Despite being an arc focused on the Serpent Society, Diamondback was quite the surprise character. We later got Rage, of all people, back from Comic-Book Limbo with recurring appearances (he pretty becomes the team's Sixth Ranger after a point), and that doesn't seem be the last of the surprises, either, as USAgent is back now, too.
- WTH, Costuming Department?: Misty Knight's costume. Seriously, a cleavage window and a midriff window?
- The Woobie: Sam Wilson in this run, and then some. He alternates between Stoic Woobie, Iron Woobie, and in some of his worse moments, Jerkass Woobie, but throughout it all, the sympathy for the character's relentless struggles remains paramount to the story.
- Iron Woobie: Rage. The young man goes through so much trying to stand up for what's right. He even becomes a symbol for many, especially those in Marvel Universe's African American community — including Rayshaun Lucas, the soon-to-be new Patriot. Even in spite of his trademark Rage, Elvin actually remains consistently stoic and tempered in his anger, even facing his eventual arrest and trial (for a crime he was not guilty of) with a level of resolute maturity that is both belies his age and past actions and is entirely humbling, even to Sam who's desperately trying to provide the evidence of his innocence. Unfortunately, he ends up getting convicted and thrown in prison, before getting mauled by a prison mob and ending the series in a coma...
YMMV / Nick Spencer's Captain America