For those of us that love tights and fights in our comics, it’s hard to find a better monthly comic book than Captain America. Under the skillful hand of Ed Brubaker, the book is consistently incredible and often mind-blowing. What used to be a monthly flag waving fest has become a dark espionage thriller with a deeply woven plot that keeps its readers on the edge of their seats.

Captain America has always been a bad ass; the guy first appeared on the cover of a comic punching Hitler after all. However, as time passed, the old Captain America started to seem less relevant. War changed, there is no more front line, and the bad guys are not as clearly defined. Espionage has become the name of the game, and a guy dressed in a bright red, white and blue costume has a hard time finding his place in the new status quo. Brubaker realized this, and did the unthinkable. In issue twenty-five, he killed the original Captain America (not him personally, it was actually the Red Skull, but you get the point).

This, of course, was not the end Captain America. Instead, his old sidekick, who just so happened to spend years as a trained assassin called the Winter Solider, picked up the mantle. The book has taken a drastically darker tone, but don’t worry — the ol’ red, white and blue still flies proudly in the book and Captain America still punches the bad guys. The only difference is this Captain America also shoots one or two of them on occasion, and wears just as much black as he does the star spangled.

To match this new gritty theme, the art is provided by guys like Steve Epting and Bruce Guice, who are both known for their heavily shadowed style. The Sentinel of Liberty has never looked so good.

If you are looking for the kind of war you can really get behind, then head down to your local comic book store and buy a copy of Captain America. Patriotism can be hard to define nowadays, but every American can support a guy who carries shield with a star on it and punches Neo-Nazis, right?